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Paper-cutter celebrates upcoming Asian Games

By Ma Zhenhuan in Hangzhou| chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: May 17, 2023 L M S


The "Big Lotus" (Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium) is central to the paper-cutting called Welcome to the Asian Games, along with the logo of the Games and propitious clouds. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Paper-cutting artist Su Hongfei from Haining, Zhejiang province, expresses her best wishes for the upcoming Asian Games through her exquisite craftsmanship, expressive designs, and rich color palette.

One example is a piece called Welcome to the Asian Games. Su spent more than a month creating it.

She said the main body of her work involves the "Big Lotus" — nickname for the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Center Stadium. The logo of the Games and the Big Lotus are connected with clouds.

Four representative flowers, from four different seasons, are added on the corners of the piece, including a peony, lotus, chrysanthemum and plum blossom.


Mascots of the Asian Games appear in paper-cuttings. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

Besides inheriting traditional paper-cutting skills, she also integrated Xiashi colored lanterns, another important intangible heritage in Haining, into her works.

"I also used color and needle-punching — incorporating the needle punching technique of Xiashi colored lanterns to reflect the regional characteristics of our Haining paper-cutting," she said.

In addition, the red, black and blue color is another important feature, giving the work a taste of ancient China.

She said the color was inspired by the classic Chinese painting A Panorama of Rivers and Mountains by ancient painter Wang Ximeng during the Song Dynasty (960-1279), and the Chinese dance drama Poetic Dance: The Journey of a Legendary Landscape Painting.

The two-hour-long dance drama portrays the painting's beauty through traditional Chinese dance movements. It premiered several years ago and has become one of the most successful dance dramas in China.

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Another work, Colorful Asian Games, is on display. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]

So far, more than 20 paper-cuttings, mixed with the elements of the upcoming Asian Games, have been created by Su and other members of her team.

Su said that cultural and creative products inspired by her works, such as environmentally friendly cloth bags, coasters and pillows have been designed to better promote traditional culture.

Paper-cutting are used in China for ornamental purposes and are usually pasted over windows, glass doors and mirrors on holidays or special occasions such as weddings. They are among the most popular decorations for Spring Festival.

The motif is digitally layered and the pieces of paper carrying the motif are then carved and colored by hand. Multiple pieces of paper produce a three-dimensional effect.

Haining paper-cutting art is one representatives of the 1,500-year-old Chinese paper-cutting art. It is a record of people's lives and natural scenery south of the Yangtze River, mixing realism with creative imagination.

The Asian Games will take place between Sept 23 and Oct 8 in Hangzhou and five other cities in Zhejiang province — Ningbo, Wenzhou, Jinhua, Shaoxing and Huzhou.