The colorful paper-cutting art of Lishui

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated : Jan 12, 2022 L M S


Colorful baishiji hung as a reflection of tradition and culture in Lishui. [Photo/WeChat account: jnbctv0578]

Baishiji, an ancient paper cutting skill used in housewarming, marriage, wedding, and more, is a provincial intangible cultural heritage of Lishui city in East China's Zhejiang province.

Baishiji is one of the few traditional three-dimensional paper-cutting arts in China. The images used in the cutting are often based on common local inspirations such as shoes, magpies, daffodils, coins, and arch bridges. 


Chen Zhenzhi works on a baishiji. [Photo/WeChat account: jnbctv0578]

84-year-old Chen Zhenzhi, with 40 years of experience, is a master in making baishiji. Influenced by the elderly, Chen fell in love with paper-cutting at a very young age.

Intrigued by her vivid and interesting works, whenever there is an occasion worth celebrating, nearby villagers would ask Chen to make some baishiji.

However, with her old age, bad eyesight, and stiff hands, Chen is unable to do her craft smoothly. She said it now takes her at least five or six days to make a single baishiji.

She hopes the traditional handcraft could be further protected and inherited.