Sunday, 22 May 2011

Paper-Cuts

For this week's Sunday Stamps theme of Folk Handicrafts here are two of a four set China stamps issued in 1959 called "Chinese Folk Paper-cuts".  The first a rather cute camel and the other an actress. This art is called Jranzhi (剪纸)  and can be achieved by scissors or knives from a single piece of paper. Traditionally these objects were hung in windows (no glass for many centuries) and over doors. They must have looked beautiful with the lamps lit inside shining through. The peak time to decorate with paper-cuts is New Year when various symbols are shown to bring good luck. The paper-cuts are also used for embroidery templates. Today these art works are also framed to decorate a home.

This theme reminded me that I had some Paper-Cuts which were from the city of Nantung, or Nantong as it is now know. (Each region of China has its own cultural style). When I took them out there was, helpfully, on one of the cover folds a description:

"The art of paper-cuts in Nantung goes back into history. Created and perfected by Chinese craftsmen through centuries of painstaking labour, this art has a peculiarly local style marked by a close knit composition, delicate workmanship, vivid images, clear-cut lines and sharp colours that give an effect of solidity and depth.  
A wide range of subjects including people, flowers, birds, animals, landscapes and traditional patterns is represented. The works have broad popular appeal,"

The theme of these is musical instruments
To hold these delicate works of art is to marvel at the skill.



More folk handicraft can be seen at Sunday Stamps hosted by Viridian Postcard here

8 comments:

viridian said...

Wow, wonderful. and in the lucky color of red. I am learning so much about different cultures this week. thanks for participating!

Postcardy said...

I like the simplicity of the stamps. I have always admired paper-cuts. I hadn't seen the Chinese style before.

Lisa B said...

Thanks for sharing, what an amazing ability to be able to create these.

Sreisaat said...

Oh, I have several of paper cuts (not the stamps) that I have already forgotten. I got them as souvenirs from my visit to China in 2004. They are really delicate and you can imagine the skill of the Chinese in creating intricate designs.

Postcards Crossing

Postcard Perfect said...

I've only seen a lot oa Paper Cut arts during chinese new year celebration as they used it to decorate house and streets.

My Sunday Stamp

Al said...

Very interesting. I don't think I've ever seen Chinese stamps before, let along 50-year-old ones.

Sheila @ A Postcard a Day said...

These are absolutely gorgeous! It's amazing that they can achieve this effect.

Ana said...

i wish i was half this skillful...i admire such crafts and arts