xi's moments
Home | Art

Paper-cutting inheritor shapes a sharp career

By Yu Ran | China Daily | Updated: 2022-03-25 11:40

A Shanghai paper-cutting artwork by Shi Qinling features ethnic Naxi people.[Photo provided to China Daily]

There are several items that most women would consider to be daily essentials that they need to have in their purses at all times. Few would consider a pair of scissors to be among these items. But for Shi Qinling, this tool has been with her everywhere she goes for the past decade-not as a means of self-protection but artistic expression.

To this paper-cutting artist, scissors are like what brushes are to painters, or what pens are to writers. Always having a pair of scissors on her also allows her to create art whenever inspiration hits. Most of her paper-cutting works are inspired from moments in daily life, such as a neighbor's dog, her own pets and scenes on the streets.

"Some people like to pen their feelings in diaries. I prefer to cut them out," says the 35-year-old, who is currently working at the Fenglin community cultural activity center in Shanghai.

Shi developed an interest in handicraft when she was a child who often found herself alone at home. Out of boredom, she would play with scrap paper, folding and cutting them into different shapes. This interest later developed into a passion, one that she decided to pursue by majoring in arts and crafts design during her time in university. After graduation, however, she found herself working at a ship design company as she was unsure about what she wanted to do with her future. About a year later, the Shanghai Arts and Crafts Research Institute offered her a position in their paper-cutting department.

Realizing that she still had a love for the craft, she made the career switch. The initial experience, however, was not something she enjoyed.

"It was very boring at the beginning as I had to spend at least eight hours cutting one single shape every day for a whole week. However, when I was deemed qualified to attempt a more difficult shape, I gained a sense of achievement, and this encouraged me to soldier on," says Shi.

In 2010, she started learning paper-cutting from Xi Xiaoqin, the national inheritor of the intangible cultural heritage for paper-cutting. Three years later, one of her works, The Fighting Fish, won third place at the Baihua Cup, a competition for Chinese arts and crafts. Six years later, Shi was named a Shanghai paper-cutting inheritor and become the city's "youngest inheritor" of the paper-cutting heritage.

1 2 Next   >>|
Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349