Classic/Modern: Chinese Paper Cutting Art


Chinese Paper Cutting or Jianzhi (剪纸) as it is known in China was the first type of paper cutting design in the world. For thousands of years, intricate cut-outs and shapes have been created and then used as decoration in homes. They are usually put on windows, lamps, doors and mirrors and symbolize good luck or fortune. They are also used as a form of gifting, commonly given at special occasions such as the new year.

Rising Chinese artist Hua Tunan, who we covered for the first time last year with his beautifully colorful paintings, has released new works of his own style of Jianzhi. Instead of the common designs such as flowers, animals of the zodiac and mandarin characters, Tunan brings emperors in shuttershades, warriors with spray cans and of course flying squirrels surfing on snakes while eating acorns.

For an ancient art believed to bring luck to many people over the years, Hua Tunan’s renditions come as a jest and offer some modernization to the long standing traditional designs. To see more of Hua Tunan’s work, check out his Tumblr.









Shawn Saleme

Shawn Saleme is a contributing writer for Visual News. A 4th generation San Franciscan, Shawn has developed an adventurous spirit that has taken him to over 55 countries. His degree in cultural anthropology shapes his perspective and thirst to socially experiment in a rapidly shifting planet. His work has been featured in the Seattle Times, The Globalist and the Daily Mail. Currently he is writing a book about the shared economy. Connect with him @shawnsaleme.

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