Foreign students debut paper-cutting skills at Yuxian festival
Published: May 21, 2012 06:03 PM Updated: May 22, 2012 10:52 AM

Gao Xiliang, a paper-cutting artist, is guiding his foreign students on their works. Photo: Courtesy of Yuxian Paper-cutting Festival


Six foreign students at University of International Business and Economics will showcase their paper-cutting skills at this year’s Yuxian Paper-cutting Festival, a year after learning the art from craftsmen in Hebei Province, said the art festival’s organizers at a press conference last Wednesday. The festival will run from June 16 to 18. 

As many travelers to China are fascinated with the country’s historical craft of paper-cutting, some expats take action in pursuing this art form. Students learn skills like paper-cutting, an intangible culture heritage, from their Chinese teachers. 

"These students will finally offer us a chance to see what they have learned during their year-long efforts. Our county is well-known for its rich cultural heritage, among which the fine art of paper-cutting is what we are most proud of. This is why we hold the art festival every June," said Zheng Yimin, chairman of Hebei Folk-custom Society.

Yuxian, a small county about 200 km north of Beijing, is renowned for its unique paper-cutting heritage, which uses convex carving as a supplement. The skill is exclusive to this region, though many places in China have their own folk art. Early in 2009, Yuxian paper-cutting, along with Suzhou embroidery and Jun porcelain were listed as the top three famous crafts and art forms in Chinese cities.

According to organizers, this year’s event, the second one to take place, will not only honor outstanding paper-cutting artists but also display rarely seen paper-cutting art, such as the Andersen’s Fairy Tales series, which re-creates paper-cuts from classic fairy tales. It is reported that the Hans Christian Andersen Museum in Demark will collect this series after display.