Ancient Huizhou paper-cutting goes global
The ancient art of Huizhou paper-cutting is making a comeback, and not only in its native China. Wu Xiaomei, a master of arts and crafts and a representative inheritor of Huizhou paper-cutting, has been working tirelessly to revive and rejuvenate this traditional art form. Her efforts are not only paying off in China, but also gaining international recognition.
Huizhou paper-cutting is an Anhui provincial intangible cultural heritage project with a long history and distinctive characteristics. Unlike the window grille paper-cutting in the north, Huizhou paper-cutting encompasses a wide range of themes, including traditional symbols of fortune, wealth, happiness, as well as scenery, folk customs, and historical figures. The intricate technique of intertwining negative and positive carvings gives the art form a unique and captivating appeal.
Wu Xiaomei has been at the forefront of preserving and promoting Huizhou paper-cutting for over 50 years. Through various initiatives, such as online live broadcasts, opening online stores, and organizing exhibitions and study tours, she has managed to breathe new life into this once endangered art form. Her cross-border innovation and integration of Huizhou paper-cutting into cultural and creative products have made it appealing to a younger audience, both in China and abroad.
Not only has Wu Xiaomei’s Huizhou paper-cutting gained popularity in China, but it has also attracted attention internationally. Her colored paper-cutting works have been exhibited in Norway, Canada, Thailand, and even the Louvre in Paris, France. Overseas Chinese and foreign friends have taken a keen interest in Huizhou paper-cutting, leading to its increased demand and adoption in international markets.
Furthermore, Wu Xiaomei has been actively training and engaging with overseas Chinese and foreign enthusiasts. Her more than 50 apprentices include individuals from countries like New Zealand, where paper-cutting is gaining popularity and cultural significance. These efforts are not only helping preserve and promote Huizhou paper-cutting but also contributing to cultural exchange and understanding between China and the international community.
Wu Xiaomei’s vision for the future of Huizhou paper-cutting is one of continued preservation and innovation. She aims to leverage the cultural characteristics and charm of Huizhou to further propel the art form onto a larger international stage. By combining tradition with modern creativity and engaging with a global audience, Huizhou paper-cutting is not only crossing borders but also creating a lasting impact in the world of arts and crafts.