Artspace K is pleased to present “Paper·Cut Art Exhibition” from 9th October, 2021 to 13th February, 2022. This exhibition features 90 pieces of paper-cut artworks from traditional to contemporary by seven artists: Li Yun-Xia, Lee Huan-Chan, Lau Ming-Hang, Lee Keng-Chun, Chen Yan-Ting, Wuba Yang, and Meko Cheng.
A pair of scissors, a piece of paper,
Paper cutting is an ancient Chinese folk art,
Paper cutting is creating art from hollowing,
Paper cutting contains the rich flavor of life.
Paper-cutting art involves paper as a medium. Patterns are cut by scissors and engraving tools such as burins. Considered a folk art, paper-cutting (Jianzhi) was a pastime done communally by generations of women that every one of them had to inherit, master, and pass on. These works were mainly created for special events and festivals, with subjects based on daily lives. With a dynamic sense of beauty, paper cut works produce fulfilling, modest, lively, simple yet artistic forms, between solid and void, yin and yang that manifest on and beyond the plane.
Today, contemporary paper-cutting is active in the international art scene. Through the works on display, Artspace K hopes that visitors will deepen their understanding and love for the art of paper-cutting. Lee Yu-Han, the curator of this exhibition, noted that the works from the seven artists cut out life, culture, history, emotions, allegory, and stories expressing unique individuality and the current society. While traditional elements remain central, the works contain a fashionable charm, driving paper-cutting art to become more abundant and diversified. These works no longer represent a single purpose or a particular era, it is integrated into various fields. This produces effects – while preserving the spirit of paper-cutting – that elevates a traditional craft to a fine art practice and allows people to appreciate its diverse beauty in different facets.
As conservationist of traditional paper cut, Li Yun Xia and Lee Huan-Chan exhibit works that reflect the rich Chinese cultural context of paper-cutting and its classical beauty, with unique folk patterns. A rich style was achieved through an interplay between paper of different colors, characteristics and textures, thick and thin lines and carved patterns of yin and yang. Lee Huan-Chan often used damask silk as a substitute to adapt to the humid environment. Dyeing, paper coloring and collage, among other techniques, break away from the traditional monotone, while combining Eastern and Western elements. Li Yun Xia is one of the most important preserver of this precious art form. While Lee Huan-Chan, who passed away at the age of 90 in 2015, created a legacy and passed on this timeless art to the new generations.
Western concept of design influenced Lee Keng-Chun to refine the beauty of Eastern culture, applying contrasting colors of paper and multilayer patterns to present motifs through paper cut. Western fairy tales are incorporated into his works with the layers highlighting the features and storylines. Lee Keng-Chun takes paper-cutting as the focus of his research, hoping to spread his enthusiasm and love for paper-cutting, and allows even more people to learn about paper-cutting art.
Chen Yan-Ting reinterprets traditional paper cut art in a moving way. Centered around traditional paper cut, Chen’s modern designs explores the possibility of the interaction between Western style and Eastern art form, creating a new visual experience, and even extending it to fashion brand design. His works to be showcased in this exhibition are from his “Text & Origin” series, derived from factors of Ancient Chinese poems including mountains, rivers, sun, moon, birds and beasts. Six archaic Chinese characters with complicated strokes were created by the rich shapes to enhance the visual impression with overlapping papers. With demonstration of a discernible dedication, his series of works allow visitors to witness the impact of traditional texts on contemporary art.
Wuba Yang’s work stretches beyond traditional paper cut patterns – her talent lies in carving nature such as plant patterns for pure happiness and sharing. Inspired by Taiwanese ferns since 2017, she chose paper to depict a variety of Taiwan’s common and unique ferns. With the color and texture of the paper, Yang’s paper ferns come to life. It has three-dimensional form, demonstrating vivid gestures of nature expressed by fern’s veins.
Lau Ming-Hang’s work adds a new factor to paper-cutting: he creates three-dimensional storybook theaters with hollow spaces to capture light and shadow, giving the viewers a fresh perspective to this art form. His creations are composed of cut-out Chinese words connecting to form a 3D cluster. The cluster and lighting link to display a lively presentation. In addition to the exhibiting works, he specifically created a pop-up book theater as an add-on for this exhibition as a way to demonstrate modern elements in this traditional art, arousing interest among the younger generations.
Meko Cheng graduated from university with a major in sculpture. Her creative medium focuses on paper as she is fascinated by its intricacy. She explores the tension and contract of materials in her works through the series of “heavy and light”, “pull and release”. She conceived the concept of transforming traditional techniques and modern materials to construct an imaginary world. From appearances to introspections, one cut after another to explore yin and yang in the art of paper-cutting created blessings between lines.
During the exhibition, Artspace K will hold events (see attachment for details) to increase the visitors’ understanding of the art of paper cut and to experience it.
Winter Blessings: 3D Paper-Cutting Workshop
Artist: Meko Cheng
Time: 3:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Fee: HKD50 per person
Pop-Up Book Theatre
Artist: Lau Ming-Hang
Date: 18/12/2021 (Sat) Time: 3:00 3:30 p.m., 4:00 4:30 p.m.
Welcoming the New Year: Paper-Cutting Workshop
Artist: Li Yun-Xia
Date: 1/15/2022 (Sat)
Time: 3:00 5:00 p.m.
Fee: HKD50 per person