In the bustling heart of SCMU Community in Guanshan Street, Hongshan District, a vibrant display of traditional paper cuttings has recently adorned the community center. This array of artistry, featuring everything from intricate “Spring” characters to auspicious “Double Happiness” symbols, represents the collective creativity and cultural engagement of the residents. These works, crafted under the guidance of experienced paper-cutting masters, were the highlight of an event held on December 21 aimed at bolstering community cohesion and celebrating local heritage. The event, dubbed “Intangible Heritage Paper Cutting in the Community”, was a collaborative effort between the Community and the university’s Retiree Work Department. It was graced by the presence of Professor He Hongyi from the School of Literature, Journalism and Communication, and Zhu Jingjing from the Paper Cutting Association, both of whom played pivotal roles in facilitating this cultural exchange.
A focal point of the event was the demonstration led by Xiaoli, an international student at the university, who has shown a deep interest in paper cutting since attending Professor He’s class. Xiaoli skillfully guided participants through the process, focusing on the creation of three-dimensional “Spring” characters, a task that involves precise cuts and folds to bring depth and life to the paper. “This art form, while appearing simple, requires patience and precision, and it’s a beautiful way to connect with Chinese cultural traditions”, Xiaoli explained to the attendees.
University Students Learning Paper Cutting. Photographed by Wei Jiaoping
As Professor He demonstrated the techniques, she emphasized the significance of paper cutting in Chinese culture and its accessibility. “The beauty of paper cutting lies in its simplicity and the way it allows us to tangibly engage with our intangible cultural heritage,” she remarked. The event attracted a diverse crowd, from elderly individuals finding joy in a familiar craft to young children and university students eager to delve into the depths of traditional arts. One elderly participant shared his reflections, “Engaging in paper cutting today has been a delightful journey back in time. It’s not just about the skill but about embracing and celebrating our heritage.” He displayed his paper-cut “Spring” character with pride, a testament to the enduring appeal of this traditional art form.
Participants Displaying Their Works. Photographed by Wei Jiaoping
“Activities like these play a crucial role in not only preserving but also breathing new life into our cultural heritage. They help in knitting a stronger, more culturally aware community fabric”, the head of the Community underscored the event’s significance.
Edited by Liu Qiong, Reviewed by Lei Changsheng