Exhibition of the Papercutting of the Dragon River Grandly Opens

CITCM launched the opening ceremony at 6 pm on 7 June BST at Caxton House of LSBU for a papercutting exhibition co-hosted with Harbin Normal University (HNU), the Papercutting of the Dragon River.

Nearly a hundred attended the opening ceremony, including distinguished guests, members of the public and pupils and students from primary and secondary schools that CITCM runs Mandarin curriculum. Notable figures in attendance include the Deputy Vice-Chancellor of LSBU/Professor Deborah Johnston, the Executive Director of CITCM/Professor Yinong Xu, the Co-Directors/Associate Professor Zhaohui Wang and Bo Sheng, the distinguished guests from the College of Arts at HNU Professor Haitao Yan, Professor Ruijiang Yao and Associate Professor Renliang Wang.

Reception image with audience

In her opening speech, Deputy Vice-Chancellor Johnston acknowledged the value of papercutting that pleases the eyes and conveys rich cultural content. By viewing papercutting artworks, viewers can better understand the origin country’s history, reference of value and aesthetic standards, and the attitude of its people to its nature and society. She also expressed special thanks to CITCM and HNU for their effort behind this exhibition, which provides opportunities for cultural learning and exchange to LSBU staff and students.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor of LSBU/Professor Deborah Johnston

Following Johnston, Professor Yan shared her experience working with HNU’s papercutting team for 15 years to uphold their respect and responsibility to carry forward the intangible heritage of the Dragon River, one of the most important folk art streams in northern China.

Professor Xu also shared his insights into papercutting by comparing the connection between papercutting and folk art in China to that between sketching and Western art. Xu pointed out that the presentation method of papercutting can be found in embroidery and shadow play, which evidences that papercutting fundamentally gave rise to folk art creations.

Executive Director of CITCM/Professor Yinong Xu

Along with the exhibition, CITCM launched a papercutting competition, where primary and secondary school students in its Mandarin curriculum sites were invited to submit their artworks. After carefully reviewing 30+ pieces submitted from 9 schools, CITCM selected 11 artworks to display in the exhibition. The 9 creators of the displayed artworks were invited to the opening ceremony, where CITCM conferred certificates and awards on them.

Awarded Students

Before the event ended, Professor Yan demonstrated the papercutting process to on-site guests and the audience from scratch to completion. Yan fervently introduced the techniques and craftsmanship underpinning papercutting and guided the audience to appreciate the fun and charm of this folk art.

Professor Yan demonstrating papercutting