The paper-cutting art of Yang Miaoqin and Li Yunxia

Karen Lai

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CityU Gallery is showcasing about 60 pieces of work created by the famous paper-cutting artists Yang Miaoqin and her daughter Li Yunxia. The exhibition, entitled “The Paper Cutting Art of Yang Miaoqin and Li Yunxia”, highlights the lives and folk traditions of peasant communities and reflects the outlook, philosophy, morals, values and aesthetics of the hardworking people of Northern Shaanxi.


Aesthetic development is defined as the ability to participate in artistic activities and to appreciate art, beauty and nature. It is an integral element of CityU’s whole-person development philosophy. CityU promotes aesthetic education to broaden students’ intellectual horizons on different subjects and themes of cultural interest. By introducing students and the general public to the traditional folk art of paper-cutting, the exhibition enhances students’ appreciation and deepens their understanding of Chinese culture.


Ms Yang and Ms Li, top practitioners of their art, come from a farming community in the Northern Shaanxi province where they were immersed in the folk culture of the Loess Plateau. Their work records the lives and traditions of that region’s peasant communities, portrays the honesty and simplicity of the lives of the women, and reflects the outlook, philosophy, morals, values and aesthetics of the people from this part of China. Paper-cutting art not only carries cultural significance; it is also a means of self-expression.


The work on display includes Rowing the Land Boat, Negligent Cat, After the Wedding, Teachings of the Mother-In-Law, Horde of Rats Stealing Eggs, Bounty and Thousand Hand Budda.


Ms Yang and Ms Li have acquired a unique style of paper cutting and contributed immensely to the enrichment of folk art culture. Under the tutelage of her mother and after a lot of hard work, Ms Li has become an outstanding young artist. Many of her works have been collected by paper-cutting lovers all over the world. Ms Li is a member of the EastWest Association of Paper Cutting Artists (New York). She lives in Hong Kong where she is active in schools and community organizations and serves on the board of the Chinese Arts Paper-cutting Association.


The opening ceremony was held on 21 December at the CityU Gallery. Officiating guests included Ms Rosa Yau, Curator (Education & Extension), Hong Kong Museum of History; Ms Paddy Ng, Adviser to the Hong Kong Youth Art Association; Mr Lam Kai-fai, Chairman of the Chinese Arts Paper-cutting Association; Ms Belinda Chan, Yau Ma Tei and Tsim Sha Tsui Culture & Arts Association; and Mr James Ng, Chairman of CityU Gallery Management Committee and Executive Director of CityU Extension.


The CityU Gallery regularly hosts exhibitions to promote art and culture. “The Paper Cutting Art of Yang Miaoqin and Li Yunxia” is on display from 21 December 2005 to 8 February 2006 at the CityU Gallery on Level 6 of the Amenities Building. Opening hours are from 10 am to 7 pm every day. 



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