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Paper-cutting, an ancient form of art that uses scissors and paper to cut into all kinds of themes, has been around since ancient times.
Zi Yi Xuan, a Paper-cutting shop next to the Forbidden City, offers a large selection of paper-cutting works in the center of Beijing. They make paper cuttings of all sorts of themes, including shadow puppets, peacocks, playing children, opera figures, and court ladies.
Mr. Li, the owner, said one of the most popular items is the set of 12 Chinese Zodiac animals, believed to bring happiness and success to their owner. The works look lively, and the animals seem to pop out from the paper. The set sells around RMB 900.
I also picked up a colorful fish paper-cutting commonly seen during the Chinese spring festivals. People use them to adorn their doors and windows during Spring Festival. The fish express their wishes for more wealth. It sells only for RMB 25.
Other popular themes include historical tales, auspicious animals, and daily life scenes. I even found some Fuwa mascots for the Olympics.
Mr. Li speaks a little English. Communication should not be a problem.
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