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Recently I paid a visit to Liulichang Street, which is also known as ¡°Ancient Culture Street.¡± A sign outside a shop that read ¡®Old Beijing Paper-cut¡¯ lured me in.


The house turned out to be full of fine, amazing paper patterns cut with scissors. They depicted ancient Chinese generals and beautiful women, Peking opera characters and facial masks, Chinese zodiac animals, and so on. I even found some images of Western celebrities.


The shopkeeper Ms. He was a middle-aged woman. She told me that all of the works here were handmade at the shop. She even showed me how to cut a pattern with ordinary scissors. Her hands are so skillful!


She showed me one of their most popular works: Twelve red carp are facing the Chinese character ¡®Fu,¡¯ which means ¡®Blessing.¡¯ The character is upside down, which means that the blessing is coming. The twelve fish represent the twelve months of the year.


Each of the paper-cut items shows great workmanship. They are easy to carry home and you can put them on your windows and doors. Chinese people believe this will bring good luck. Paper-cuts are also excellent souvenirs or presents.


What I appreciated

Local traditional handicraft, fine workmanship


What customers appreciate

Unique handicraft, remarkable workmanship

Beijing pictures, Front gate of Jinyi Paper-cut Shop

Paper-cuttings are pictures cut from paper, using scissors or blades. It has been around in China for about two thousand years. People generally paste these patterns on windows, lanterns, or doors to express the feelings of joy and life values. They look both beautiful and interesting, and are widely popular among Chinese.


On the north side of Di¡¯anmen East Street, a paper-cutting shop recently opened. Its name, Jinyi, means ¡®Golden Art¡¯ in English.


When I stepped into the shop yesterday afternoon, the shopkeeper Mr. Zhao greeted me at once. He hails from Yuxian, a county near Beijing nicknamed ¡®the village of paper-cuttings¡¯. Mr. Zhao¡¯s grandpa started making paper-cuttings, and now Mr. Zhao is the third generation in the family business.


He told me that a single paper-cutting usually features just one color, but can be layered to have a variety of patterns. Take the piece that depicted cows grazing on grass, for instance. You can see four colors, one on top of another: yellow, brown, green and black. This elaborate work, which cost 480 yuan, required four times the work of a single piece.


They also have small items ideal for gifts or souvenirs, like a set of 12 Chinese zodiac animals which opens up like a pamphlet (RMB 10). A finely-cut miniature Emperor¡¯s robe cost only RMB 3. They even have paper portraits of Einstein and Mona Lisa.


Mr. Zhao added that there will be an artisan making paper-cuttings on spot every day. Customers can learn the basics of the art free of charge. They also take custom orders.


What I appreciated

Folk handicraft, elaborate paper-cut works


What customers appreciate

Traditional works of art by hand, superb workmanship

Beijing pictures, Opera Figure

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.



What I appreciate

Beautiful works

What customers appreciate

Beautiful works and quality service

Beijing pictures, Paper-cut works 1

Paper-cut is a time-honored Chinese folk art. In the past, people used to post red-colored paper-cut works on doors, windows or furniture as decoration, hoping to keep evils away and bring happiness.


Nowadays, artisans endow the folk art with more colorful ideas and modern interpretations. Much more complicated designs of paper-cut have been created by skillful hands, paper, and scissors.


I visited the paper-cut shop on the second floor of Baigong Handicraft Museum. Walking into the shop, I was shocked that a thin piece of paper could be turned into such delicate artworks with shapes of landscape, ancient characters, birds and flowers¡­


I like the Chinese Zodiac bookmarks very much. The twelve animals look vividly and lovely. A set of them costs only RMB 38.


The owner, also a paper-cut master, told me that most of the items inside are under RMB 100. Plus, they¡¯re negotiable.


What I appreciated

Vivid paper-cut works, skillful workmanship


What customers appreciate

Unique Chinese handicraft, fit for present


Zhiyixuan Paper-cut Art Shop specializes in making and selling paper-cut figures, handmade cloth patterns, Chinese woven patterns, and cloisonn¨¦.


The major feature of the shop is the large variety of Chinese paper-cut items it carries. Prices of the mounted paper-cut figures range from RMB 60 to RMB 880. The unmounted versions cost RMB 1 to RMB 300. Prices of small handmade cloth items, such as little tigers, range from RMB 5 to RMB 120. The woven patterns cost RMB 5 to RMB 20.


What I appreciated

Numerous paper-cut items and traditional Chinese handicrafts on sale.

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Beijing Shopping: Recently I paid a visit to Liulichang Street, which is also known as "Ancient Culture Street." A sign outside a shop that read "Old Beijing Paper-cut" lured me in.