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Zhao Xigang’s New Paper-cut Art Creation

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The creative activities of art anddesign are filled with freedom and spiritual imagination. This imagination is filled with childlike revelry and passion, and the visual art language which appears in it can infect and soften the secular things in the world, exchange and make people’s emotioncoordination, moisten and germinate creation spirituality of art design, and thus make the public get the endless unique taste, in which contains the spirit, is full of philosophy of modern art. The creative activities of artand design continuously retain and penetrate the fancy in the depth of the human consciousness, and this presents wonderful visual perception which is bound to bring infinite vitality and endless aftertaste to the art and design work. So, how does this extremely valuable artistic imagination appear and keep pace with the times ?

The broad and profound Chinese art provides adequate nutrition to my paper-cut, and China paper-cut art is a typical case of national artistic spirit, and she implies the childlike wonderful reverie, as well as presents the truth, feeling, spirit of leisure.

When mentioning paper-cut, everyone tends to think of rural old woman, folk craftsmen, and Chinese folk paper-cut.I always create the modern paper-cut art,i.e. the new paper-cut art which is called “literati paper-cut”in paper-cut industry. My major in college is the modern design art, however I don’t have a pure design career by operating one’s own design company to make a lot of money as my classmates do, instead I devoted myself to research and create my modern paper-cut art, the study degree reached the point that I cannot extricate myself, and it is because Ihave a deep”affection”and “fate”with Chinese paper-cut. There are two kinds of folk paper-cut that have become the”affection and fate”of my new paper-cut art. One is Gaomi folk paper-cut in my hometown Weifang, Shandong, and it belongs to the representatives of the paper-cut styles in the Central Plains, which is deeply influenced by traditional Confucian culture. The modeling presents the beauty which is gentle, like an iron fist in a velvet glove. Growing up in the world of my hometown,I am influenced by what I constantly see and hear, and naturally form my artistic temperament and interest of natural frankness and artistic style in the future; while as for another kind of folk paper-cut, in mysophomore year,I made tour the south under the guidance of Prof. Huang Guoqiang,I visited places from the Fenghuang in Hunan, Aizhai to the Hibiscus Town, Zhangjiajie, and then went through the Guizhou mountain road,I came to Fengjie which is the start of the Three Gorges, then wentalong the way by boat, and finally I arrived in Wuhan, Hubei Province.

The beautiful scenery along the way is infinite.I collected plenty of folk arts and crafts, especially the folk paper-cut art of western Hunan, and the paper-cut here is known as the shoe pattern, floral designs. When the villagers do the clothing pattern they paste it onthe fabric material and sewn and then turn it into a beautiful cloth. Hunan and Hubei culture is romantic and passionate, and it is with ideal color.

The pictures full of romance and passion have a great influence on my new paper-cut art.

In addition, the praise and encouragement on my art are given by three professional teachers and that is mainly the reason for why I become attached to the paper-cut art. For the first time which was in1980s, in illustration design course of my university,I innovatively applied the paper-cut form to illustrations of The Legend of the White Snake, and I was strongly praised by Prof. Li Fangfang, and this is remained fresh in my memory, and also it began the long journey of my exploration to new paper-cut art; the second time is in my graduate school,I got inculcation from tutor Sun Deshan, which mademy modern design and art concept get a further penetration.I did a lot of research and exploration from theory practice, and have made gratifyingprogress; the third time is when I communicated with Prof. Zhang Shouyi and Prof. Lv Jingren. Especially Lv, my paper-cut art gained new leap under his inculcation, from then on my new paper-cut has been met by the society and artistic works began tomove toward the real art palace, and it also made the new paper-cut artcomprehensively and systematically stride to category of cultural creative design.

It is the national artistic vitality and needs of the times that we should concentrate on the original paper-cut art creation, make some new and fresh artistic attempt, acquire new inspiration and discovery of art and design, and develop new paper-cut art. In the mid 1980s,I was admittedby the Decoration Art Department of Central Academy of Art and Design, and this is a good period of China’s reform and opening up, and then the interaction of different culture and art swarmed into the campus. We were soaked and affected by colorful concepts.I had contacted with a large number of decorative art with nationaland folk style in university according to my hobby and preference, which laid a solid foundation of the art style. At the same time, modern, international, varied artistic ideological trends also played a role and gave us encouragement, especially the intervention of modern design idea enriched my language of artistic creation, and all this made a positiveinfluence on the creative development of my new paper-cut art in the future.

I went to Beijing from Shandong in 2000, and I was admitted by TsinghuaUniversity Academy of Fine Arts and get enrolled as postgraduate of art and design.I then studied the comparison between Chinese traditional and omodern graphics, and learned wonderful visions on multi-culture in a deeper level. In the pursuit of master degree and later design teaching and research work,I combine teaching with research, actively explore creative method and innovative concept of art and design, devote myself to the creation of new paper-cut art, have created thousands of art works with many series of type, and have gradually formed my own language style of visual art. And based on the originalart,I have gradually implemented and completed the culture creative product design from plane, three-dimensional to space, and form the development of new ideas of the combination of art creation and cultural design products creation.

In short, my new paper-cut art is developed on the foundation of constant pursuit of the spirit of Chinese traditional culture, the exploration of the national personality charm, the exploration of my childhood and nostalgia characteristics, the search for modern design and art language, as well as the entry point of Oriental cultural context. The book The Story of Paper-cut which is guided by Prof.

Lv Jingren himself, published by People’s Fine Arts Press, can be said to be a periodic summary of the questfor it for more than 20 years, and its publishment also sets the foundation for the in-depth development of my new paper-cut art in the future.

I would like to expound the creation and creative ideas of my new paper-cut art from the following aspects of “child interest and nostalgia”,”Chinese freehand spirit and decorative beauty”and”modern art and design”and so on.

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