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Cutting edge of tradition

By Wang Qian | China Daily | Updated: 2022-07-27 08:08
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Inspired by elements from traditional Chinese literature, icons and imagery from Eastern culture, Ye Kaiyuan creates paper-cutting artworks, balancing the ancient art form and contemporary life. [Photo provided to China Daily]

Craftsman keeps skills and knowledge of paper art alive, Wang Qian reports.

Using a pencil, a pair of scissors and a scalpel, Ye Kaiyuan turns a piece of paper into exquisite cutouts to express his understanding of life and the universe.

Staying true to the essence of the ancient art form-jianzhi (paper-cutting)-his artworks explore elements from traditional Chinese literature, icons and imagery from Eastern culture and capture the timelessness of the practice.

"With a piece of paper, I can create an artwork that has the power to make the world quiet or excited. It is the charm of art, which triggers people to think," the 38-year-old artist says.

Inspired by traditional shanshui (landscape) painting, one of Ye's latest creations is Across the Water, a 1.2-meter-long and 0.4-meter-wide work, featuring mountains and rivers. In the artwork with fine lines, a poetic scene is featured where a man stands on a boat in still water while clouds pass by mountains. In Ye's own interpretation, the piece indicates that "with home always there, people should bravely explore the outside world".

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