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Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN: 2052-0204
  • E-ISSN:



This article examines the relationship between folk art in China and contemporary art practice. The main focus is on paper cutting and the work of Lu Shengzhong, a renowned Chinese artist and head of the Experimental Art Department of the Central Academy of Fine Art (CAFA), and how his work is rooted in the folk-art tradition of China.

The article starts with a short overview of the tradition of paper cutting in China. It then discusses the work of Lu Shengzhong. Lu has taken the traditional Chinese process of paper cutting to a new level, transforming it into large-scale monumental work. There is a brief examination of the practice of collecting folk art from the countryside in CAFA; and the folk-art study unit at the Experimental Art Department in which Lu’s students learn about traditional Chinese crafts from extensive field research. Melanie Miller, senior lecturer in the Department of Design at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) and co-author of this article, attended a paper-cutting workshop given by Lu Shengzhong at MMU in 2010; the final section of the article discusses the body of work made by Miller in response to the workshop. Through Lu and Miller’s work we see how the ancient art of paper cutting becomes transformed.


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