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chinese art

chinese art

帖子admin » 周一 7月 16, 2012 11:53 pm

Chinese paper cutting

History

Most of the people with access to paper for an entertainment cause such as art were usually nobles in royal palaces.[1] The Song Dynasty scholar Chou Mi mentioned several paper cutters who cut paper with scissors into a great variety of designs and characters in different styles, and a young man who could even cut characters and flowers inside his sleeve.[2] The oldest surviving paper cut out is a symmetrical circle from the 6th century found in Xinjiang, China.[2]

From the 7th to 13th century, paper cutting became popular especially during Chinese holiday festivals. The art spread to the rest of the world in the 14th century. Throughout the Qing Dynasty many papercutting skills were developed including drafting and the use of smoked papers. By the end of the Qing ruling however, new art forms were being introduced. The Republic of China later tried to revive the art in the 1980s.[1]

In the rural countryside in mainland China, papercutting is a traditionally female activity. In the past, every girl was expected to master it and brides were often judged by their skill. Professional papercutting artists are, on the other hand, usually male and have guaranteed incomes and work together in workshops.

[edit]Symmetry

A Symmetrical cut
There are basic cut outs, that are a single image. And there are symmetrical designs that are usually created by some folding over a proportioned crease, and then cutting some shape. When unfolded, it forms a symmetrical design. Chinese paper cuttings are normally symmetrical. The paper cut outs are usually in an even number series of 2, 4, 24 etc.

[edit]Uses

Today, papercuttings are chiefly decorative. They ornament walls, windows, doors, columns, mirrors, lamps and lanterns in homes and are also used on presents or are given as gifts themselves. Entrances decorated with paper cut outs are supposed to bring good luck. Papercuttings used to be used as patterns, especially for embroidery and lacquer work.

[edit]Process

There are two methods of manufacture: one use scissors, the other use knives. In the scissor method, several pieces of paper — up to eight — are fastened together. The motif is then cut with sharp, pointed scissors.

Knife cuttings are fashioned by putting several layers of paper on a relatively soft foundation consisting of a mixture of tallow and ashes. Following a pattern, the artist cuts the motif into the paper with a sharp knife which is usually held vertically. Skilled crafters can even cut out different drawings freely without stopping.
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Re: chinese art

帖子admin » 周二 7月 17, 2012 9:51 pm

shadow puppetry

Shadow play or also known as shadow puppetry is an ancient form of storytelling and entertainment which uses flat articulated figures (shadow puppets) to create the impression of moving humans and other three-dimensional objects.

Shadow puppets are cut-out figures which are held between a source of light and a translucent screen or scrim. The cut-out shapes of the puppets sometimes include translucent color or other types of detailing. Various effects can be achieved by moving both the puppets and the light source. A talented puppeteer can make the figures appear to walk, dance, fight, nod and laugh.

Shadow play is popular in various cultures; at present more than 20 countries are known to have shadow show troupes. Shadow puppets have a long history in Indonesia, China, India, Greece, Nepal, Turkey, and are a popular form of entertainment for both children and adults in many other countries around the world.

[edit]Mainland China

This Chinese shadow puppet is illustrative of the ornate detail that goes into the figures. In the collection of The Children's Museum of Indianapolis.
Shadow puppetry originated during the Han Dynasty when one of the concubines of Emperor Wu of Han died from an illness. The emperor was devastated, and he summoned his court officers to bring his beloved back to life. The officers made a shape of the concubine using donkey leather. Her joints were animated using 11 separate pieces of the leather, and adorned with painted clothes. Using an oil lamp they made her shadow move, bringing her back to life.[1][2] Shadow theatre became quite popular as early as the Song Dynasty when holidays were marked by the presentation of many shadow plays. During the Ming Dynasty there were 40 to 50 shadow show troupes in the city of Beijing alone. In the 13th century, the shadow show became a regular recreation in the barracks of the Mongolian troops. It was spread by the conquering Mongols to distant countries like Persia, Arabia, and Turkey. Later, it was introduced to other Southeastern Asian countries.[3] The earliest shadow theatre screens were made of mulberry paper. The storytellers generally used the art to tell events between various war kingdoms or stories of Buddhist sources.[1] Today, puppets made of leather and moved on sticks are used to tell dramatic versions of traditional fairy tales and myths. In Gansu province, it is accompanied by Daoqing music, while in Jilin, accompanying Huanglong music forms some of the basis of modern opera.[3]

Chinese shadow puppetry is shown in the 1994 Zhang Yimou film To Live.

[edit]Taiwan
The origins of Taiwan's shadow puppetry can be traced to the Chaochow school of shadow puppet theatre. Commonly known as leather monkey shows or leather shows, the shadow plays were popular in Tainan, Kaohsiung, and Pingtung as early as the Qing dynasty (1644-1911 A.D.). Older puppeteers estimate that there were at least a hundred shadow puppet troupes in southern Taiwan in the closing years of the Qing. Traditionally, the eight to 12-inch puppet figures, and the stage scenery and props such as furniture, natural scenery, pagodas, halls, and plants are all cut from leather. As shadow puppetry is based on light penetrating through a translucent sheet of cloth, the "shadows" are actually silhouettes seen by the audience in profile or face on. Taiwan's shadow plays are accompanied by Chaochow melodies which are often called "priest's melodies" owing to their similarity with the music used by Taoist priests at funerals. A large repertoire of some 300 scripts of the southern school of drama used in shadow puppetry and dating back to the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries has been preserved in Taiwan and is considered to be a priceless cultural asset.

Terminology
A number of terms are used to describe the different forms.

(皮影戏, pí yĭng xì) is a shadow theatre using leather puppets. The figures are usually moved behind a thin screen and is not entirely a show of shadows as it is more of a silhouette shadow. This gives the figures some color, and is not 100% black and white.
(纸影戏, zhĭ yĭng xì) is paper shadow theatre.
(中國影戏, zhōng guó yĭng xì) is Chinese shadow theatre
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Re: chinese art

帖子admin » 周三 7月 18, 2012 11:02 pm

face shifting

"Face-Changing" is an ancient Chinese dramatic art that is part of the more general Sichuan opera. Performers wear brightly colored costumes and move to quick, dramatic music. They also wear vividly colored masks, which they change within a fraction of a second.

The face changing, or "bian lian" in Chinese, is an important aspect of Chinese Sichuan opera. Performers wave their arms and twist their heads, and their painted masks change repeatedly. The actor can pull down a mask which has previously been hidden on the top of his head, changing his face into red, green, blue or black to express happiness, hate, anger and sadness, respectively.
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