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Chinese Paper-Cutting Workshop with Lucy P. Liu

May 18

On Saturday, May 18th, Chinese Paper-Cutting Artist Lucy P. Liu led two workshops diving into the dynamic history and practice of paper-cutting. With the first workshop geared toward children and the second workshop open to all, attendees came away with important understandings for both life and the paper-cutting artform. Attendees learned about the balance of everything in life, the importance of the dragon as a symbol across time and cultures, and love all while creating a paper-cutting masterpiece of their own.

Thank you to all attendees for learning earnestly and synthesizing your own lives and stories with the amazing tradition of paper-cutting art!


About Paper-cutting

Chinese paper-cutting is a cherished traditional art that dates back to the development of paper, around the Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-220 A.D.). Initially, it gained popularity for decorating doors and windows as paper became more widely available. Intricate designs, featuring symbols and animals, are crafted using scissors or art knives. With the increasing affordability of paper, paper-cutting evolved into one of the most significant forms of Chinese art. In typical Chinese paper-cutting, each individual art piece is cut from a single sheet of paper.


Original paper-cutting artwork has been known to considerably appreciate in value over time. Since 2009, the Chinese Paper-cutting technique has been considered a World Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO. From ancient times to today, Chinese paper-cutting art has been a popular decoration for festivals and events, like Chinese New Year, weddings, childbirth, and birthdays. They are also known as chuanghua (窗花), meaning ‘window flowers’ because it first gained popularity for decorating doors and windows.


Paper-cuts typically symbolize good luck, blessings, and happiness. Traditionally, five colors are used: cyan, red, yellow, white, and black, which reference the ancient Chinese philosophy of the universe among the five elements: wood (cyan), fire (red), earth (yellow), metal (white), and water (black). Red is the most commonly used color, representing luck and prosperity.


About the Instructor

Paper-cutting artist Lucy P. Liu has spent years infusing her paper-cutting art into beautiful public art, wall art, illustrations, home decor, and more with 3D and 2D formats. She has been an ‘Artist in Residence’ at the Chinese American Museum of Chicago and here at the Heritage Museum of Asian Art. Her vivid demonstration and artwork was exhibited at the Art Institute of Chicago in 2020. Lucy has instructed Chinese paper-cutting art courses at Benedictine University, Lifelong Learning Center, Forest Lake College, the Chicago Public Library, the Lab Schools of University of Chicago, the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy and many more.

Museum of Asian Art


Heritage Museum of Asian Art is a non-profit organization with IRS 501 (c) (3) tax exempt status. 

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