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Life by a thousand cuts (3)


18:07, July 03, 2013

A paper-cut featuring a tiger by Zhang Yonghong. (Photo: China Daily/Katherine Rodriguez)

Organizations including the International Newcomers' Network and the International Center for Veterinary Services help him to boost the sales volume with their own networks.

However, the artist still lives beyond his income and struggles to maintain his small business.

Inside his little room, which is no more than 10 square meters, more than 100 artistic paper-cuts are displayed. With drawing and cutting all done on his own, Zhang normally needs five hours to create the smallest bookmark, while the bigger ones could take him days. However, sales are not high.

"We have a few customers. Most of them are students and only buy the small pieces sold for 20 yuan each," says Zhang, who has to pay 7,000 yuan to rent the shop every three months. "Sometimes we have no business for days."

He is also not allowed to sell the paper-cuts on the roadside of busy Nanluoguxiang and has had his works confiscated by urban management staff, whose job is to clear the roads of peddlers.

"Selling paper-cuts is his only source of income. Without this, he can't support the family and treat his daughter," says Zhang Rui, whose family and friends have questioned her dedication to Zhang.

"Ninety-nine percent of my friends don't understand me and ask me to keep away from him. I just want to make myself happier by helping people in need. And I hope more people in society will help Zhang increase the sales."

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