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Rural artist creates paper cuts to tell Red Mansion stories

By Fang Tian (People's Daily Online)    17:34, January 10, 2018

A female folk artist in northwest China’s Gansu province created a set of paper-cut works to introduce a great classic novel to the less educated, Chinanews.com reported on Wednesday.

Zhou Yumei, the paper cutting artist, spent five years on a total of 506 paper works out of 2,000 red papers. The cut-outs vividly reflect scenes in A Dream of Red Mansions, one of the four great classical novels in ancient China’s Ming and Qing Dynasty (1368-1911), bringing to life all the details of the era, including dressing styles and personalities of different characters.

Born into a rural family, Zhou has favored paper cutting since a young age. With only a middle school education, she decided to tell Chinese classics to the less educated through paper cutting, a form of Chinese folk art offering an easier access to the classics.

Someone offered her 80,000 RMB for the set, but Zhou declined.

“I hope to cut a full set for the four classics,” said Zhou Yumei. The other three novels are Journey to the West, Water Margin, and Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

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