Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Chinese Paper Cuts in Contemporary Art-The Alchemy from creating the paper cuts

Year of the Snake paper cut out

Sonia Romero- Los Angeles based artist

"Sacred Heart"- Sonia Romero

Leigh Salgado- Los Angeles based artist

 Leigh Salgado- gloves

Leigh Salgado- Lingerie

Chinese Paper-Cuts

-Paper-cut is a distinctive Chinese handicraft. It originated in the 6th century when women used gold and silver foil cuttings to decorate their hair at the temples.  Men used them for sacred rituals. Now they are used for festivals to decorate windows, gates etc.

-The main cutting tools are scissors or engraving knives.  In contemporary art the e-xacto knive is used.  Additionally, lasers are used today to expediate the art form.

-Newlyweds have red paper with "Xi" (happiness), for birthdays "Shou: represents longevity, a plump child cuddling a fish signifies that every year they will be abundant in wealth.
Paper Cutting and the use of paper as an art form is unfolding into a ubiquitous experience. With the use of recycled paper, more artists are motivated to use repurposed materials. Also the availability of new forms of paper materials, the need for more insulary and introspective art forms has contributed to various contemporary artists focusing on paper as an art medium.
This kind of labor intensive art forms allows for meditation and introspective.  These concepts can be attributed to Carl Jung's (psychiatrist l875-1961) concept of alchemy in art and the focus on the unconscious.
(Alchemy- transmutation, transformation, the ability to turn base metals into noble metals (gold, silver), the elixir of life (lapis) -Philosopher's stone - universal curative medicines (panacea)
Astrology, signs and symbols, parts of the body-chemistry
(ie: Chinese creation of black powder used for fireworks that turned into gun powder)
Leigh Salgado-youtube video "There's No Crying in Baseball"
How is the notion of alchemy a strong force in the creation of Salgado's paper cut pieces
1. "Getting your mind out of the way"-a direct path to the unconscious and the unknown to create artwork-non-verbal part of the brain-
`metaphors of baseball and art (baseball cut and dry-you are in or you are out-consistency  vs
  art -unknown
-shadows and dimensions- the importance of "shadows" in our existence
-time travel (using imagery from different time periods)
-masculine vs feminine (lingerie associated with men's desire vs. women's wardrobe and beauty and design)
-what is beauty

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