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An annual paper-cutting exhibition will take place at the National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall during the Chinese New Year holidays, which fall between Jan. 31 and Feb. 4 this year. The exhibition will also display works by several Japanese artists.
Usually posted on windows and facing outward, paper patterns used to be important home decorations commonly seen on major occasions such as weddings and funerals throughout traditional agricultural settlements. During the Chinese New Year in particular, people post auspicious patterns to create a festive atmosphere, making them a quite traditional Chinese art.
Paper-cutting master Lee Huan-chang (李煥章), who once taught the art at Zhongzheng Elementary School in Taipei City, will be featured prominently by the exhibition. He has been honored by Taipei mayors and won the "Folk Art HeritageAwards,” the country's highest honor for traditional arts, in 1991. Now aged 88, the maestro still has sharp skills and can cut out many patterns without prior sketching.
The National Dr. Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall will not only be displaying Lee and his students' works to celebrate the upcoming Year of the Horse; the artists themselves will be present to demonstrate their skills between Jan. 22 and 24. Despite his age, Lee can still cut delicate and small patterns accurately; it takes him an average of one second to cut a star and three seconds to complete a cherry blossom. He is no less creative and energetic than young people when he takes up scissors and paper.
The exhibition will be held in two sections — in the memorial hall's basement between Jan. 21 and Feb. 9, and on the second floor between Jan. 21 and Feb. 28. Please note however, that the memorial hall will be closed on Jan. 30 and 31.