One Hundred Horses, paper cut-out by Zhang Muli
Based on the long-scroll painting “One Hundred Horses” by the renowned Qing-dynasty court painter Giuseppe Castiglione (1688-1766 AD), this piece of paper cut-out reproduces the magnificent scene of one hundred horses with endless mountains and towering trees as the background. Marking an innovation and breakthrough of Yangzhou Paper-cuts, this piece is the largest in size among paper-cuts by scissors in Yangzhou.
Fragrant Flowers and Singing Birds, paper cut-out by Zhang Muli
This piece adopted the four plants representative of the four seasons, namely, cherry, lotus, grape and camellia, which, together with the paired flying birds and Chinese mandarin ducks, constitute a life-like scene that integrates stillness and liveliness.
The composition, with reference to the traditional Chinese perception of “round heaven and square earth”, looks both decorous and elegant. Regarding techniques, the artisan combined the “yin-cutting”, namely, outline-cutting featuring thin, flowing and connecting lines and the “yang-cutting”, namely, openwork-cutting known for no connections between lines and round cut corners.
With a form borrowed from the antique Chinese porcelain vases, this item endeavors to illustrate the atmosphere of profound meanings as depicted in Chinese poems of the Tang dynasty (581-960 AD) by integrating figures, landscape, birds, animals, flowers and calligraphy harmoniously in a simple composition.