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Ningxiang Zhizha

By | nxiang.net| Updated:  Jun 02,2022 L M S
Zhizha, a traditional Chinese paper artwork, is used mainly to create offerings like paper house, paper furniture, paper flags for religious ceremonies. The artisans who engage in this industry are often called “Zhizha craftsman”.

Although it is a superstitious activity, its rich technique is a unique folk art form.

The first step to make a Zhizha is to build the frame of the object with bamboo strips or reeds. And it needs to be papered, coloured, and decorated with gold lines before assembly.

There is a causal relationship between every process, which requires us to take it step by step.

Zhizha used for the funeral ceremony includes paper flags, paperman, paper horses, paper houses and so on. In some places, people also make paper door gods, paper lions and tigers, paper cranes, paper flowers, etc.

Nowadays, as extensive reform of the funeral system has been carried out like replacing burial with cremation, Zhizha has been seldom applied to funeral activities or even disappears. But it is widely used in cultural and recreational activities during the festival. There are many paper props such as dragon lanterns, lions and bamboo horses in dance party and lantern show.

Musée du Quai Branly is one of the four great museums in France, right next to the Eiffel Tower. It is also the only “museum of non-Western art” in France, where Chinese art is a must-collect for them. The most eye-catching Chinese exhibit there is Zhizha.

From the name of the exhibition “Paradise in Heaven”, foreigners clearly understand the usage and culture of Zhizha. The exhibition attracted 6 million foreigners on the first day.

There were a tremendous number of people in the museum, admiring this great work of art and the romance of Chinese. The exhibition was rated as one of the top 10 must-see exhibitions in Paris in the summer of 2019 by “Sortir à Paris”, an art guide with the most clicks in Paris.