A strong contrast and sense of rhythm mark Qi Xiu Hua’s work. She cuts directly on the paper without marking any outlines. The scissors, she says, function like an artist’s pen. After all her years working at this craft, the shapes are in her mind. Because she repeats some of the simpler patterns often, they can be created quickly; however her more complicated paper cuts can take up to three months to complete. When an image is complete, she finalizes it by stamping her name on the work.
Qi Xiu Hua says she has hundreds of different patterns. She makes both traditional and contemporary scenes. For example, Qi creates intricate paper cuts of women engaging in traditional activities like embroidery as well as more modern scenes of women working in today’s contemporary settings. She depicts many of her favorite animals, such as chickens and oxen, in several different poses. Peking Opera figures are also prevalent in her subject matter. Qi explains that there are 108 figures she can depict that come from traditional Chinese stories.
Below are some examples of her at work, including an illustration of her skill as she works on first a small and then a large paper cut pattern: