Stories of Tradition: The Journey of Chinese Paper Cutting
Stories of Tradition: The Journey of Chinese Paper Cutting
Past Event

Stories of Tradition: The Journey of Chinese Paper Cutting

Every half hour between 11am - 1pm

Weekdays during school holidays 

15 - 26 April excluding public holiday on 25 April


Chinese Garden of Friendship,
Pier Street
Cnr Harbour Street,
Darling Harbour

Get directions



Map, showing Stories of Tradition: The Journey of Chinese Paper Cutting

Join us for a dynamic exploration of Chinese Paper Cutting, where history and creativity come together this school holidays

Embark on a captivating journey at the Chinese Garden of Friendship this school holidays with a Chinese Paper Cutting workshop.

Your little ones will be introduced to the rich history of this ancient folk art that has been passed down through generations, and then get the chance to try mastering the intricate techniques themselves!

Drop in for a session, no bookings required! Suitable for ages 5-12 years old

PRICE: Free with Garden admission.


Paper cutting is the art form of cutting paper with sharp scissors or a knife. It can be as simple or intricate as the paper artist chooses. It has definitely stood the test of time and will continue to be popular art form amongst many cultures. Many famous paper artists of the past still inspire current paper cutting practices.


Paper cutting is an art with a long history. Its first origins date back to the 4th century after the invention of the paper by the Chinese. Some of their earliest uses for paper cutting were for religious decorations or stencils used for patterns in embroidery. For a long time, this art form was popular among high-society women, but it soon spread to other classes. Paper cutting practices ranged from the skilled craftsman to its evolution into the folk art world. People displayed paper cut designs in windows, as paper lanterns, and on furniture, just to name a few.


The roots of Chinese paper cutting as an art form may date back to the time when paper was invented by Cai Lun of the Eastern Han Dynasty in China. This art form became popular as paper became more affordable. Traditionally, the paper cuts have been used to decorate windows and doors. They were often glued to the exterior of the windows, allowing the light to shine through the negative space, creating various patterns and designs. Usually, red paper was used for the cutouts, due to the association of red with happiness and festivity, however other colors have been used as well. Scissors or knives have been used to make the delicate decorative patterns of the paper by cutting and carving.


Many other cultures began using paper cutting in a variety of different techniques and as part of celebrations. A couple of the most popular cultural uses for paper cutting are papel picado banners in Mexico or kirigami in Japan. Papercut silhouettes became popular in England during the Middle Ages. It became an art form in itself.