Meet Nina Abdullah, a Malay homemaker who taught herself the artwork of Chinese language paper-cutting

Homemaker Nina Abdullah can’t learn, write or converse in Mandarin. However she is aware of a factor or two in regards to the intricate artwork of jianzhi or Chinese language paper-cutting.

“Paper-cutting could appear easy however the artwork of Chinese language paper-cutting requires perseverance. It’s greater than utilizing a pair of scissors and a scalpel to chop designs on purple paper. One wants talent, endurance and a very good creativeness to create these artwork items, ” explains Nina, 55, from Subang Jaya, Selangor.

The mother-of-three, who additionally enjoys stitching and embroidery, had wished to additional hone her craft expertise by studying the traditional artwork of Chinese language paper-cutting, which she managed to grasp inside a month.

“I’ve at all times been intrigued by the artwork of paper-cutting. I like the concept of how a plain piece of paper could be lower and remodeled into intricate paintings, ” says Nina.

Although Chinese paper-cutting isn’t part of Nina’s heritage, she is happy to promote and preserve this age-old folk art.Though Chinese language paper-cutting isn’t a part of Nina’s heritage, she is completely happy to advertise and protect this age-old people artwork.

Though Chinese language paper-cutting isn’t a part of Nina’s Malay heritage, she is completely happy to advertise and protect this age-old people artwork.

“I don’t thoughts studying this conventional talent, which is a particular type of Chinese language handicraft. It’s a matter of studying a brand new talent and considering of how to additional promote this dying artwork.”

Chinese language paper-cutting originates from the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD). With its intricate handmade patterns, these paintings items have been initially used throughout festivals to embellish gates and home windows. The fragile cutouts at all times symbolise luck and happiness.

In 2009, Chinese language paper-cutting was included into Unesco’s Intangible Cultural Heritage checklist as a people craft.

To boost her expertise, Nina turns to social media platforms like Pinterest, Instagram and Fb. With just a few clicks of the mouse, YouTube tutorials and hours of follow, she has managed to understand the talent.

These delicate cutouts require skill, patience and a good imagination to create.These delicate cutouts require talent, endurance and a very good creativeness to create.

Since studying the artwork kind six months in the past, Nina has painstakingly created over 50 items of paintings.

“There’s a lot that one can study from the Web. YouTube tutorials, particularly the step-by-step movies, are one of the best. Moreover Chinese language paper-cutting, I’ve additionally realized easy methods to make felt keychains and the finer factors of embroidery from many social media websites, ” says Nina, who bought her fairly creations at Makers & Co’s Tukar Tangan pre-loved bazaar in Petaling Jaya not too long ago.

At her sales space, Nina charmed guests along with her distinctive paintings. They included zodiac characters and different auspicious designs like fish (image of prosperity), lotus (purity) and cherry blossom (renewal).

“Some persons are shocked and at instances, sceptical a few Malay girl making and promoting Chinese language paper-cutting. However they cross optimistic remarks after seeing my intricate paintings. Anybody can study a brand new craft if they’ve the curiosity, ” says Nina, who downloads the paper-cutting designs from numerous arts and craft web sites.

Nina is an image of focus as she cuts out a silhouette of a flower. Inside a couple of minutes, the gorgeous picture of a lotus emerges on purple paper underneath her deft fingers.

This intricate fish motif took Nina 10 hours to craft out.This intricate fish motif took Nina 10 hours to craft out.

“Though paper-cutting appears easy, one must be meticulous in reducing out the high-quality particulars. It requires numerous focus and a gentle hand.

“One mistake and the whole paintings must be binned, ” explains the paper artist whereas demonstrating her talent.

Probably the most difficult cutout she has labored on to this point was a fish, which took her 10 hours to finish.

“Regardless that it was tiring and my fingers ached, it was definitely worth the effort. You get satisfaction from seeing the ultimate product, ” says the pleasant girl with a heat smile.

Her paintings is priced between RM10 and RM25 every, relying on dimension and complexity.

Nina can be glad that her 14-year-old daughter, Batrisyia Hisham, is following in her footsteps and studying paper-cutting and Mandala artwork, a posh summary design that’s normally round in kind.

“Many kids like to play on-line video video games and browse social media websites. I’d advise them to make use of the Web correctly, primarily for academic functions. They need to study a brand new craft or talent which can assist them enhance their endurance and creativity, ” says Nina, in conclusion.

For extra particulars, contact Nina through e-mail at

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