CyberFair Project ID: 6146

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: Paper-cut life
Category: 1. Local Leaders

School: Huangyuan County Third Middle School
    Xining, Qinghai, china

8 students, ages 15-16 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on February 28, 2010. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2007,2008,2009

Classes and Teachers: Fu MingXiang

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Community

Huangyuan County has a long history and colorful folk culture. From ancient times, it was the western China’s economic, cultural, and military pivot. It possesses abundant cultural resources like Tang-Fan Ancient Road, south Silk Road, Sun and Moon Mountain, Huangyuan Ranking Lantern, and ethnic handicrafts like painting, needlework, and paper cutting. In recent years, Huangyuan County made tremendous efforts to construct cultural projects, which have cost more than 100 million RMB. The cultural projects focus on exploring local history and culture which include Kunlun Culture (main site is the Heaven Queen Stone Room in Zongjia Valley), commercial culture (mainly in Dan Gar Ancient City), Ancient Castles’ military culture, religion culture (mainly in North Pole Mountain areas), historical culture (mainly in Sun and Moon Mountain areas), folk art culture (mainly represented by Huangyuan Ranking Lantern). Those cultural resources have become new tourist brands and foundation for Huangyuan’s tourist industry and economic development. In Huangyuan, every year there are cultural events including Ranking Lantern Art Festival, Sea Sacrifice Festival, and West Heaven Queen Fete. Those activities have become new cultural attractions of Huangyuan. In addition, outside Qinghai province, we successfully held folk art exhibitions of Huangyuan Ranking lantern, leather needlework, paper cutting, and shadow show, which not only opened windows of those folk arts, but also opened the door for exploring meanings of Huangyuan culture.

2. Summary of Our Project

days as the pace of industrial modernization and urbanization becomes faster and faster, the spontaneous way of passing on cultural heritages, such as folk arts, is facing serious challenge. By making this monographic research, we hope we can let the world know about the local paper cutting artists’ insistent pursuit and the deep exploration of paper cutting culture. If our monographic research can be somewhat helpful for the perseverance and development of the folk paper cutting art, we will be very happy.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:none

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:1

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:2-3

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

The main group members of this project are the first-year high school students. So our schedule is very tight. We have to be in the morning study by 7:50 everyday, and after lunch we have the noon study time as well. In day time, we only have 30 minutes free time for extracurricular activities. Though we don’t have much time, everyone in the group was exited and tried their best to find time for this project. In addition, H1N1 impeded our progress – we had to make time for physical examinations and lots of interviews and collective activities were cancelled.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

We experienced a lot during this project. In order to attract other people’s attention to paper cutting, we visited Aunt Li and asked her to teach us paper cutting. We found our art teacher to ask her to put paper cutting in our art classes. For publicizing paper cutting, we tried our best to find support from our school and successfully hosted a paper cutting competition in our school’s art festival week. I still remember that day in the art festival. Lots of local people came to our school and saw our paper cutting exhibition that day. They enjoyed the exhibition so much that some of them said “it’s been a long time to see fine paper cuttings”. Those people actually like traditional culture and hope to revive the jolly folk customs of putting on paper-cut window flowers on festival occasions. Behind us, there are so many people who helped us, supported us, and gave us hopes. Maybe they didn’t think they were doing something significant, but because of their participation, more and more people get to know and like paper cutting culture. Smetimes people say that life is an evergreen tree. Then we would say that the art with scissors is the flower and fruit of the evergreen tree. Let’s work together to preserve, develop, and pass on this precious art, to let the folk art put its root in the people and popular among the people, to make the paper cutting always ethnic and keep its original flavor.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

This time, we use Paper-cut Life as our main thread to reflect the folk art of paper cutting. This research combined with several subjects, such as history, geography, art, culture, computer, social communication, and let paper cutting get into local classrooms. The beautiful story behind paper cutting reflected people’s craving for better life. Our school helped us to hold a paper cutting competition in art festival. This research can’t be done only by the few group members. Around us, there’re respectful teachers, friendly classmates, and lots of other people who offered their hands. Deng Xiaoping once said “Education needs to face the directions of modernization, world, and future”. Our monographic research reflects this thought of education and fit the education idea of all-around development. We deeply feel that, without spirit of teamwork and ability of communication, we can’t be good at the role of “publicizing representative of folk art”.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

Hardware: computer, digital camera Software: Dreamweaver, Photoshop, Light and Shadow Magic Photo Processing, Microsoft Word, Internet Explorer, ACDSee, CuteFtp, Town and Talent Web Editor Internet: email, Town and Talent online forum, broadband networks (1.6M)

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

By learning paper cutting, we can let people know that it is an honor for us to play the role of “community publicizing representatives of paper cutting folk art”. We hope, by telling the life story of the artist Li Guilan, more and more people will join in us to help preserve the folk art.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

Aunt Li used 30 years to study paper cutting and contributed her efforts to this folk art. She is a vivid role model for developing paper cutting culture. For instance, Aunt Li teaches kids in schools, trains local people in the villages and in the class hosted by employment bureau. All those activities Aunt Li did are for the development of paper cutting culture.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

Our monographic research gets lots of support from teachers. Our team members are made of first-year high school students. And our school is the only high school in which students are all from the countryside. The admission scores are the lowest in Huangyuan County. In order to improve our grades, the teachers pushed the students to the limits and wanted them to spend as much time studying as possible. However, for us to finish this research project, out teachers allowed us to use extracurricular time to organize materials and to use the computer room. Here, we would like to thank them. Our school’s Youth League Committee supported our team to publicize our project and helped us with the paper cutting competition. Aunt Li’s family helped us with the first-hand materials and treated us very friendly. Our school helped us to coordinate with our teachers and provided us bus to commute. And we would also like to thank other villagers in Dahua Town who accepted our interviews. Also has the entire school teachers and students who participates in the project activity .Sincerely thank all the help we get!

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

Before this activity, we didn’t know about paper cutting and didn’t even think about its art value. Until the day we visited Aunt Li and saw those delicate and beautiful paper cuttings, we were amazed by the adept skills and the beauty. A normal piece of paper can have its life. Paper cutting is not just a simple handwork, but a form of art. Different artists can have different styles and their works can be commercialized. We hope we can contribute our efforts to pass this art on and bring more younger people into paper cutting.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 6146)

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