About      Issues & Poets      Artists      Translators      Acknowledgements      Editors’ Books      Subscribe 

“Nothing Scares Salt” & Other Images
Painted Papercut Art © Liang Liang

Liang Liang (Pang Xiaoliang), painter, papercut artist, and independent animation director, was born autumn 1985 in Yingkou, a north China port city where the Liao River enters the Bohai (Yellow Sea). At 15 she entered Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts Middle School, after which she graduated from the Beijing Film Academy Animation School. Her work, both papercut and animation, has appeared in numerous exhibitions and galleries in Beijing, Shenzhen, and Los Angeles. She lives in Beijing, where she co-founded the visual art workshop Ji Guang Pian Yu, in reference to the mythical Chinese creature “Auspicious Light”.






Artist’s Statement

My sense of papercut art is that the scissors walk in measured steps, the paper answering as it opens, each engaged in the violence. The act of cutting parts what’s softly offered.

As to the means, one is metal, one fiber. The former are male, with the force of creative destruction; the latter female, its essence equilibrium. However sharp the scissors, however fine the paper, each needs the other to release new shapes, new ideas. This consoles me as I orchestrate such violence on the paper. Before the cut paper is assembled and glued to form the composition, it seems lacerated. But when transfigured as an image that also carries paint, its former silence is broken.

Papercutting traditionally nurtures a process of discovery, guiding artist and viewer on the path from seeing to feeling. For me, making papercut art also leads to a sharper sense of self, a kind of magic loop that also turns outward to others. Its light, humble gestures convey a certain weight.

When asked what use is my art, I sometimes say both positive and negative forces are bearable. Just as some papers can withstand only a spoonful of water, others may hold a bowlful without bursting. I consider how paper is made—the plant fibers broken down, soaked deep, then raised and spread in the sun to dry.  Such is an artist’s life—broken down, sunk to one’s inmost depths. But with trust in some sort of fate, the greater motion of the universe fishes you up, stands you in sunlight, forges you solid and strong. It’s then you gain another shape, another life to make new art, or be made into art yourself. That is to say, art rescues.


對剪紙創作的體會可以概括成這四句打油詩:「剪刀行數學步伐,紙張回應他詩歌,她和他,一起受折磨。剪紙,暴力奪取,溫柔給予。」就構成「剪刀」和「紙張」這兩件事物的材質來講,一金,一木。 剪刀是陽性的前行,具有破壞力創造力;紙張是陰性的承受,具有圓融性。再好的剪刀和紙張,你不去用,它們之間沒有交互,隱匿的生靈得不到攪動,新的洞見難以誕生。生活中我以尋求某種安慰的心態借用剪刀對紙張施暴,在作品粘貼前,紙張滿目瘡痍,紙張在成為一幅繪畫載體的概念裡被解放了,一種沉寂已久的藝術形式隨之重生——剪紙。