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Where Art Meets Tradition: Red Paper Cutting Exhibition

January 10, 2024

Inspiration Behind the Collaboration Between DFS and the Hong Kong Arts Centre

This Lunar New Year, DFS invites you to “Liberate Your Inner Dragon’’, where we encourage you to embark on a journey of exploration, self-discovery and transformation.

As a global travel retailer, DFS is devoted to preserving local culture and the arts. Through our dedicated efforts, we have provided invaluable support to the development of local artists, recognizing the importance of nurturing artistic talent within the community. In parallel, the Hong Kong Arts Centre has played a pivotal role in fostering local artists' growth through various art events and educational initiatives. By actively engaging with the public and integrating art into society, they have sought to make art accessible and relatable to a broader audience.

DFS and the Hong Kong Arts Centre will jointly exhibit unique red paper cuttings in 13 DFS stores around the world. Inspired by DFS' campaign theme "Liberate Your Inner Dragon", a total of 10 red paper cutting designs were handcrafted by three artists from the Hong Kong Arts Centre.

This collaborative endeavor focuses explicitly on preserving and revitalizing the art of paper cutting, an item of significance within intangible cultural heritage. Beyond the mere preservation of this cultural tradition, the collaboration aims to redefine traditional craftsmanship by infusing it with contemporary relevance and integrating it into daily life.

In addition, this collaboration exemplifies a shared vision to preserve cultural heritage, support local artists, and engage the public in meaningful and transformative art experiences. By intertwining tradition and innovation, we strive to create a dynamic cultural landscape that celebrates and nurtures artistic excellence while enriching the lives of individuals within the community.

Watch the video below to learn more:

Cultural Heritage of Red Paper Cutting

Paper cutting is the most popular and widely embraced form of folk art in China, boasting a rich history spanning over 1,500 years. This traditional craft has since gained significant recognition. In 2006, the paper cutting technique was included in the first batch of The National List of Intangible Cultural Heritage of China. The art form underwent a successful evaluation conducted by the Intergovernmental Committee for Safeguarding the Intangible Cultural Heritage of UNESCO in 2009, and was then listed in the esteemed "Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity".

The evolution of paper cutting has demonstrated a diverse developmental trend, with contemporary successors incorporating visual cultures of modern society into this traditional art form. This infusion of modern elements has not only preserved the traditional and popular uses of paper cutting but has also elevated it to the status of artistic expression. Moreover, paper cutting has transcended geographical boundaries and gradually become a significant component of international cultural exchange and cooperation, bridging nations through the universal language of art.

To learn more about the cultural heritage of red paper cutting, watch the video below:

In-store Artwork Exhibition

To bring the artwork to life, 10 red paper cuttings crafted by artists from the Hong Kong Arts Centre are displayed in DFS stores. Read on to discover the inspiration behind each artwork:


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Meko Cheng, Artist

This series of paper cutting artworks features prominent themes of dragons, moonlight, and Chinese calligraphy. Each piece blends diverse materials, including shells, gold leaf, and mesh fabric. With their captivating textures and reflective properties, these materials elegantly enhance the artworks by introducing a luminous sheen and a multidimensional aspect to the otherwise two-dimensional compositions.

“The Sun Dragon” (5th piece of artwork in the left image)
Under the sunlight, natural shells and gold leaf present a glistening play of light, beautifully complementing the dragon's scales and emphasizing the mystical and revered aura surrounding the creature.

“Bloomed Moon” (5th piece of artwork in the right image)
The theme revolves around the moon, where layers of peony petals seamlessly form a full moon, symbolizing prosperity and completeness within its abundant blossoms. Infused within these blooms lie diverse shades of gold leaf, enhancing the moonlight with a radiant brilliance.

“Panels with Dragons” (3rd piece of artwork in the right image)
During Chinese New Year, couplets or dual deity images were written or drawn on paper and displayed on doors for blessings and protection. Emulating the couplet form and meaning, the artwork's material selection and composition, complemented by a transparent frame, allow viewers to see the same vibrant scene from both sides, resembling the brilliance of dual dragons adorning a door.

Chung Siu Fung, Artist

“Ringing in the New Year through Dragon Dance”
In ancient times, people often offered prayers to the heavens, seeking protection, safety, and peace. They also made offerings to the vast seas, seeking abundant seafood for sustenance. These themes inspired the creation of three artworks: “Seeking Guidance from Heaven - Celestial Dragon”, “Yearning for the Sea - Mythical Flood Dragon”, and “New Year - The Peach Blossom Spring”, symbolizing aspirations for the upcoming year.

“Seeking Guidance from Heaven - Celestial Dragon” (2nd piece of artwork in the right image)

“Yearning for the Sea - Mythical Flood Dragon” (2nd piece of artwork in the left image)

“New Year - The Peach Blossom Spring” (4th piece of artwork in the right image)

Wong Wan Ying, Artist

“Wealth” (4th piece of artwork in the left image)
The peony flower symbolizes wealth. Its lines are intertwined to highlight its sense of nobility.

“Longevity” (1st piece of artwork in the right image)
Longevity peach (shoutao) is a symbol of longevity in Chinese tradition. Copper coins and flowers bring blessings of longevity, wealth and peace.

“Diving Between the Sky and Sea” (3rd piece of artwork in the left image)
As the myth goes, the carp can become a dragon as long as it makes a successful leap over the Dragon Gate. The scenery of the dragon diving between the sky and water is a metaphor for making a determined effort to work hard and be brave enough to countercurrent.

Watch the video to meet the artists behind each masterpiece and marvel at their red paper cutting demonstration:

Finally, DFS wishes you a prosperous Year of The Dragon. We hope you will "Liberate Your Inner Dragon" and embark on a journey of exploration, self-discovery and transformation in the New Year!

Where Art Meets Tradition: Red Paper Cutting Exhibition
Exhibition Period:
Jan 10 - Feb 29, 2024
Available stores:
DFS Hong Kong, Canton Road
DFS Macau, City of Dreams
DFS Macau, Galaxy (Beauty)
DFS Macau, Shoppes at Four Seasons
DFS Macau, Studio City
DFS Macau, Shoppes at Londoner
DFS Macau, MGM (Beauty)
DFS Macau, Wynn Palace (Beauty)
DFS Macau, MGM Cotai (Beauty)
DFS Vietnam, Noi Bai International Airport
DFS Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh Airport
DFS San Francisco International Airport
DFS Los Angeles International Airport
DFS Guam
DFS Saipan

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