A dragon flying through the clouds, this framed handmade paper cut features the dragon, one of the animals from the Chinese Zodiac signs.
The Chinese animal signs are a 12-year cycle used for dating the years. They represent a cyclical concept of time, rather than the Western linear concept of time. A cultural sidelight of the animal signs in Chinese folklore is that horoscopes have developed around the animal signs, much like monthly horoscopes in the West. These horoscopes are amusing, but not regarded seriously by the Chinese people.
Chinese paper cutting is a unique art form, since paper was invented in China and has existed there for thousands of years. Common designs are animals, flowers and figures, cut with scissors or knife, mainly made to decorate doors and windows. Paper cuttings are also called window flowers or cutting pictures. Paper cutting has long history featuring both national and regional themes.
Though the end product is usually small in size, it can reflect many aspects of life such as prosperity, health, or the harvest. Some cuttings represent stories about the happiness gained from the accomplishment of common goals.