Yanchuan Survey | Preparation | Research, Mobilization, Organization

The Great Survey of Paper-cutting in Yanchuan County

Time: Jan. 2 – Jun.  30, 2004


After an extended period of preparation, “Long March Project—The Great Survey of Paper-cutting in Yanchuan County” (2004) was officially launched in 2004.

Over the course of one year, Lu Jie, Chief Curator of Long March Project, frequently travelled from Beijng to northern Shaanxi for research, liaison, and preparation work in light of the survey. With the consult and support of Professor Jin Zhilin from Central Academy of Fine Arts and further assistance from the People’s Government of Yanchuan county, the survey was soon in full swing. The Cultural Bureau of Yanchuan county was responsible for overseeing the execution of the project, whilst the county government provided support by selecting female cadres experienced in grassroots work from various county departments to join the cadres from the county’s Cultural Center to form a working survey committee. With further support from the local organization, “Yellow River Ecology and Culture Preservation Association,” the final survey committee was established, consisting of 5 teams, 15 sub-units, and a total of 65 members.

September, 2003

The exhibition The Power of the Public Realm was held at Long March Space, marking a key step in the development of Long March Project. The exhibition lasted for over half a year, attracting over 20,000 visitors.


November, 2003

Lu Jie, Chief Curator of Long March Project, became acquainted with Professor Jin Zhilin from Central Academy of Fine Arts. In the few months that ensued, they frequently met with each other to discuss issues surrounding traditional culture and folk art. Lu was deeply moved by Professor Jin, who visited northern Shaanxi every year to help Yanchuaan county build a folk art village and a folk museum, despite being over 70 of age. May 2004, Mr.Jin Zhilin met with Feng Zhendong, the Head of Yanchuan county who was visiting Beijing for a conference, and they established partnership between Long March and the Yanchuan County Government. Soon, the Director of Yanchuan county’s Yellow River Ecology and Culture Preservation Committee and senior researcher of paper-cutting art, Feng Shanyun, traveled to Bejing for a meeting at Jin’s apartment with Jin, Lu Jie, and Exhibition Director of Long March Space who was also responsible for the survey project, Xiao Xiong, where they together worked out the details of the project.


January 2, 2004

Lu Jie, together with the Long March artist Xiao Xiong and Professor Jin Zhilin, flew to Yan’an from Beijing, and arrived in Yanchuan on the same day for their research trip on folk art in Shaanxi. During the trip, they reached a consensus: while the tradition of paper-cutting could still be found in Shaanxi, its future development faced many challenges. How to establish a new beginning? The answer was to launch an extensive survey. Lu Jie argued that our engagement with paper-cutting should not be confined by merely the notion of preservation; instead, we must come to a new understanding, that paper-cutting is also part of contemporary art. Lu believed we must take this understanding as the point of departure to refine folk art and contemporary art.


January 4, 2004

January 2004, with the accompany of Prof. Jin Zhilin, the Long March team arrived at Yanchuan County and built a contemporary art base in Xiaocheng village, the Long March Sha’anbei Space.

Continuing Art Long March requires more local bases in order to examine the public issue and social issue that contemporary art and Long March faces at the same time. Xiaocheng village initiated by prof. Jin approves the great influence of interaction between literati and the local. 

Long March Foundation starts to support Xiaocheng Village. Meanwhile, Long March Sha’anbei Space set up art-in-residence program except for a space only for display.


January 5, 2004

Lu Jie and Jin Zhilin visited the paper-cutting master Gao Fenglian, where Jin explained how a survey of paper-cutting conducted in the 1980s prompted the advancement of paper-cutting.

January 6, 2004

Lu Jie and Jin Zhilin visited Longdong to do research on folk art. During the trip, they frequently discussed the importance of launching a survey of folk art. Lu proposed having Long March organize a survey of paper-cutting in Yanchuan county.


Feburary, 2004

Lu Jie began doing academic research to prepare for the survey.


April, 2004

During his visit to Hangzhou for the international academic conference, “Edges of the Earth: Parallel Temporalities in Asia,” Lu Jie shared the recent work of Long March in northern Shaanxi with Xu Jiang, the Principal of Chinese Academy of Fine Arts. Based on his visits to northern Shaanxi, Lu suspected that out of the 80,000 women in Yanchuan, over 10,000 of them were trained in paper-cutting. It made him realize a dilemma: on one hand, paper-cutting remained the most vital, expressive, and potent strand of folk art in Shaanxi; on the other hand, it was facing a great deal of challenges. If we approached paper-cutting from the perspective of contemporary art, would it generate new meanings? Xu Jiang gave a positive review to Long March’s work, calling its approach a “bottom-up” one.


April, 2004

In Beijing, Lu Jie met with the chief curators of Shanghai Biennale, Zheng Shengtian and Zhang Qing, and assistant curator Gao Shiming, for several rounds of discussions about the great survey of paper-cutting and its connections with the theme of the biennale——“Techniques of the Visible.” Lu Jie and Jin Lizhi continued their discussion on the great survey.


May, 2004

Long March received an official invitation from the Shanghai Biennale committee. The preparation for the great survey was well under way, and this chance to debut the survey results in Shanghai seemed all the more significant: it was, in fact, the artists from Shanghai who first travelled to Yan’an to deliver the fruits of revolutionary art to the Shaanxi-Gansu-Ningxia Border Area. It is difficult to imagine how much of the literary and artistic canon of the new China was a product of the alliance between Shanghai and Yan’an. If the art of northern Shaanxi people could now be introduced to Shanghai, would it generate new meanings in the contemporary art context?


January 6, 2004

Lu Jie and Jin Zhilin visited Longdong to do research on folk art. During the trip, they frequently discussed the importance of launching a survey of folk art. Lu proposed having Long March organize a survey of paper-cutting in Yanchuan county.

Organizational Structure

Chief Curator: Lu Jie (Long March Director)

Chief Consultant: Jin Zhilin (Professor of Central Fine Arts Academy/Consultant for Yanchuan County Government)

Project Supervisor: Xiao Xiong (Long March Exhibition Director)

Long March Representative: David Tung (Long March International Director)

Yanchuan County Government Officials

Group Supervisor:  Yan Chuanzhu, Yanchuan County Vice-Magistrate

Assistant Group Supervisors:

Gao Hebin, Yanchuan County Office Manager

Yang Yanan, Recreational Department Director of Yanchuan County

Feng Shanyun, Yellow River Cultural Preseravation Association Director, Yanchuan County

County Officials

Ma Yanming, Yanchuan County Treasurer

Bai Shugang, Yanchuan County Education Department Director

Liu Guoxiang, Yanchuan County Local Investment Department Director

Liu Caibin, Yanchuan County Civil Administration Department Director

Bai Jianglu, Yanchuan County Construction Department Director

Yang Lu, Yanchuan County Cultural Association Chairman

Office Manager: Yang Yanan, Yanchuan County Cultural Bureau Director

Survey Team

Group One

Group leader: Jing Mei

Crew: Liu Xiaojuan, Guo Rulin, He Jingxiang, Liu Junhong, Fang Sipeng, Yang Qingyan, Feng Yanyan, Liu Dongdong, Fu Gai, Wang Runqing

Group Two

Group leader: Gao Zhiqing

Crew: Liu Haoqiong, He Cailian, Wang Jianhong, Zhang Huanyin, Gao Baowei, Zheng Shiping, Ren Junyang, Yuan Fang, Liu Yandong, Liu Bin, Bai Junyang, Wang Dongzhen, Bai Qiangguo, Zhang Xiangyang, Wang Wei

Group Three

Group leader: Liu Shengdong

Crew: Feng Ruimei, Hu Guilian, Liu Qinglian, Lei Rui, Xiao Feng, Feng Zhangyi, Liu Weiqi, Xiao Zhang

Group Four

Group leader: Yang Wei

Crew: Feng Xiangqian, He Jianbiao, Feng Wenjuan, Liu Ning, Yang Hui, Feng Chaoyang, Gao Yanmei, Liu Zhenrong, Gao Meijun, Yang Ruirui, Lao Liu, Yang Yanjun, Liu Yanxiong

Group Five

Group leader: Gao Yanyan

Crew: Yuan Suihua, Zhang Yuan, Hao Kai, Fan Xiaomei, He Yongmei, Liu Xiaorong, Bai Ruirong, Feng Donglian, Lei Dongyang, He Xuelian, Dong Hui, Tie Niu, Bai Xiaohua, Liu Fenglian, Gao Lian, Feng Dongmei, Gao Yanmei, Ma Ruilian, Geng Yanhong, Cao Ping, Bai Guifeng, Zhang Yingjun, Liu Xiaoqin

Group Six (Office)

Group leader: Feng Shanyun

Crew: Bai Tingmin, Feng Ruirong, Feng Fen, Hei Jianguo


Materials for Survey