The goddess of paper-cutting


Ku Shulan 库淑兰 (1920-2004), paper-cut

Ku Shulan (1920-2004), native of Wang village, Chidao xiang of Xunyi county, Shaanxi province, China, was born in a poor peasant family. When she was little, she followed her father to flee from famines and beg. Her feet were bound when she was 4 years old; at 6 or 7 years old, she started learning paper-cutting and painting from her mother; at 17, she got married to someone from the Fu village of Chidao xiang. She gave birth to 13 children, but 10 were later taken away by famines and diseases. Ku Shulan kept on paper-cutting after her marriage ended to kill time. In the early winter of 1985, Ku Shulan accidentally fell in a ravine. After being rescued by passersby, she fell seriously ill, and was almost unconscious for 40 more days. However, she felt hale and hearty after waking up from the coma, and was convinced that she had been blessed by a spiritual ‘Goddess of Paper-Cutting’. From then on, she added a ‘Goddess of Paper-Cutting’image in every piece of her works. Long troubled by pain in her old age, on Dec. 19, 2004, Ku Shulan died at home, at 84.

(Short bio taken from