Beauty of colour in paper umbrella
The red paper umbrella is named after the red surface of the umbrella, a colour that conceals the simplicity and simplicity of the village people and their low-profile lifestyle, and concentrates on a spirit of peace and happiness. The red dye used in the red paper umbrellas is purely handmade, and the red colour is somewhere between bright red and big red, so that the umbrellas appear red but not dry, flamboyant but not vulgar, reflecting the harmony of the middle ground sought by the big red paper umbrellas. On the one hand, the dark red colour of the red paper umbrellas embodies the beauty of the colour scheme of Chinese folk art. The colour red has long been a customary concept in the minds of the Chinese people, representing good fortune, joy and hope. This is the accumulation of the folk experience of production and life internalised into a secular culture. On the other hand, the colours of the red and red paper umbrellas reflect the imaginative beauty of traditional Chinese art. “Imagery is a representation that is free from ‘form’ and contains ’emotion’, or an ’emotional representation’. This emotional representation is like the art of Chinese poetry, which pursues the beauty of imagery where ‘there is poetry in the painting and poetry in the painting’. The emotional representation of the red paper umbrella is a discreet and restrained red umbrella, but the emotion is melted into the colourful aesthetic paradigm of traditional Chinese handicrafts.
beauty of the material of the red paper umbrella
The beauty of the materials used in the production of the red paper umbrellas is a simple and quiet beauty of the countryside. The materials used to make the umbrellas are all locally sourced, ensuring the quality of the umbrellas and reflecting one of the characteristics of folk art as suggested by Japanese folk artist Yanagi Sōetsu. The dyes and tung oil used to make the umbrellas are all handmade by folk craftsmen themselves, making the material a simple rustic beauty. The beauty of the material is also reflected in the process of making red paper umbrellas, which respects the basic characteristics of the original material, such as retaining the original colour and texture of the bamboo without excessive decoration, and not adding any paint or preservatives. The paper and dyes used in the production of the umbrellas are made by hand using ancient methods. As a result, the red paper umbrella has a faint smell of tung oil, and when opened, you can clearly see the texture of the umbrella bones and the texture formed by the natural drying of the umbrella surface, like a traditional Chinese ink painting laid on the umbrella surface, divided into a beautiful picture by the evenly spaced bones.
beauty of red paper umbrella craftsmanship
The red paper umbrellas are made with meticulous craftsmanship, each bone reflecting the wisdom of the craftsman. Mr Xu Fuguan In The Spirit of Chinese Art, Mr Xu Fuguan writes: “Zhuangzi calls the passage from skill to art the Tao. That is, the technique enters into the Way”. It comes from the idea that ‘what is obtained by the hand should be applied to the heart’, emphasising that the highest state of craftsmanship is when the heart and the hand become one. Xu Xiusheng, a red paper umbrella heir, splits the bamboo strips, saws the bamboo tubes, cuts the umbrella bones and never uses a ruler, measuring the length of the bones entirely by his own eyes.
The beauty of the red paper umbrella is based on its practical function, which is reflected in the craftsman’s ability to understand and apply certain rules. There are many special techniques used in the production of red paper umbrellas, such as the direction, tightness and sparseness of the threads in the winding process, which have certain intrinsic rules to follow.
The beauty of the craft of the red paper umbrella is also expressed in the beauty of the technique. “Mengzi – Li Lou Shang” (Mencius) says: “Li Lou’s clarity and Gong Luzi’s ingenuity are not based on rules, but can not become a square circle”. The folk craft is inseparable from ingenuity, respecting the rules and using them to achieve artistic beauty. One is the combination of inlay and distribution of the umbrella bones and the inch bones, which form a nested dependency on each other, constituting the mystery of the red paper umbrella’s self-support. The upper basket is linked to the umbrella bones, which are in turn linked to the inch bones, and the upper basket is linked to the lower shaft by the umbrella handle. The seemingly complex technique of the red paper umbrella is in fact very clear in its internal logic, and each of its components presents a beauty of technique.
Structural beauty of the red paper umbrella
The structure of the red paper umbrella consists of the top, the bones, the inch bones, the handle, the upper basket and the lower shaft. Underneath the umbrella is a circular piece of red cloth with a regular arrangement of bones, inch bones, upper basket and lower shaft. The upper basket and lower shaft are then linked together by the handle to form a radial structure that contracts freely. The structure of the umbrella frame reveals its rhythmic beauty, and the word ‘rhyme’ in arts and crafts refers to the meaning and flavour. In ancient China, Xie He, a Southern Qi painter, put forward the ‘six methods’ in his book ‘The Book of Ancient Paintings’, the first of which was ‘vividness and rhythm’. This shows the central position of ‘rhyme’ in the aesthetics of Chinese art. According to the British art philosopher Clive Bell, ‘beauty is form with meaning’, where meaning is implication or rhyme. The ‘rhythmic beauty’ of the red paper umbrella process is in keeping with the beauty of proportion and harmony advocated by Pythagoras and Aristotle. The bones of the umbrella and the bones of the umbrella are arranged in regular combinations, forming a proportional and harmonious structure.
The red paper umbrella bones and inch bones are arranged in a certain order of repetition creating a structural beauty of repetition. “Repetition is the mother of order, and its occurrence creates the beauty of orderliness”. Repetition is not just monotony, the structure or shape has changed qualitatively in relation to its original form while repeating. The key point of the beauty of repetition is that the result of repetition brings about an endless variety, the greatest advantage of which is that it maintains the simplicity of the visual form, which is the beauty of repetition. It is the repetition of the bones and inch bones of the red paper umbrella, arranged in a certain direction and angle, that forms the overall structure of the umbrella, from a single bone to a qualitatively changed paper umbrella frame, that is the creativity of the beauty of repetition.
allegorical beauty of the red paper umbrella
The symbolic beauty of the red paper umbrella stems from its symbolic nature and its most important practical function, in addition to protection from the wind and rain, stems from the custom of marriage. The production and development of folk crafts is always closely linked to folk life, reflecting the spiritual and material culture of the local people’s productive life. A red paper umbrella is used as a wedding prop in Maotanchang Township, and on the day of the wedding the bride goes out with a red oil paper umbrella to ward off evil spirits and good luck. The umbrellas are used as props for wedding customs and are more symbolic than practical. It is a combination of emotion and art. Firstly, the red paper umbrella is given a folk sentiment of wedding celebration, which reflects the people’s wish for a better married life and their enthusiasm and desire for a better life. Secondly, the circular shape of the red paper umbrella symbolises the traditional Chinese beauty of completeness and good fortune. The round shape of the red paper umbrella signifies that marriage is the beginning of another successful life.