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Chinese Art Paper, by Valen Lin

Visualizing the ancient art of Chinese paper sculpturing

July 2, 2013

[This is a guest post by Valen Lin*, explaining us the Chinese Art Paper infographic project]



Chinese art paper has a long history back to thousands of years, and its making process is far more complicated than we could think. Thus I paid a visit to the origin place of one of the most famous handmade Chinese art paper factories, FUYANG, to do some researches about the making process and types. During the observations and study, I record the raw materials and their origin places, the steps of making and time control. After that I found that everything added into the materials during the making process could change the feature of paper, thickness, color, texture, flexibility, and toughness, and create a new type.

First of all, different raw materials lead to different types of Chinese art paper. I used a total of 100 different types of Chinese art paper to create my final work. As I observed that different types of Chinese art paper has different color, texture, touch and thickness, so how to show them directly to enlarge the awareness is my crucial work. Different from ordinary infographic, I tend to use things themselves to show their features instead of charts, icons and figures. This is because I want to use the differences of color, texture, touch and thickness to tell the types.

Organising the information | Valen Lin

Secondly, I was considered how to organize the paper together with a special form. As is known to us all that Chinese art paper, as its name, is used to be painted on or written on, thus a ‘traditional Chinese painting’ is the best form to organize the 100 papers. So I choose the traditional Chinese painting style of Song dynasty as elements to create a framework. In order to show the feature of every piece of different types of Chinese art paper, I decided to cut the whole 100 paper like the shape of terraced fields to form the element of mountains and clouds. Another specific is that all the shapes cut by hand instead of machines. This is catering to that all the Chinese art papers are handmade.

Organising the information | Valen Lin

At last, I added some descriptions of different Chinese art paper with handwriting and painting directly on the cover of a glass. In this case, readers can see each kind of paper directly with their information besides. And my conception of changing the Chinese art paper infographic into an installation art reached its final form.

(image: Valen Lin)
(image: Valen Lin)
(image: Valen Lin)
(image: Valen Lin)


*Valen Lin is a Photographer, Branding designer and Visual communication designer based in China. He has a Bachelor’s Degree of China Central Academy of Fine Arts, and is going to study at NCSU for a Master’s Degree. Worked as design director at Wisdom Brand Design Co.,Ltd., Beijing, and as a Senior designer at Beijing Unibrand Brand Strategy and Design Co.,Ltd., China. Important projects including visual identity system design of Beijing Lakeside Great Wall scenic spot and Jingdezhen porcelain brand Zhenyao1728. You can reach him on Behance and checkout his Instagram profile (@valen_lin).

Written by Tiago Veloso

Tiago Veloso is the founder and editor of Visualoop and Visualoop Brasil . He is Portuguese, currently based in Bonito, Brazil.