Li Shoubai 李守白
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First developed in the 1860's, Shikumen are, in my opinion, the working foundation of life for the people of Shanghai. It is carved deep in my soul, and will never leave it: the old Shikumen alleyways composed of grey and red bricks, narrow lanes impressed on my memory.
Whenever I pick up my brush to paint, old dreams come to mind, Streets and views reflecting features of Shanghai, such as Shikumen, alleyways, and overhead rooms across a lane, jump in front of my eyes, and I cannot help but feel drawn in...
The name Shanghai is synonymous with virtue, It gives without asking anything in return: just as all rivers merge into the sea, no matter where you come from, Shanghai will accept you with grace...When you partake of what it has to offer, you feel the generosity of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism.
Shikumen are the root of the Shanghai people, and reflect the culture of the Shanghai people. ...Wherever I go, my brush, my paints and my affection will always come together as intensely homesick paintings.
Born into a family of artists in Shanghai, Li is a modern painter and Shanghai-style paper-cutting artist. He was taught by Professor Li Ximing, a famous painter, and Mr. Wang Zigan, a master of Chinese paper-cutting. Li is now a member of the Shanghai Artists Association, standing director of both the All-China Ethnic Culture Promotion Association's and All-China Folk Artists Association's paper-cutting art committees, director of the Shanghai Folk Artists Association and secretary-general of the Shanghai Paper-Cutting Society.
Li Shoubai is erudite in Chinese folk culture and paper-cutting. He was granted the title of Chinese Grand Master of Paper-Cutting Art with Moral and Artistic Qualities in 2004, the first among Representative Successors of Non-Material Cultural Legacy Projects in 2009. He was awarded Leading Talent of Self-Creativity by the Luwan District Government in 2008 and Shanghai Municipal People's Government in 2009. He has been nicknamed 'Mr Shikumen' by the media.