Portrait Silhouette Cutting Artist

Armen Hareyan's picture

Portrait Silhouette Cutting is one of the common item that are engaged by the event organizers to entertain their guests. In my research, Portrait Silhouette Cutting is first started at French, and the name of “Silhouette” is the name of one of the French Finance Minister “Etienne de Silhouette.”

However, nowadays, many people thought the original Silhouette Cutting is from China because they are huge number of Chinese from China doing at while they selling their Traditional Chinese Paper Cutting products in any exhibitions, bazaars etc.

I got no obligations on that because just a little Portrait Silhouette Artist like me was hardly point out this art was came form which countries.

Portrait Silhouette Cutting Artists existed in Singapore more than 16 years, one of the well known artists was Mr Tan Yee Hong, a very senior and experienced Singapore Silhouette Cutting Artist; he is the only one Silhouette Artist in Singapore by that time. Unfortunately, Mr Tan Yee Hong had passed away about 5 years ago if I am not wrong.

During my working time in the event, I found still lots people do not know what is Portrait Silhouette Cutting, hence I need to tell them this ‘Side Profile’ which I going to produce the side view shape of the guest’s face, or the shadow of their faces which most of the people also known it as “Shadow Cutting”.Some people were so surprised they can find Silhouette Cutting artist in Singapore instead of just in Disney Land or China.

Compare with Caricature drawing, the number of artworks Silhouette Cutting was much faster which I can cut about 45 – 55 pieces depend on their hair style; the more complex of the hair style or hair decorations, the more difficult to cut the silhouette out, but it usually looks much interesting and nicer.

The silhouette cutting usually was look at the guest and cut straight away on the piece of black or colour paper without any pre-drawing on it; you need some skill to do it, like you need skills on drawing that know what of the scale of the portrait etc. Off course choose a pair of scissors is very important as well. Silhouette cutting to me is sort of performing art which you need to cut the shape of the portrait nicely, the way you hold your scissors, they posture of yourself while you on work, how you present your artwork to your guests etc.

Most of the time the event organiser arranged my Silhouette Cutting in roving style which just like close up magicians, balloonists, mingling models etc. Except close up magician, snake charmer or fire eater, still lots of people seeing us (silhouette cutting artist, caricaturists etc) like nothing, so they just pass by between the performer and the guests being entertaining.

As a roving Silhouette artist, since I am holding a scissors to roaming around to do my job, I always be very careful like I doing my roving caricature job; because not we always having big space to do our job, it could be very crowded as well, hence while somebody passing by in between me and my guest while I working, I quickly use two hand to hold my scissors because either one of us could be hurt by the sharp scissors!

Hence, while I doing any roving job, I just act like kung fu movie actor like Jackie Chan or Jet Li etc to ensure not being accidentally pushed or accidentally pushing someone etc.

Written by Welles Tan, sg-entertainer.blogspot.com

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