This is 张东阁 speaking. I think to understand this, I need to understand the mentality of China in the 1970s, but still, "主题先行" puzzles me. "Themes go first"?? What themes?
I started doing paper-cutting last century in the 70s.
At that time I was influenced by the "big themes come first" creative tide of thought,
I only wanted to serve our country at that time,
take up the important themes,
grasp the Zeitgeist,
in my expressive technique I mostly abandoned the influence of traditional paper-cutting.