Alslo called Yue embroidery, Guang Embroidery is a general name for embroidery products of the regions of Guangzhou, Shantou, Zhongshan, Panyu and Shunde in Guangdong Province.


   Guang embroidery is rooted in Guangdong Province with a long history of over 1,000 years, dating back to the first year during the Yongzhen reign of the Tang Dynasty (618-907). During the Song and Yuan dynasties (960-1368), Guang Embroidery began to be exported to foreign countries and regions. In the late Ming Dynasty to mid Qing Dynasty (about 1600-1800 A.D.), Guang Embroidery booms with many merchants from Britain came to these coastal cities in China for business, bringing their own samples for processing. During the Qianlong reign (1736-1796), the first professional industrial union called Yue Xiu Hang was founded in Guangzhou City.


    After 1915, representative works of Guang Embroidery won several prizes on the Panama World Exposition and the world expositions.

 


        Chen Shaofang, born in 1937, had 8 years of art and Chinese painting schooling from 1954 to 1962 before she started her career as a Guang embroidery designer in Guangzhou Craft and Art Research Institute.

 

        Chen later embroided oil painting and western decorative art into the then traditional embroidery patterns to create a three-dimensional and multilayer effect, making her embroidery more vivid and as a fresh air in Chinee embroidery.

 

        She has made a name for herself by making her works stand out from traditional ones. Her bold invention of embroidering a white peacock by using green and absorbing the color effects of multidimensional structures makes her white peacock subject of Guang embroidery unique.

 




Splendid South China
Chen Shaofang spent 40 years designing her 13.8-meter-long epoch work "Splendid South China" to interpret her love for the glamour Guang embroidery and her hope for this folk art’s future.

 


First sun rays in the morning

Chen Shaofang employed the method of using bright color in the back side different from the traditional design, making her peacock looks more beautiful and spectacular at dawn.


I Love Chicken Flock
Chen Shaofang piled up over 10 different color threads to make the chicken look realistic. The image of the chickens varies from different angles and the colors change under different lightings.

 


A Bird with Phoenix Coronet
Chen Shaofang embroided oil painting and western decorative art into traditional embroidery patterns to create a three-dimensional and multilayer effect.

 


Zhao Puchu
A delegation of Tibetan Buddhism who visited Chen's works are impressed by her superb embroidery skills that they began the ceremony of blessing by touching foreheads in front of the embroidery.

 


Xu Chiguang's masterpiece

Using many stitches of Guang embroidery, Xu Chiguang makes his bamboo, rooster and hen look more vivid and fresh.

 


Litchis and Parrot

Chen Shaofang's litchis different from any other traditional embroidery in terms of texture and roughness.

 

 


Liang Guikai's masterpiece


Liang Guikai embroidered a joy of harvest with big leaf and happy gooses by using special stitches of Guang embroidery.

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        As a recommended representative for state-level intangible cultural heritage projects, Chen Shaofang says that she has a responsibility to help Guang embroidery survive, "Guang embroidery is full of charm, it should be passed down to future generations and develop, just like Chinese paintings."

 

        "My son, Tan Zhanpeng and I have opened classes for children who have an interest in this and we have taught them some basic skills of embroidery," said Chen. “They may not take it as an occupation, but at least the children have some idea of Guang embroidery and the Lingnan culture."

 

        Chen also teaches embroidery at Sun Yat-sen University where she believes it is a better way to promote the folk art as embroidery knowledge is applied to art design concepts and innovations.

 

        Tan Zhanpeng, however, does not think the key for Guang embroidery survival is in the class, but in the market. "Today, Yue embroidery has a stable market so this folk art will not die out," argues Tan. "LV is expensive and not every one can afford it but every one knows the brand. We should learn from how the LV group promotes their brand and find a better promotion solution for Yue embroidery in the high end market."



Guangdong Museum of Folk Arts (Chen Clan Temple)


Chen Clan Academy (commonly known as Chen Clan Temple) houses thematic exhibitions on pottery, embroidery, and sculptures.

 

 


Li Bao Fang Workshop


Li Bao Fang workshop mainly deal with Guang embroidery collections, boutiques and presents with Chen shaofang, master of Chinese arts and crafts, as the leading designer.

 

 


Guangzhou Wende Road


It is built to be Guangdong's cultural center, promoting traditional Lingnan heritage including Yue opera, Yue embroidery and Yue enamel through exhibitions, conferences and forums.

 

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