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Into the World of Chaozhou Embroidery

2022-Apr-11       Source: newsgd.com

Chaozhou embroidery is distinguished from other types of embroidery by its cannetille, an embossed embroidery that features golden and majestic relief effects. Furthermore, with a wide variety of subjects, including figures, dragons and phoenixes, antiques, animals and flowers, the embroidery is capable of expressing its subject with fully proportional composition and lively colors, generating a magnificent artistic effect.

With a rich culture and long history, China has numerous cultural and natural heritages. Among them, the intangible cultural heritage which epitomizes Chinese culture and wisdom as well as illustratIng China’s history and profoundly affecting our life, is a great treasure that should be protected and passed on to future generations. In the Tang Dynasty (618-907), Chaozhou embroidery originated and gained popularity in the Chaoshan area of Guangdong Province in China, and developed its style in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties. Chaozhou embroidery has now spread throughout China and Southeast Asia.

Chaozhou embroidery is distinguished from other types of embroidery by its cannetille, an embossed embroidery that features golden and majestic relief effects. Furthermore, with a wide variety of subjects, including figures, dragons and phoenixes, antiques, animals and flowers, the embroidery is capable of expressing its subject with fully proportional composition and lively colors, generating a magnificent artistic effect.

Zhu Shuqin, a national-level intangible cultural heritage inheritor of the Chinese drawn-thread embroidery, has long been devoted to preserving, inheriting and developing Chaozhou embroidery. Through establishing the Chaoshan Drawn-thread Embroidery Institute in Chaozhou, Zhu collected, organized and compiled information on the stitching techniques and prevented them from being lost. In addition, Zhu spent heavily on researching and collecting drawn-thread works of great historical and artistic value. By conducting technique training courses, Zhu is able to transmit the stitching skills to students with the teaching materials and the physical materials written and collected by herself, thus contributing to the inheritance of Chaozhou embroidery and drawn-thread styles.

“It takes at least three to seven years to cultivate a qualified embroiderer and it is a great joy to have apprentices who are willing to learn the skills seriously,” said Zhu, “However, nowadays most people refuse to study such traditional techniques.” In order to pass on Chaozhou heritage skills, Zhu offers courses in colleges and universities to encourage more young people to get involved. At the same time, more and more people are attracted to her studio to learn more about this amazing heritage.

At present, some universities in China offer courses on Chaozhou embroidery, propelling it to experience a gradual revival and become a label of Chaozhou culture.

The Chaozhou embroidery culture continually grows with its miraculous needle, taking pride in a thousand-year history. Silk being paper, threads being colors and needles being brushes, gentle and graceful Chaozhou embroiderers utilize all of them to outline those colorful years and create their wonderful life.

By ZENG Lufang, ZHOU Zeying, ZHANG Yumin, DAI Zhou, ZHOU Zhengjie from Guangdong University of Foreign Studies

Editor: Nan, Jerry


Editor: Nan

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