This embroidery is taken from a traditional Chinese under garment, the du dou, a garment that is made by the mother for the child as an extension of love and blessing. The design of this embroidery showed the well wishes of the mother, the hope that her child would become a zhuang yuan, the scholar who came first in the official examination. Since the Siu dynasty, the imperial court has set up a system of examination to find the best scholar to take up an imperial post. This is perhaps the only way to promote one’s status in a hereditary society.
In the embroidery, there is the zhuang yuan holding a bamboo while stepping on head of the Ao fish. 獨占鰲頭, occupying the head of the so fish alone, is a symbol of being the zhuang yuan for during the ceremony with the emperor the zhuang yuan will be standing on the head of a stone carving of the ao fish.
Have a great day!
Spike is rejoicing for the cancellation of this year’s firework celebration.
Textile Width 450mm, China
Fancy a striped shirt made with hand woven cloth?
Before that some stripes illusion.
These are a pair of wooden shuttles for the hand loom.
Anyone interested in weaving and other Chinese craftwork should watch out for the workshop organized by the Jin Ze Arts Centre, a not-for-profit art and craft organization aimed at the preservation and promotion of the fine tradition of Chinese craftsmanship by fostering exchanges of ideas and techniques between practitioners of traditional crafts and contemporary designers via innovative approaches.
Here is a weaving workshop held last March, wish I was there!
This embroidery band is for the tying the end of the trouser leg. This was part of a typical Chinese costume until the introduction of the western style garments, you can still see the older generation still keeping up this tradition. Along with the long Manchu grown “qipao”, the pot bottom shoes and the pig tail imposed in China by the Manchurian. Before setting up the Qing dynasty, the Jurchen tribe was a nomadic tribe who often spend their days on horse back, the puttee was a beautiful functional accessory for their costume.
This embroidery was taken from a du dou, a traditional Chinese under garment. Du dou for men and children are mostly decorated with embroidery, normally by the mother or the lover. This embroidery is one from the mother to the child, the pattern of the embroidery is filled with object of blessing.
In the middle is a TIGER, representing bravery.
Surrounding the tiger are 6 treasures (from 12 o’clock);
GOURD – charm against evils,
BOOKS – wisdom
FAN – inject life into the dead (one of the treasures of the 8 Immortals)
SAU KAU – love
SCISSOR – charm against evils
RHINOCEROS HORN – victory
PAINTINGS – scholarly
RIM DIA220mm, China
This felt hat is part of the Beijing Opera costume, it is one that is worn by the Chou (clown) character. Within the clown category, it is separated into the fighters and the intellectuals (I guess for clowns, this would mean the non-fighters). This hat is used by a type of intellectual clowns known as the Towel Clown (Jin Zi Chou) in the role of an old and amusing man. The most famous of the Towel Clown is Chong Gung Dou, the old guard who helped the loyal prostitute Su San to escape.
Textile Width 1140mm
This is a piece of tie dye fabric, the folds created by the tie is still visible on the cloth, like the sketch mark on a drawing. For me, these marks of process are very subtle and touching. There is a sense of human creativity verse the now computer aided design products.
To see the making of tie dye fabric click here.
Similar to the western wallet which began its life as a knapsack for carrying articles not restricting to money, the Chinese wallet too start as a bag for keeping items like handkerchief, seals and of course money. The use of the wallet dated back to the Han dynasty, on the Bezeklik cave painting, 12th century CE, one can see Uyghur princes dressed in Chinese style robes and hanging wallets on their waists. As time goes by the shape and decoration of the wallet became more and more elaborated.
This costume belonged to the wizard of the minority Dong tribe. In the villages of Guang Xi area, each village will have their own wizard, whom like Harry Potter are passed down from generations of wizards. The wizard would make offering to the gods as well as casting away the evil ghosts. Life in the villages are harsh, whenever sickness or other misfortune fell on a family, they would asked the wizard to see if the place needed cleansing.