Not Just Sunflower Seeds – Hidden Culture Behind China Contemporary Arts by Ai Weiwei

Written by Yuqing Yang

 

It is well known that the artist Ai Weiwei is a Chinese dissident, an activist for humanity. Most of his works are seen as a rebellion towards the Chinese government. This is typical Ai Weiwei perceived under a projected European understanding. The hidden cultural context behind his works is largely ignored.

 

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Ai Weiwei, 2012, photo Gao Yuan, courtesy of neugerriemschneider

 

Ai Weiwei was born in 1957, and his father Ai Qing was a famous poet. Ai Weiwei was young when his father was forced into hard labor during the cultural revolution, and this experience marks the generations of strives for artist freedom in his family.  Ai Weiwei also recognizes this kind of creativity in adversities in one of his interviews with BBC.

However, the audience in the West has generally ignored his cultural upbringing. The work Sunflower Seeds would be a perfect art work to reflect such cultural insights. Sunflower Seeds simply is made of one hundred million porcelain pieces in shape pf sunflower seeds, which are ubiquitous in Chinese daily lives. As Ai Weiwei further explains, “sunflower seeds are the most common object in China, no matter where you are, or poor, or rich, in remote areas or in the city.” His work is undoubtedly closely related to the Chinese people.

 

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As shown in the documentary film made for Sunflower Seeds, this huge amount of porcelain sunflowers was handmade by 1,600 craftsmen in Jingdezhen, a renowned town for its traditional porcelain production over 1,700 years. This is the hidden story behind Sunflower Seeds. The cohesive and enduring Chinese culture is embodied by the cooperation and compassion among the skilled workers and hand-making in a communal environment. That is why Sunflower Seeds is indeed “a piece of art which contains one hundred million pieces of art.”

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Ai Weiwei has observed the relationships between individuals and entirety during the production process. During the cultural revolution, it was common to see Chairman Mao surrounded by sunflowers as sunflowers were the symbol of people. The people were identical and characterless. However, when producing porcelain sunflower seeds, everybody took a different role; while producing at home, some tended the children, some cooked the meals. Together they formed a harmonious community.

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Porcelain, as a medium that connects thousand years of Chinese history, is also a cultural symbol here. Sunflower Seeds is likewise more of a cultural art work instead of a political one. It is another side of the “Made in China” phenomenon.

 

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Sunflower Seeds (detail), 2010. Ai Weiwei (b.1957). Temporary installation at the Turbine Hall of the Tate Modern, London.

 

 

 

 


About Interact China

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 12 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team! 
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

 

 

 

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Mr. Sea, Living Porcelain Sculpture — Bold Experiment by China’s Artist Geng Xue

Written by Yuqing Yang

 

Geng Xue is a rising young multi-media artist born in 1980s in China. She majored in sculpture and graduated from China’s most privileged Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2007. Geng Xue never ceases to innovate and experience with new media such as water color painting, filming, but her favorite medium is still ceramics.  She manages to create a new world and a new sense of aesthetic with ceramics.   

Different from last few generations of artists, her intention in choosing ceramics is to demonstrate many hidden aesthetic sides of porcelains. Drawing inspirations from ancient Chinese mythologies and classical stories, Geng Xue constructs a context for her works. The rare combination of translucent porcelains and dream-like classics somehow creates infinite room for imagination and leaves the audience in a fantasy world.   

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Left: Geng Xue’s biography; Right: a representative work of Geng Xue – Cadifu’s Mother, 2012

 

Geng Xue has held solo exhibitions over the globe. In one of her solo exhibitions at Klein Sun Gallery, New York – Mount Sumeru (the center of physical and spiritual universes in Buddhist cosmology), most of the sculptures feature different body parts such hands and heads as part of their ethereal surroundings. In this surreal world, porcelain as the main medium conveys a sense of both fluidity and flexibility.

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Ocean Roar, 2016

With previous achievements, Geng Xue went on and created the first porcelain film “Mr. Sea” (海公子Hai Gongzi in Chinese). It was a revolutionary combination of film and porcelain. The original Chinese story it was based upon was from Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio written in 1740, a collection that created an eerie world full of miraculous happenings.

Geng Xue intends to emphasize the dreamlike quality of a scholar’s erotic encounter with a snake spirit on a remote island in such an uncanny and strange literal context. She has combines it perfectly with the coldness and fluidity of ceramics and the camera movement.

 

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One scene from Mr.Sea; “It is not merely a ghost story.” Commented by Geng Xue

Geng Xue believes in a kind of inherent quality of ceramics, which she calls 瓷性 cixing. And the ancient Chinese literature with well-built aesthetics is the ideal channel to embody this nature of ceramics. In the artist’s understanding, the literary beauty consists of half other-worldliness and half elegance, which are the very essence of the Chinese culture.

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Check out the following video for a full trailer of the porcelain film, “Mr. Sea”!

 

 

 

 


About Interact China

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 12 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team! 
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

 

 

 

The History of Chinese Ceramics in 5 Minutes

Written by Yuqing Yang

The most well-known Chinese porcelain in the West is the blue-and-white porcelain. Charlottenburg Palace in Berlin has a “Porcelain Cabinet” decorated by the finest blue-and-white porcelains. Not so many people, however, are familiar with other forms of Chinese ceramics. In this case, you are missing out on a lot, because they should surprise you even more! So let’s embark on a time travel and explore this timeless beauty in history!

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The Porcelain Cabinet in Charlottenbug, Berlin, completed in 1706

To get to know the development of ceramics, the first question is – how were they made in the first place? The basic formula for ceramics is stones + high temperature (above 1200 ℃  ) + glaze, all of which would not be achieved without advanced industrial developments. For example, in early times such as Shang and Western Zhou dynasties (c. 1600 – 771 BC), the semi-celadons discovered only had some basic characteristics of modern ceramics.

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Proto-porcelain

After 1600-1700 years of trials and errors, in Eastern Han period (25 – 220 AC), the area called Shangyu (上虞) located in eastern China became the origin of modern ceramics. These ceramics were better manufactured and characterized by a layer of glass-like celadon glaze.

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In Song dynasty (960–1279 AC), the ceramic production reached its peak, and the techniques varied region from region. Among all, there were five main kilns () – Jun, Ge, Guan, Ru and Ding. Each of them produced ceramics of its own distinct style. For example, the potteries from Jun kiln were known for their changing colors and nature-and-animal-like appearances, and those from Ru kiln usually had light-colored glazes.

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Lotus-like warming bowl from Ru Kiln
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Rose begonia-like purple-glazed flowerpot from Jun Kiln

Since the ancient time, ceramics had gone through phases of glazing. Eventually, not only the color spectrum was expanded rapidly, colors could also be painted both under and over the glaze. For instance, in Ming dynasty (1368 –1644 AC), the famous blue-and-white porcelain for decoration was colored under the glaze.

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With the previous achievements, in Qing dynasty (1616 – 1912 AC), another material, enamel, was introduced in the manufacturing process from abroad. The patterns and images on these Faience ceramics usually came from poems and paintings. Every detail was taken great care of by the most talented painters residing in the imperial palace. These porcelains were mostly small objects such as bowls, plates, tea sets, etc., which were indeed the first-rate Chinese ceramics in history.

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So how do you like this brief introduction of ceramics? Let me know by commenting below! If you still want to know more about this fascinating history, you can surely benefit from the following video:

 

 

 


About Interact China

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 12 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team! 
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

 

 

 

The Charming Dizi: A Classic Woodwind of Traditional Chinese Music

Written by John Murphy

Are you interested in traditional music? Do you enjoy learning about Chinese culture? Well, today I would like to introduce you to the Dizi!

 

The Dizi is a truly enchanting Chinese instrument, primarily used in traditional and folk music. One legend says that the Dizi was originally invented by the Yellow Emperor, a Chinese deity said to be the originator of Chinese civilization. Interestingly, Archeologists have discovered that simple flutes existed in China up to 9000 years ago. It is no wonder that flutes are so deeply ingrained in Chinese culture. The modern Dizi in its current form can be traced back to around the 5th century B.C. As you can see, this is an instrument with a long history in China. The Dizi is not only worthwhile to learn about for educational purposes, but also to experience beautiful sounds that exemplify Chinese music!

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Historically, the Dizi was popular with everyday people because it was portable, lightweight, and easy to make (being carved out of bamboo). Nowadays, it is a great instrument to play for fun and also to increase your musical knowledge. For someone who isn’t from China, the Dizi allows them to experience new sounds that may not be present in the familiar Western repertoire of instruments. Dizi are usually made of bamboo. In the past, Dizi were made with a single piece of bamboo, but as this is difficult to tune, a musician named Zheng Jinwen redesigned the Dizi to utilize a copper joint which would connect two smaller pieces of bamboo. This allows the length of the bamboo to be changed, which allows players to alter the pitch of the Dizi.  

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The Dizi differs from western woodwinds in one key way: the addition of an extra hole. Most flutes, of course, have a blowing hole and finger holes, but the Dizi also has a special hole known as the mo kong. A tissue-thin membrane called the dimo (the “di-membrane”) is laid out over this hole and secured with animal glue. This adds harmonics to the Dizi’s sound which creates a buzzing in the final tone.

Here’s a fun fact: the first famous western player to be known for his skill in the Dizi is a Canadian woodwind player named Ron Korb. He graduated from the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Music with a degree in performance. In many of his recordings, the Dizi has the role of lead instrument. Ron Korb is certainly a pioneer of the Dizi in the western world, and in time, it is likely that many others will join him in appreciating this fantastic instrument!

Ron Korb rocks the Dizi in this video featuring the song “Ancient China” from his album Asian Beauty:

And here is another video showcasing very talented Chinese musician playing the Dizi: 

We can see how this instrument produces a truly majestic sound. There isn’t a better way to appreciate the subtleties present in Chinese music than giving authentic songs like these a listen. Share this video with your friends if you think they’d appreciate the sound of Dizi!

While trying a new instrument may seem intimidating at first, whether you are already a woodwind player like Rob Korb, or someone brand new to music, the Dizi at first glance is straightforward and accessible to everyone. However, many experts utilize several advanced techniques when playing the Dizi. This includes: circular breathing, slides, popped notes, harmonics, and double-tonguing, amongst many others. You don’t have to know the ins-and-outs of all these techniques to see that the Dizi allows room for a master player to truly shine and demonstrate his or her abilities.

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Hopefully, this inspires you to check out other traditional Chinese instruments and take a look at more Dizi songs online! Definitely share what you like with your friends, and if you feel like undertaking a new adventure, maybe purchasing a Chinese instrument is just what you need to add some new excitement to your life! At Interact China, we don’t only want to give you an enriching education on oriental aesthetics, we want you to immerse yourself in a new culture. And most importantly, have fun! 

 

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide” 

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Kungfu Clothing, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

 

 

A Quick Look to Chinese Teapots Through the Centuries

written by Francesca Zhu

I love tea because of its tasteful aroma and warmth giving me a refreshing break from everyday tasks. I mostly use teabags and a mug, which make tea preparation simple and quick. However, I went to the British Museum last week and I saw a variety exquisite teapots and cups of different sizes and materials, dating back hundreds of years. And it made me realize the long history and the precious tradition of tea drinking behind that aromatized drink inside my daily mugs. Hence, I did a bit of research about teapots and cups utilized in tea preparation that I would love to share.

Tea drinking started in China as early as 3rd century AD. Back then, people used to boil tealeaves with spices such as ginger, leek, mint, and orange peel. Thus, it was more like a food.

In the Song Era, people introduced Mo Tea (matcha) by heating the tea leaves, compressing them into a cake, grounding it into powder, and adding it to hot water. Tea drinking became a culture. Parties were organised and poetries were composed. Teas were stored in black-blazed tea jars and drunk from black-glazed tea bowls, mainly made in Fujian and Jiangxi.

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It was more during the Ming Dynasty that people started to infuse loose tealeaves into teapots. It was a delicate procedure as the quantity of leaves and the temperature of water had to be carefully controlled. Teapots were at first in big sizes as people wanted to drink many cups from one pot but the tea was infused for too long and the taste became bitter and less fresh. Hence, teapots became smaller and smaller from then on.

The most cherished teapot by tea amateurs was the one made from Purple Sand of Yixing, for its ability to bring out and preserve the flavour and the colour of tea. This is because the pot itself is able to absorb the flavour, which is the reason why one pot should only brew one type of tea in order to avoid mixing up the tastes of different teas.

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Another type of material is pewter. Although teapots made from this metal were less aesthetically appealing, they were appreciated for keeping the drink warm for longer time.

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Porcelain teapots also emerged during Qing Dynasty, popular for its cleanness. These were typically made of blue under-glazed porcelain with floral decorations, which became extremely popular in the Western countries.

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Alternatively to using teapots, during Qing Dynasty, it was also common to brew tea directly in the cup, well covered, standing on a saucer. This was ideal for preparing tea for one person. This traditional cup is called “Sancai Bowl”, which has a deep meaning: the cover represents the heaven, the saucer the earth, and the cup the human being. These teacups were normally made of porcelain.

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Different ethnicities have different customs. Notable for their handicrafts skills are the Tibetans in West China. Qianlong Emperor used to order porcelain ewers, decorated with colourful floral patterns and animal figures.

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More fascinating are the large red lacquer jugs, decorated with carved dragons and geometric patterns. They were used to serve Tibetan butter tea, prepared by adding yak butter and salt to the fermented tealeaves and warm water. The jug can also be found in copper or wood.

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Tea culture is well preserved from the Ancient China until today. Almost every household has a set of tea implements and a variety of tealeaves, which are meant to welcome and treat visitors, so they can chat while drinking tea.

Having said that, I hope that next time that you are having tea this story can remind you of the rich tradition of hundreds of years.

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide” 

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Kungfu Clothing, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team! 

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

CHINESE LADY LINGERIE IN ANCIENT CHINA (6) Time-Travel Dudou

Written by Gioia Zhang

 

In recent years,oriental beauty has been increasingly favored by designers all over the world. Dudou is considered as one of the most classic elements on both domestic and international fashion show stages.

In 2015, Taiwan’s leading lingerie brand, Wacoal, held a grand 45th Anniversary feast in Taipei (the capital of Taiwan). They made a special display of antique Dudou that have been collected over the years.

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Beginning with six sets of antique Dudous,the event then featured ten sets of creative Dudous. Wacoal used modern technology of papercut, 3D print, and LED to present ancient Dudous to audience.

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In the same year, a fashion designer brought Chinese style to the London Fashion Week. He combined traditional Chinese embroidery with western-style tailoring. This changed westerners’ impression of the Chinese Dudou. Styling it on a western male model showed another interpretation of the Chinese Dudou to the world.

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In the 2015 Shenzhen Fashion Week of Original Design, fashion designer Sun Haitao designed a collection of creative children’s clothing using the element of Dudou.

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Not only on the stage, but also in the deep alleys of Beijing there are Dudou brands. One example is Pillowbook, a lingerie brand studio. It differs from the traditional design of the souvenir shop which have large red embroidered pattern. Pillowbook uses simple lines. The use of traditional pane element on the neckline design shows us a different Chinese style. This brand creates their product exclusively with silk cloth. They pack their products with rice paper and there is a handwritten washing label and a rope tie. The Dudou of Pillowbook can be worn both inside and outside. The designer Irene looks forward to adding more modern elements to Dudou and integrating them naturally into daily life.

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Different people have different interpretations of traditional Chinese lingerie. We hope that more and more people would be willing to spend time in appreciating those beautiful handcrafted products and Chinese culture. At the same time, it would be great if more and more designers give Dudou new interpretations to preserve and spread the artistic and skillful design over the world.

 

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide” 

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Kungfu Clothing, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

CHINESE LADY LINGERIE IN ANCIENT CHINA (4) – Exquisite Techniques

Written by Gioia Zhang

 

A variety of techniques are used in the decoration of traditional Chinese women’s lingerie such as embroidery, inlay, appliqué, patch and more. Those techniques have distinctive processes and fine degree.

“Embroidery” is divided into four major categories, satin stitch, coil stitch, hand sewn stitch, and braid stitch.

  • Satin stitch is also called painting embroidery. The embroidery patterns are mainly in small size, and the stitches are parallel and arranged neatly. It was used more common in the Song and Yuan dynasties.

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Part Dudou: Period – The Late Qing Dynasty

 

  • Among all kinds of coil stitches, seed stitch is the most distinctive one. Though the stitching process is simple, it produces a solid aesthetic effect.

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Part Dudou: Period – The Late Qing Dynasty

 

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  • Hand sewn stitches are hand sewn sequins and appliqués used to decorate lady lingerie.

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Part Dudou: Period – The Republic of China Era

 

  • Braid stitch was not used very much in traditional Chinese lingerie. In general, the ancient people in China used “cross-stitch embroidery”.

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Part Corset: Period – The Republic of China Era

 

The ancient people of China were good at decorating lingerie with golden line embroidery.

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Part Dudou: Period – The Middle Qing Dynasty

 

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Part Dudou: Period – The Republic of China Era

 

 

“Inlay” refers to the use of a decorative strip of cloth /lace /embroidery sewn on the edge of underwear to form a decoration. This brocade (a type of tightly woven fabric) shows the idea of trimming the edge with exquisite silk.

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Part Corset: Period – The Middle Qing Dynasty

 

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Part Corset: Period – The Republic of China Era ·

 

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Part Corset: Period – The Early Qing Dynasty

 

“Trimming”/ “rolling off” is the process of wrapping the edges with cloth.

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Part Corset: Period – The Middle Qing Dynasty

 

“Appliqué” is a quick stitching decoration technique, an integration of embroidery and other processes to form a flat or semi perspective effect.

 

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Dudou: Period – The Late Qing Dynasty

 

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Dudou: Period – The Late Qing Dynasty

 

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Dudou: Period – The Late Qing Dynasty

 

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Dudou: Period – The Late Qing Dynasty

This Dudou is appliquéd with pre-cut patterns and decorated with satin stitch.

 

The “patching” is a process of sewing different pieces of cloth together. It has the meaning of “mending the deficiency” and is the icing on the cake for the Dudou.

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Paddy Field Dudou: Period – The Late Qing Dynasty

 

Exquisite craftsmanship is also reflected in the arrangement of layers and the refinement of the decorations. Decorating the connected parts with frog buttons make the underwear more attractive.

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Dudou: Period – The Late Qing Dynasty

 

The garment technique of Chinese traditional underwear is in line with the concept of “harmony between man and nature” and, in particular, the “round sky and square earth” theory. The lower part of the garment is “the circle shape in the front and the square shape in the back”. Putting the pattern of the Ruyi and butterfly in front of the chest is a metaphor of “lucky arrival ”.

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Part Nashao: Period – The Late Qing Dynasty

 

The ancient Chinese people also use batik, hand-painting and other techniques to enrich the style and effect of women lingerie.

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Underwear Cloth: Period – The Republic of China era

 

They not only use silk, brocade and other premium quality fabric, they also use homespun cotton, cambric and fine bamboo to create lingerie.

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Hollowed Out Clothes: Period – The Late Qing Dynasty

 

To connect each part with bead is also one of the most ingenious techniques.

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Dudou: Period – Late Qing Dynasty

 

The spinning technique weaves and wraps fabric into different kinds of tassels. This is very imaginative.

 

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Part Dudou: Period – The Late Qing Dynasty

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Dudou: Period – The Late Qing Dynasty

 

The beautiful lingerie was made simply by a small piece of cloth and with different stitching methods. The lingerie had infinite possibilities of design, full of imagination and creativity. The wisdom of ancient people in China has amazed the world!

 

This article refers to 《Fantasy Beyond Body: The Civilization of Chinese Underwear in Ancient Times》

 

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide” 

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Kungfu Clothing, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Chinese Shoe Culture(IV)The Multi-Layer Sole

Written by Gioia Zhang

 

The craft of multi-layer-sole cloth shoes was a remarkable achievement in Chinese shoe making history, carrying tremendous history, culture and craft value. It has been listed on China’s second intangible cultural heritage list since 2008. The shoe sole is made of many layers of cloth stitched together under fine processes.

The earliest shoes with sewn soles began in the Zhou dynasty. According to archeological research, these stitched soles were first used in the army because of the requirement for abrasion-resistant shoes. Then, these shoes with sewn soles become popular among the public. This was the first time that friction theory was used in shoe design in China.

4 multilayer shoes.jpeg

In the Qing dynasty, sewn sole shoes evolved into multi-layer-sole shoes which is famous around the world. There is a set of strict procedures for the making of multi-layer-sole shoes. The shoes are good at heat releasing in summer, and can keep feet warm in winter. The modern multi-layer-sole shoes are quite different from the traditional ones. Whether in design or in material, modern multi-layer shoes align with the current aesthetic trend of returning to nature.

4 内联升大鱼海棠系列女鞋.jpgNeiLianSheng Women’s Shoes Series with Big Fish and Begonia Design

(NeiLianSheng is a brand)

4 内联升西瓜圆口布鞋.pngNeiLianSheng’s Watermelon Round-Opening Sewn Shoes

4 内联升千彩女鞋.jpgNeiLianSheng’s Colorful Women’s Shoes

4 内联升织锦婚鞋.pngNeiLianSheng’s Brocade Wedding Shoes

4 内联升蓝印花布方口女鞋.jpgNeiLianSheng’s Indigo Printed Square-Opening Women’s Shoes

4 内联升花卉女鞋.jpgNeiLianSheng’s Floral Women’s Shoes

4 内联升纯手工僧侣凉鞋.jpgNeiLianSheng’s Handmade Monk Sandals

4 内联升锦衣卫手绘工作鞋.jpgNeiLianSheng’s Imperial Guards’ Working Shoes

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide” 

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Kungfu Clothing, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Chinese Shoe Culture(V)Colorful Tribal Shoes

Written by Gioia Zhang

 

The vast and fertile land of China gives birth to multi-ethnic cultures. Footwear also shows astonishing changes with civilizations from different geographical circumstances.

5满族黑贡呢云纹双梁花鞋.jpgManchu Black Tribute Flower Shoes with Double Beams · The Late Qing Dynasty and Early Period of the Republic of China

Manchu women wore flag shoes, and Manchu men wore boots. Most of the flag shoes were embedded with double beams, but some were sewed in cloud patterns with brocade, called “cloud shoes”. Manchu women’s shoes were divided into flat sole types and high sole types. Some of the high-sole shoes had the design of a “horse hoof”.

5藏族红黑毛呢绣花长靴.jpgTibetan Thigh Wool Boots with Red and Black Embroidery · Contemporary

There are many kinds of Tibetan boots, which can be roughly divided into 3 types: cow leather boots, corduroy boots, and woolen cotton boots. However, there is no difference between men and women’s boots. They were only different in height and thickness.

5侗族挽针绣翘头绣花鞋.jpgDong Tribe’s Warped Head Shoes with Double Chain Stitch Embroidery · Contemporary.

5侗族马尾绣翘头绣花鞋.jpgDong Tribe’s Warped Head Shoes with Horsetail Embroidery · Contemporary

The Dong tribe’s embroidered warped head shoes, also called “hook shoes,” had a pointed end like a ship’s bow or an ox’s horn, a symbol that payed respect to nature and animals. Many Chinese ethnic groups make symmetrical shoes. This simplifies the shoe-making process, and also reduces the difference in abrasion between the two sides caused by constant wearing.

5鄂温克族犴皮靴.jpgEwenki Tribe’s Dog Skin Boots · Contemporary

Before the late Qing dynasty, the Ewenki people made all their clothes from animal skin, as they lived in a cold region and made use of animal husbandry. Their hide boots were warm, portable, and resilient. Walking with Ewenkian hide boots in snow and in mountains made only tiny sounds, which was helpful for hunting.

5鄂温克族犴腿皮靴.jpgEwenki Tribe’s Dog Skin Boots · Contemporary

Ewenki people wear dog skin boots all year round. Generally the summer’s boots are hairless. In winter, people put wula grass, one of the three treasures of Dongbei province, in their shoes to keep their feet warm.

5青海互助土族绣花鞋.jpgEmbroidered Shoes of Tu Ethnic Group in Qinghai Province · Contemporary

5青海互助土族腰鞋.jpgThigh Boots of Tu Ethnic Group in Qinghai Province · Contemporary

Tu embroidery features delicate stitches, vibrant colors, compact woven structures, and is easy to preserve. Patterns on these shoes are mainly made by simple stiches using bright colors, and show the unique artistic attraction of the Tu people’s embroidery. Rainbow-patterned decoration is usually on Tu women’s clothing, and therefore the ethnic area in Qinghai province is known as the “rainbow town”.

5四川茂汶羌族花鞋.jpgEmbroidered Shoes and Hand-sewn Soles of Maowen Qiang Ethnic Group in Sichuan Province · Contemporary

The cloud shoes, often with embroidered soles, are homemade cotton shoes which the Qiang people wear on holidays. The shoes represent love in Qiang’s traditions.

5赫哲族鱼皮鞋.jpgFish Leather Shoes of the Hezhen Ethnic Group · Contemporary

The Hezhen ethnic group lives along the Songhua River, earning their livelihoods by fishing and hunting. Using fish skin to make clothing, including jackets, pants, bags, and shoes, is the Hezhen ethnic group’s distinct traditional skill.

5白族女花鞋.jpgEmbroidered Shoes of Bai Ethnic Group · Contemporary

Ladies from the Bai tribe also have handmade shoe traditions.

5保安族黑贡缎刺绣女夹袜.jpgBlack Sateen Embroidered Women’s Socks from Baoan Ethnic Group · Contemporary

The Baoan ethnic group’s traditional “shoe-socks,” also known as “worship shoes,” are usually taken off in mosques. Since the bottom of the socks are the hells are shown during worship service, the Baoan people sewed exquisite flower patterns to the bottom of the heel of the “shoe-socks.”

As we can see, there are countless achievements of Chinese handcrafted art.

 

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide” 

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Kungfu Clothing, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Chinese Shoe Culture (VI) The Spirit Under Foot

Written by Gioia Zhang

 

In northern China, children often wear animal shoes. These animal shoes are a traditional type of embroidery made using the applique technique, where cotton, linen, and other materials are stitched into a variety of patterns.

Women found that children’s shoes were particularly vulnerable to breaking, so they cut clothes into many animal prints and sewed them on the shoes. This not only increased the wear resistance of children’s shoes but also made them have a very interesting aesthetic.

6虎纹婴儿靴 民国.jpgTiger Head Baby Boots · Republic of China

6虎纹婴儿鞋 民国.jpg

6虎纹婴儿鞋 民国2.jpgTiger Head Baby Shoes · Republic of China

Chinese people devote a particular care to wearing shoes. They traditionally believed that wearing tiger head or lion head shoes could dispel evil spirits and bring peace, as tigers and lions are the kings of animals.

6狮子纹童鞋  民国.pngChildren’s Lion Shoes · Republic of China

 6狮子纹婴儿鞋 民国.jpgBaby’s Lion Shoes · Republic of China

6平针绣狮子纹婴儿连脚裤 民国.jpgBaby’s Plain-stitched Lion Pattern Pantyhose · Republic of China

6猪纹婴儿鞋 民国.jpgBaby’s Pig Shoes · Republic of China

 These pig shoes carry parents’ best wishes for their babies to be healthy and grow strong, as pigs both eat well and sleep well.

6龙纹带须婴儿靴 民国.jpgBaby’s Dragon Boots · Republic of China

The dragon, an auspicious totem in Chinese culture, is a popular design in Chinese clothing and adornments.

6猫头鞋 民国.jpgBaby’s Cat Shoes · Republic of China

6兔紋婴儿鞋 民国2.jpg

6兔紋婴儿鞋 民国.jpgBaby’s Rabbit Shoes · Republic of China

Sewing animals on her children’s shoes not only shows a women’s gratitude for nature, but also expresses good wishes for her children’s feature, hoping they grow up to resemble these lovely spiritual animals.

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide” 

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Kungfu Clothing, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!