Craftswoman's Bio

Women of China (English) - - CULTURAL HERITAGE |巧手中国 -

to organizers of the Second "Lotus Cup" International Industrial Designs and Innovations Competition, hosted by the People's Government of Hunan Province. The event was held in 2010. Ye Shuiyun's work earned her the first prize of creative designs for tourism industry.

Given her outstanding contributions to promoting the craft, the UNESCO in 1996 named Ye Shuiyun a "Chinese folk artist in China." In 2007, China's Ministry of Culture recognized her as a State-level inheritor of the craft.

During the past two decades, Ye Shuiyun has provided training to more than 1,000 middle school students in western Hunan Province, to help them improve their craft-making skills.

"Few people are willing to study the craft these days," says Ye Shuiyun. "Why? It takes a lot of effort and the craftspeople receive very little pay for their brocades.

Also, an increasing number of young and middle-aged Tujia people in recent years have left home to work elsewhere to help with their families' daily expenses. As a result, there are few successors to the traditional craft."

A few years ago, Ye Shuiyun closed the Shuiyun Brocades Workshop so she could spend more time collecting the traditional patterns of the Tujias' brocades. So far, she has collected more than 300 brocade artworks created by elderly Tujia craftspeople. "I hope more people will see the exquisite artworks," says Ye Shuiyun.

Ye Shuiyun was born in 1967 in Yejia, a village in Longshan, a county in Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture, in western Hunan Province. She is a State-level inheritor of the Tujias' brocade-making craft and a State-level master of arts and crafts in China. During the past decade, Ye has received dozens of prizes during the national art forums and arts and crafts exhibitions. For dozens of years, many of her exquisite brocades have been housed in Harvard University, the National Art Museum of China, the National Museum of China, Chinese National Museum of Ethnology and other cultural organizations.

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