Craftswoman's Bio

Women of China (English) - - CULTURAL HERITAGE |巧手中国 - 林志文摄影:谭展鹏

healthy and happy."

Hao's home is filled with books on history and painting. She often visits art exhibitions. "One must make persevering efforts to improve his/her cultural competence, while he/she pursues artistic perfection," she has been quoted as saying.

Hao in recent years has put much effort into cultivating inheritors of the craft. So far, she has cultivated six Sichuan provincial masters of arts and crafts, two provinciallevel inheritors of the craft and two

Chengdu municipal-level inheritors

Chen Shaofang, an inheritor of the craft, has devoted her life to studying and saving the craft. During the past four decades, she has integrated the artistic elements of Westernstyle paintings and traditional Chinese paintings with the traditional Chinese embroidery techniques, and, as a result, she has developed "Chen's Guangdong-style embroideries."

Many of Chen's teachers and schoolmates were impressed by her outstanding talent in art when she studied at Zhongnan Fine Arts Vocational School (the of the craft. "I will cultivate more inheritors of the craft. I hope some of my apprentices will become masters of arts and crafts," says Hao.

Hao Shuping, who was born in Chengdu in 1945, is a State-level inheritor of the craft of making Sichuan-style embroideries and a State-level master of arts and crafts in China. Given her outstanding achievements in promoting the traditional craft, the World Crafts Council, a nongovernmental organization under UNESCO, in 2012 named Hao a master of arts and crafts in the Asia-pacific Region. She has won many prizes during national festivals and exhibitions over the past three decades. In addition to the National Museum of China and China National Arts and Crafts Museum, many of her works have been housed in museums in many countries, including Britain, the United States, Japan, Canada, Singapore, France and Malaysia.

Guangdong-style embroideries, one of China's four famous embroidery styles, has been popular with people the world over for a millennium. Countless people have been fascinated by craftspeople's exquisite embroideries, which portray figures, animals and plants in vibrant colors. The embroideries fall into one of two categories: Items made from goldfoil threads or items made from velvet. The former items are gorgeous and elegant, whereas the latter items, which usually depict flowers and birds, are exquisite and true to life. In 2006, China added the craft of making Guangdong-style embroideries to the list of the country's intangible cultural heritage.

The earliest records of craftswomen, who created the embroideries, was written during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). As the craft developed rapidly during the Song Dynasty, many ordinary people used embroidered items in their daily lives. The craft entered its golden age during the late Ming Dynasty. The embroideries, produced during the reign of Emperor Qianlong (1711-1799, sixth emperor of the Qing Dynasty), represented the acme of the craft. During that period, numerous craftswomen in South China's Guangdong kept busy by creating crafts all day, every day, in embroidery studios.

After the People's Republic of China was founded in 1949, the craft gradually developed to a higher level. However, the popularity of the art form started to wane during the 1990s, as many elderly craftspeople retired from embroidery plants and many younger craftspeople took other jobs, which were supposed to be less arduous and/or from which they could earn more money. In an effort to promote the development of the traditional craft, Guangzhou (capital of Guangdong Province) Embroidery Plant in 2003 brought together retired craftspeople to take on apprentices. That gave the ancient art form a new lease on life.

predecessor of the Fine Arts School Affiliated with Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts [GAFA]) from 19541958. During the following four years, while she attended GAFA'S department of traditional Chinese paintings, she learned painting skills from Guan Shanyue, Li Xiongcai and Yang Zhiguang, all well-known Chinese painters. Later, she took advantage of her painting skills to develop the embroidery-making craft.

Soon after she graduated from the academy, in 1962,

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