Old Embroidery Photos posted on October 02 2015 in Chinese Embroidery, Suzhou Embroidery

While cleaning up the files on my computer, I came across my stash of favorite images of people doing embroidery which I thought I would share with you :) I hope this will also motivate me to finish up a few projects this Fall!

Embroidering in the Tang Dynasty

Mending Cloak by or attributed to Han XiMeng (韓希孟) from the Ming Dynasty, my favorite ancient embroiderer. You can see more of her works at my post here: http://www.gossamerie.com/blogs/embroidery/17049803-lady-han

Embroidering in the Qing Dynasty

Shen Shou (沈壽) (1874-1921), probably the most celebrated embroiderer in Modern China, not long before her death.  In an embroidery manual she dictated during her illness, she said (or I think she said): "Since my teenage years, I worked on my embroidery day and night, often past midnight, with the aid of my lamp light.  This continued until my marriage without interruption.  Tasked with my household duties, I was further pressed for time.  Due to this, I fell into an illness.  These days I stop and walk around every two hours of sitting at my embroidery.  This is my earnest advice to you. (余自笲齡,畫夜有作,嘗過夜分,炷燈代燭。及於為婦,未懈而續。中饋之餘,晷催漏促,坐是致疾, 傷帶任督,今我權之。二時而足。或起或行。稍間而復。是謂繡節。致余忠告。")  I like how the tools do not appear to have changed much at all since the Tang Dynasty (circa 7-9th century) and to this day.

Jin Jing Fen (金靜芬) and her student Mo Zhi Hong (牟志紅), probably in the sixties.  Jin Jing Fen is a student of Shen Shou above. Around 1955, due to a series of personal calamities and the general tumultuous situation in China, Jin Jing Fen, now in her seventies, despite an illustrious embroidery career, was working as a servant in her nephew's Shanghai home.  When her friends in the newly established Communist government learned of her troubled situation, they helped her return to her native Suzhou to assume a teaching position there. 

Jin Jing Feng and Xu Zhi Hui (徐志慧), a student at the Suzhou Embroidery Research Institute probably in the sixties.  I love the relaxed attitudes and how you can perceive the gleam of the silk thread even in this black and white photograph. 

Lee EYing (李娥英), a former pillar at the Suzhou Embroidery Research Institute (SERI) and Suzhou embroidery in general, and my favorite modern embroiderer :) Born in 1926 in a village near Suzhou, she began to study embroidery with her mother since 10 years old and in 1954 was recruited into an organization the PRC organized in Suzhou to study and produce embroidery, which organization later became the SERI. 

Xu Zhi Hui (pictured above) some decades later.  I like her jovial expression here. 

A really small photo of Ren Hui Xian (任慧嫻)(a master of random stitch embroidery) but I love the image. 

Zhao Ming Zhu (趙明珠) my Chinese embroidery teacher visiting Canada in the eighties.

I like how the embroidery looks on the frame here. 

Tang Hui Qing (湯慧琴), a student of Lee E Ying above, finishing up a four year project, Music at Court

Tang Hui Qing putting last touches an embroidery reproduction of a Sung Dynasty painting, Listening to the Qin Under A Pine Tree

I think this lady might be an actress but I like the picture anyways. 

Yours Truly 15 years ago :)

A more recent photo :)

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