Chinese silk, embroidery exhibition held in London

Updated: 2012-12-12 14:07


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LONDON - The Chinese Silk Culture and Embroidery Art Exhibition kicked off in London on Tuesday.

The two-day exhibition, held in the building of Bank of China's London Branch, brings together more than 150 pieces of works, some of which took months or even years to complete.

The exhibits include silk books, scrolls, as well as embroidered scarves, artwork and paintings.

An embroidery was based on a famous Chinese painting from the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), which showed court ladies adorning their hair with flowers. Artists spent a year to complete it, adopting the traditional Suzhou embroidery technique featuring flatness, evenness, thinness and denseness.

Another one reproduced French impressionist Claude Monet's Sleeping Lotus, using the crewel stitch technique to show the changes of color and bold strokes as appeared in oil paintings.

The more expensive piece at the exhibition, priced at 280,000 pounds ($450,856), was a double-sided six-fan embroidered screen. The craftsman spent two and a half years and used K'o-ssu, or silk tapestry technique with threads of more than 200 colors.

According to Chinese ambassador to Britain Liu Xiaoming, China, known as the first country in the world to grow mulberry trees and make silk, boasts a history of 5,000 years of silk production.

"Silk is the classical carrier of exchange between China and the West," he said. In the ancient times, the Silk Road linked China with the West. Liu hoped this exhibition could further strengthen the relationship between China and Britain.

His hope was shared by the Duke of York at the opening ceremony, who pointed out that the China-UK relationship had lasted for centuries. The two countries "are long-standing friends and trading partners," he said.

Zheng Guiquan, vice-president of the China Silk Association and CEO of Tong Yuan Co Ltd, believed that this exhibition could enhance exchanges between the two countries and help explore potential opportunities for cooperation between industries in both countries.

Some of the pieces on display are up for charity sale. The money will be donated to the Art Room, to raise self esteem and independence for disadvantaged children and teenagers.