Millenary Canton embroidery: Embroidering the golden times

发布时间: 2017/5/16 15:16:00

   In the prosperous period of Canton embroidery history, there were more than 3,000 male embroiderers. But now, there is only one male master who keeps this needle art alive.


  Living in Haizhu District, Guangzhou, Xu Zhiguang is the only one male master of Canton embroidery now. Born in a family of embroiders, he is now the fourth generation master of this Canton embroidery family. As a living legend, master Xu has set a great example for male embroiderers in the entire industry.


  Born in 1931, Xu Chiguang first learned the skill at six, with the help of his father and grandfather. He has particularly specialized in embroidering people, landscape, animals, flowers and birds and he has tremendous experience at a very young age. In 1950, Xu Zhiguang was honored with Class 8 title, the highest rank for an embroiderer, the youngest male embroiderer who had this honor at that time. After several years after retirement, Master Xu was still invited to work as an instructor in an embroidery factory.


  Canton embroidery, which dated back to Tang Dynasty, together with Su embroidery,Xiang embroidery and Shu embroidery are called "Chinese four famous embroidery".Existing materials show that, Canton embroidery works enjoyed great popularity among royal families in the Tang Dynasty.


  One unique tradition in Canton embroidery is that male embroiderers outnumber their female counterparts who dominate embroidery art in other regions. Master Xu tells CIP News reporter that Canton embroidery is an indispensable part of his life and has helped him and his family survived through difficult times. He says that due to intense market competition in the old times, male embroiderers had no choice but were trained well and more skilled than their female counterparts to support their families. After a long-term development, male embroiderers outnumber the female embroiderers in Canton embroidery industry. However, with the continuous development of society and economy and rapid progress of science and technology, Canton embroidery is severely dismayed by machine embroidery and computer embroidery. Xu says that he hopes to find a male apprentice so that the skills will be carried forward future generations.  by Liu Peng



(Editor Jiang Shuo



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主办单位:中国知识产权报社 未经许可不得复制