Phase 3: Interpreting Information

Updated 1 week 1 day ago

In Phase 0 and 1, I have refined and reviewed my topic. In Phase 3 I will be researching my topic so I have a better understanding before I go to XiZou.

Background Information (From Phase 1)
I already have a little idea of what my topic is, however, I still do not know enough to prepare myself for the trip. From my research, I discovered those women in ethnic minorities (especially in Yunnan, where it is rich in culture) tend to wear delicate embroidery designs. Aside from clothing, embroidery is also used on wall hangings or framework. In some minorities, such as the Miao minority, embroider their history onto their clothing. Embroidery was first created the Zhou dynasty, however, this art form in Dali has been around since the Eastern Han dynasty. Their traditional embroidery style could be associated with dermatoglyphic patterns, and tend to symbolize auspiciousness. Their work values both aesthetics and utility. Despite my previous beliefs, Bai embroidery uses cotton and linen as raw material. Aside from Bai embroidery, there are 3 main schools of embroidery. These include the Yue (Guangdong), Su (Suzhou, Jiangsu), Xiang (Hunan province), and Shu (Chengdu, Sichuan). From a travel blog, I learned that there is a XiZhou Silk School. The school is owned by the long line of local family to study and continue the tradition of embroidery. From Microcampus alumni, I learned of a local embroidery workshop called "Happy Embroidery" or "喜绣坊" in Chinese. 
History of Embroidery
Embroidery began in the Zhou dynasty to signify position, wealth, and status. During the Han dynasty, where the silk road was created, silk and embroidery commerce flourished. From there, Chinese embroidery became known across the world. After the Han dynasty, embroidery became popular in expressing religious beliefs due to the introduction of Buddhism. The Tang dynasty greatly influenced the art of embroidery in China. Before then, the only method used in embroidery is chain stitching. The satin stitch introduced during the Tang dynasty gave more creativity and diversity to the pieces. New methods of stitching were derived from the satin stitch during the Song dynasty. At the same time, new tools and styles were developed and eventually created embroidered paintings. In the Ming dynasty, new materials were introduced such as paper thread, lace, and pure gold thread. Embroidery began to differ by province during the Qing dynasty, where different schools (as mentioned earlier) of embroidery were created. 
1. Yunnan Provincial Tourist Administration, "Embroideries That You May Show A Little Interest In."Yunnan Provincial Tourist Administration. Accessed April 15, 2017.
2. Cultural China, "Bai Nationality Embroidery and Dyeing Skill." Cultural China. Accessed April 15, 2017.
3. Wu, Annie, "Chinese Embroidery." China Highlights, January 4, 2016. Accessed April 15, 2017.
4. Merideth, "Yunnan Blog Post#2: Dali". Where In The World With Aunt Mer, October 18, 2016. Accessed April 15, 2017.
5. L., Ryane, "The Embroidery of XiZhou." SAS Microcampus. Accessed April 15, 2017.
6. GoKunming, "Happy Embroidery Workshop." GoKunming. Accessed April 15, 2017.
7. Cultural China, "An Introduction to Chinese Embroidery." Cultural China. Accessed April 15, 2017.
Hi! I am Audrey T., and I am Taiwanese-American. This is my 9th year living in Shanghai, and I am excited to discover life outside the city. I love traveling and learning about the diverse people and culture around the world. I really look forward to participating in Microcampus!