Cantonese embroidery, folk product of the Pearl River Delta region, is one of the well-known embroideries in China among four. (Guangdong Museum, 2009) Cantonese embroidery is highly praised and typified by its full composition, vivid image, beautiful color, multiple embroidery techniques and smoothness and evenness. (Guangdong Museum, 2009) Nature or something related to auspiciousness are the major subject matters of Cantonese embroidery. Being located in the humid subtropical climate zone with plenty of sunshine and rainfall, flora and fauna in Guangdong are highly diversified. Therefore this became their source of inspiration and even affected their aesthetics. There are totally four types of Cantonese embroidery, including woolen needlepoint tapestry, bead embroidery, machine embroidery and Ding Jin Xiu (the use of silver and gold threads). Cantonese embroidery is found on wide-ranging things, e.g. hanging screen, clothes, shoes etc.
Cantonese embroidery’s oldest record and emergence can be traced back to Tang Dynasty. (Gong, 2010) While it started its export since Ming Dynasty, but exportation reached its height in Qing Dynasty due to the single-port policy. (Gong, 2010) The combination of East and West is one of the attractions for foreigners to buy Cantonese embroidery. Throughout the period of Ming and Qing dynasty, the quantity, quality and types of Cantonese embroidery increased dramatically. Foreign trade largely promoted the development and skill of Cantonese embroidery as techniques of Western oil painting are absorbed by Guangdong, such as perspective and light refraction etc. (Guangdong Museum, 2009) However it declined during the Sino-Japanese War and the lack of talents and market right now. (Gong, 2010)
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