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In the time-honored Suzhou, there is water under the petite bridge,  pavilions, terraces and open halls , dancing bamboos in the wind, white wall and black tiles , as well as the world-renowned Suzhou embroidery. Here is a poem by Li Bai: "The best dress to sing and dance is made of embroidery with golden silk thread and jade. Nothing could outshine this dress but the moon hanging in the cloudy night."

As the name suggests, Suzhou embroidery hailed from a county in Suzhou—the Wuxian County. But now it has reached everywhere around the Taihu Lake. It is one of the "Four Embroideries" along with Hunan embroidery, Guangdong embroidery and Sichuan embroidery.

Suzhou embroidery and southern China are both gentle and elegant. The earliest Suzhou embroidery was just some needlework for young girls who never set foot outside her chamber, longing for a husband to take her hand. Mothers taught their daughters and older sisters-in-law taught their younger. The legacy went on and on. Before a marriage was set in stone, the mother of the groom-to-be could tell if the bride would make a capable, gentle wife based on her embroidery. It was not until the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) that the art made it out of girls' chamber and took over the entire Suzhou, making the region "the embroidery market for southern China."

Ming writer Wang Ao concluded that Suzhou embroidery is "refined, exquisite, elegant and pure." In Chapter 53 of the Dream of the Red Chamber, Cao Xueqin wrote that a woman in Suzhou made embroidery patterns inspired by the flower branch drawings in Tang (618-907), Song (960-1279), Yuan (1271-1368) and Ming. Then she sewed poems with black threads, which was no different than fine calligraphy. This shows that early in the Ming and Qing dynasties, Suzhou embroidery had become famous in China for its vivid artistic expressions.

Suzhou embroidery was only a folk art, until painters of the Wu School put it in the fine arts hall of fame. As China became more open to the world in modern times, artists of Suzhou embroidery are innovating in their own way. Beyond the traditional ink paintings, capable embroidery artists are able to bring oil painting and line drawings to life. Between the Chinese and Western cultures, Suzhou embroidery has found its own unique spot.

Suzhou embroidery of our day has incorporated many new things without losing the classic ones. It even made it onto the international stage of contemporary art. In 2017, Yao Huifen, inheritor of Suzhou embroidery—a national intangible heritage—exhibited her works at the Chinese Pavilion of the Venice Biennale. The time-honored art with modern allure is composing its next glorious, legendary chapter that goes hand in hand with the trends of our times.

China Bouquet – Suzhou Embroidery

As the name suggests, Suzhou embroidery hailed from a county in Suzhou—the Wuxian County. But now it has reached everywhere around the Taihu Lake. It is one of the "Four Embroideries" along with Hunan embroidery, Guangdong embroidery and Sichuan embroidery.

China Bouquet – The Sunmao Geniuses

Sunmao is the most common structuring approach in ancient Chinese architecture and furniture. In the joint part of a component, the tenon is called sun, and the mortise is mao.

China Bouquet – Fujian Tulou

Tulou, or a "building made of earth," was first built by the Hakkas following the design concept of "men of nature", fengshui and good trigrams. Fending off mountain burglars and beasts, these houses are the homes the Hakkas live in and castles they guard. Now the drifting days are well behind us, but their earthen witnesses are still there, standing, for the next hundred years. The cultural and aesthetic values of Tulou cluster are increasingly prominent, inspiring artists in their creative process.

China Bouquet – Carve the Wood How It Would

In the hands of the most capable artists, timbers of different nature are charming in their own unique ways. This is why we say, "Carve the wood how it would".

China Bouquet – the Art of Chinese Lacquer

In China, people have been using lacquer for over 7,000 years since the Hemudu culture during the Neolithic Period. Ancient Chinese used to consider lacquer "solid in nature, brilliant in color".
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