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Chinese Embassy in UK
Home > China-UK Events > 2012
"The Chinese Silk Culture and Embroidery Art Exhibition" Held in London
2012/12/13

On the morning of December 11, the Chinese Silk Culture and Embroidery Art Exhibition, sponsored by China Tong Yuan Co., Ltd., was held at the Bank of China London Branch. Over 100 people attended the opening of the exhibition, including Chinese Ambassador Liu Xiaoming, His Royal Highness the Duke of York, Sir Geoffrey Howe, former Deputy Prime Minister of the UK, and other senior figures from the British government, business and cultural sectors, representatives of the Chinese organizations and overseas Chinese.

In his speech Ambassador Liu first warmly welcomed to London this Chinese Silk Culture and Embroidery Art Exhibition, calling it “a visual and cultural feast”, which provides visitors a rare opportunity to experience the richness of Chinese silk and embroidery culture.

As Ambassador Liu said, the exhibition will take the visitors through the long history of Chinese silk and embroidery. Silk was first produced in China more than 5000 years ago. The skills of hand-made embroidery in China date back over 2000 years. In China silk and embroidery are both a handicraft and a refined art form. It has evolved to be an essential part of the Chinese culture. The quintessential pieces shown here are both traditional and modern. They are traditional because they have been created with the age-old weave and stitch techniques. They feature animals, flowers, tell fairy tales and folklore. They stress traditional Chinese values of harmony between humans and nature. These works are modern because they also reflect the colorful contemporary life of Chinese people along with their dreams and pursuits. These have brought this ancient art form up-to-date. Together these works present a symbol of the high arts and sophistication of Chinese culture.

Ambassador Liu also said that this exhibition spoke volumes about interaction between Chinese and Western civilizations. The recent 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China stressed the need to carry forward fine Chinese cultural traditions. But at the same time the Congress stressed drawing on the best of foreign cultures through cultural exchange. Silk is the earliest and most classical media for cultural exchange between China and the West. The ‘Silk Roads’ were at first overland. Later these trade routes greatly expanded in volume through maritime exchange. Whether by sea or land, trade in commodities greatly spread cultural exchange. In the process of our cultural exchanges Chinese embroidery artists have also been inspired by Western painting, including Western perspective drawing and chromatology. The result is that they have diversified the style of their works. This has challenged them and the result has been the recreation of some European masterpieces.

In the end, Ambassador Liu wished the exhibition a great success. He also wished China-UK relations a future as bright as shining brocade!

Prince Andrew, accompanied by Ambassador Liu, Mr. Zheng Guiquan, Chairman of China Tong Yuan Co., Ltd., and Mr. Fang Wenjian, General Manager of the Bank of China London Branch, joined the exhibition and spoke highly of the Chinese silk and embroidery works which displayed high level of artistic talent and craftsmanship. In his warm address, Prince Andrew said that both China and the UK are globally influential countries with a profound history and a splendid culture. The cordial relationship between the two countries started many years ago. He wished the exhibition a complete success and wished for the continued development of China-UK relations in the next year.

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