Art-and-craft feast rolls through Shanghai Tourism Festival

Hu Min
Carnival of exquisite brocade and embroidery works, silk carpets and glazed ceramics pays tribute to ancient heritages.
Hu Min

An art and lifestyle carnival is rolling out at Baoku Culture Center inside the landmark Shanghai Tower in the Pudong New Area, taking visitors on a journey into the glamor of culture.

Patrons will share a magical journey to learn about traditional art and craft and China's 5,000-year splendid civilization. They will be able to explore a cultural silk road woven by brocade and embroidery, appreciate guochao (trend steeped in Chinese tradition) folk music and enjoy the fun of intangible cultural heritage handicraft.

The carnival is part of the ongoing Shanghai Tourism Festival and runs through October 17.

"The integration of culture and tourism is a trend in the development of the tourism industry, and the event is expected to provide high-quality experiences to residents and enrich their cultural life," said Sun Yu, deputy director of the publicity department and culture and tourism bureau of the Pudong New Area.

A highlight of the carnival is the exhibition "Brocade & Embroidery – Cultural Fusion on the New Silk Road." Visitors will be able to experience the exquisite techniques involved in brocade and embroidery and learn how silk is turned into colorful fabrics.

Following the footsteps of Belt and Road Initiative, the display comprises three parts – Embroidering the Land of Beauty, Weaving Diverse Cultures, and Exploring the Past and Future.

Together with immersive installation devices throughout the area, the exhibition presents brocade and embroidery pieces with strong visual effects from home and abroad, enabling visitors to experience the beauty of traditional craftsmanship.

The exhibition features the works of Shu (Sichuan), Cantonese, Suzhou and Hunan embroidery, random stitching embroidery, kesi, a Chinese silk tapestry known as "carved silk," and brocade.

The embroidery works by artists from Indonesia, Iran and Hungary are also on display.

The exhibition also includes glazed ceramics made by Iranian craftsmen which depict illustrations describing history and legends about love.

A silk carpet on display features the prototype of the oldest carpet in the world, the Pazyryk Carpet, which is now in the Hermitage Museum, Russia. In its center is a sun-shaped cross pattern composed of lotus flowers or roses, representing the harmony of the universe and the sun.

The exhibition also includes embroidery works featuring galaxies, nebula, and the universe. One replicates the starry sky captured through a space telescope by NASA.

The Suzhou embroidery series "Galaxy•Universe" is based on photographs and uses the unique artistic language of embroidery. With stitches and silk threads, the light and dark layers of space and nebula are presented. The background is embroidered with pins and needles.

Other objects such as a Chinese kesi machine and Persian rug machine symbolize the exchange of world cultures through specific techniques.

Nine traditional crafts such as porcelain and colored glaze can also be appreciated.

After experiencing the exhibition, visitors are invited to tour Half Garden on the 37th floor of Shanghai Tower. At 173 meters, it is the world's highest indoor Chinese garden, certified by Guinness World Records.

The garden, replicating Jiangnan (regions south of the Yangtze River) landscapes with bridge, brook and luxuriant plants, is a gem of the Baoku Culture Center.

The exhibition will open to the public during the upcoming National Day holiday. Between October 1 and 3, night tours will be organized to see flute performances in the garden.

A number of handicraft experiences such as making enamel works and coloring circular tuanshan, also known as the moon-shaped fan, are scheduled for children during the holiday.

Exhibition info:

Date: Through October 17, 10am-5pm
Venue: Baoku Culture Center, Shanghai Tower

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