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Zu’s family embroidery: Art on fingertips

Updated:2018-03-29 18:15:26   english.yunnan.cn

As the founder of Zu’s family embroidery, Zu Yulan has uncommon artistic attainments and exquisite skills. She is capable of endowing patterns and images with life in her embroidery works.

Born in Yunnan, Zu Yulan is the founder of the Zu’s family embroidery. Because of her natural gift and diligence, she has made a lot of achievement in the craft. When she was 18 years old, Zu Yulan began to learn Guangdong embroidery from Master Zhuo Meitao. Later, out of her love for embroidery and her pursuit of improving skills, she learned Suzhou embroidery, Hunan embroidery and Sichuan embroidery, which, together with the Guangdong embroidery, are regarded as the Four Famous Chinese Embroideries.

After years of practice and exploration, Zu Yulan created the Zu‘s family embroidery, while integrating skills of the Four Famous Chinese Embroideries with those of Yunnan ethnic embroideries. The Zu’s family embroidery is also regarded as the “3D embroidery” which features more lifelike images and patterns. Whether the patterns are mountains and rivers or beasts and birds, Zu Yulan is capable of endowing them with life on the basis her uncommon artistic attainment and exquisite skills. 

The “One Hundred Horses” is one of her representative works, the completion of which took her one year and four months. It is 3.25 meters long and 0.45 meters wide. In the work, every horse has its unique color and poses differently. Totally, it consists of more than 4,000 different colors. 

Once, a Taiwan businessman offered 3.8 million Yuan to buy the “One Hundred Horses”, but Zu was reluctant to sell.

In 2009, Zu Yulan established the “Zu’s Family Embroidery Art Center” which aims to provide a platform for those who want to learn embroidery. Since its inception, the center has trained more than 2,000 people. And Zu has already been listed as one of the representative inheritors of Yunnan provincial intangible cultural heritage. 

Editor: Wang Shixue

Keywords:   Zu’s family embroidery