Showing off in Shanxi

Updated: 2013-07-08 03:30

(China Daily)

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Showing off in Shanxi

Needlewomen from the embroidery center run by Fan Suping, a craftswoman from Heshun county, Shanxi province, demonstrate their skill at the fair. Wei Xiaohao / China Caily 

Showing off in Shanxi

Weaving on a traditional loom can also be an art. Wei Xiaohao / China Caily 

Near the entrance of the trade center, Guo Meihua had a prominent position to promote her paper-cuts, already well known in the province.

One of the province's top folk artists and paper-cutting masters, Guo attended the fair to exhibit a few of her award-winning paper-cuts and demonstrate her unique style of cutting and pasting on black, white and red paper. Her art is a blend of traditional paper-cutting with modern design and innovation.

The 48-year-old master turned her booth into a hot spot by doing small paper-cutting portraits free for visitors.

Like Guo, Fan Suping also thought the fair was an excellent opportunity to display her art, which is Shanxi-style embroidery. She displayed a few of her award-winning works on the wall of her booth.

The craftswoman from He-shun county hopes to promote her art to a broader audience.

Shanxi-style embroidery is sewn on layered linen.

"The cloth, pasted together one layer after another, is very hard and thick," she says. "So it's much harder to embroider on.

"It will take a skillful needlewoman one day to make just one small flower. To finish a half-square-meter work, it might take me two or three years."

Running a handmade embroidery center with about 60 employees, including about 20 part-timers, Fan says she is often short handed.

On the first morning of the fair, she closed an order of 2,000 pairs of innersoles with Shanxi embroidery. "It will be innersoles with our best-quality embroidery, which will cost 500 yuan a pair," Fan says.

She wants to recruit and train about 200 students from other parts of the province as it is "the only way to raise Shanxi embroidery to another level of development".

Showing off in Shanxi

A craftswoman concentrates on stitching the soles of handmade cloth shoes at the fair. Wei Xiaohao / China Caily 

Fan was not the only one who went home with large orders. According to the fair organizers, the first day of the event resulted in contracts worth about 73.5 billion yuan.

"This shows that investors from home and abroad are very aware of the great potential of our cultural industries," says Hu Suping, director of the Shanxi Provincial Publicity Department.

Cheng Hong contributed to the story.








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