Wenzhou Hair Embroidery

Just as grass and woods symbolize the vigour and life of the land, hair, as part of the substance of human life inherited from the mother's body, conveys the message of life and embodies human spirit and vitality. With the natural huamn hair as the material and sewing neddle as the tool,hair embroidery boasts a long history and unique technique, thus enjoying the fame of "an art unmatched in the world". It follows the rule of formative art and creates very vivid images on the smoothly-stretched bottom of satin. The artistic works created by hair can last forever, possessing very rich aesthetic value and human connotation.
           Wenzhou hair embroidery is one of the famous traditional handicrafts in Zhejiang province. With a combination of the traditional technique of Yuan Dynasty (1206-1368) and innovation, it's famous for its distinguished regional features, exquisite technique and ever-lasting collection value. It advocates the creation idea of "adapting stitches to the grain of the subject and adjusting skills according to the mind and affection". It shows colorful daily life with superb artistic skills, laying emphasis on the characteristics of the images.The special material of human hair creates artistic works with unique fine grains, elegant and pleasant color, rich tier and subtle variation. Wenzhou hair embroidery can be divided into two kinds. The first is monochrome hair embroidery created with the hair of one human race; The second is color hair embroidery created with hairs collected from different human races.
           In 1991 Wenzhou Portrait Embroidery Institute (now Wenzhou Hair Embroidery Institute )was established by Wenzhou Teachers College (now Wenzhou University). In the past 20 years, many masterpieces have won awards successively, including "Shanhua Prize"(the highest award for Chinese folk literature and art) and "Gold Prize" at the China Arts and Handicrafts Masters' Works or Internaitonal Artistic Masterpieces Exposition. Under the firm support of the municipal government and Wenzhou University, "diplomacy through hair embroidery" has made great achievements. Many works have been on exhibition in New York(the Uunited Nations Headquarters), Holland, Malaysia, Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, Hong Kong and Macao. Some works have been presented as China's State Gifts to leaders in other countries and have won high praise. Now, the institute receives visitors from home and abroad, and accepts orders for hair embroidery works as precious gifts at state, provincial and municipal levels or as personal gifts.