Team:NEYCFLS China/Art

  • Arts−−NEYCFLS_China

  •      The traditional Chinese tie-dye has a rich history, which began at the Yellow River basin. As early as the Dongjin dynasty (year 408), The techniques for the traditional tie-dye has been near perfected; these techniques included simple designs such as butterflies and flowers. The traditional tie dye became popular during the Tang dynasty, when both the common and royal women wore tie-dyed clothing of different quality. Lower quality clothing used material such as cotton, while the more expensive ones used material silk. Later on, this technique spread its way to Japan, and then back to China, in Yunnan, where there is plenty of water and the weather is temperate, creating an ideal condition for this technique to develop; to this day, Yunnan is still the place where the most authentic, beautiful, and varied pieces of traditional tie-dye art pieces can be found. What is special about this type of art is its potential. A great tie-dye master of our generation, Yuzhong Zhang, created his pieces combining the techniques of oil painting, modern art, decorative painting, as well as traditional Chinese painting. This created effects of quaintness, roughness, as well as stillness within motion. With its many years of history, the traditional Chinese tie-dye has taken on many forms all over the world; in Japan and India, we can see the far reaching influences of this art form, which has today even become popular amongst younger generations across the world, though in the form of industrial dye. Aside from having such a rich history, the Chinese traditional tie-dye still is highly valued today. In various government meeting rooms, or on the garments of the meetings attendees, we can always see the traces of traditional tie-dye; it is considered as formal attire, and a very important part of our cultural heritage. Another thing that is really special about the traditional tie-dye is each piece’s uniqueness. Since such a form of art, in it’s truest form, cannot be mass produced, each piece is embedded with the toils of its maker. What’s more amazing is that, though technique may be used in similar ways, the sentiment each piece expresses are vastly different from each other. We can speculate from these patterns the creator’s mentality, his/her story, and his/her beliefs; the beauty is not in scrutinizing the details to see what a traditional tie-dye art piece is about, but in seeing an art piece and allowing it to amaze you in a natural, undisturbed way.

        Chinese artisans use tie-dying to create unique symbols representing profound Chinese culture: Gautama Buddha, who is regarded as the founder of the world religion of Buddhism; The Chinese dragon, a legendary creature in Chinese mythology. Chinese people regard the dragon as a sacred and auspicious creature; sacred lotus, symbolizing the character of mud but not stained, means the deep friendship with friends, and the sanctity of Chinese people. These symbols display Chinese loyalty to Buddhism, the harmonious relationship between inhospitable and kindhearted people, the inheritance of Chinese culture and traditions from generation to generation. As a reflection of these ethnic spirits, Nowadays, we can often see this traditional dyeing technique around us, such as various dolls, some cloth shoes, or hanging on the wall as decoration. We feel proud to inherit the method from industrious antecedents and try our best to extend this culture worldwide, letting foreigners interested in Chinese unique cultural backgrounds.

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