The Imagination and
Creativity of Women|
Dialogue Between Shidong Miao Traditional Clothing and Modern
3rd Special Exhibition Gallery
March 3 – October 14,
Farming produces food to eat; embroidery produces clothing
to wear. Spinning of fine thread is needed to weave brightly colored cloth.
Laziness leads to poverty. Diligence leads to wealth. The wealthy wear fine
clothing, but the poor do not. A diligent father means well-stocked granaries
and a diligent mother means well-stocked closets. If you do not do these, you
are not much like our Shidong Miao people. If you do not do these, you are not
as good as other Shidong Miao people. --- From a Shidong proverb
The Miao are one of several ethnic minorities living
in the subtropical hilly or mountainous areas of Southwestern China. For
thousands of years, these migrating peoples have developed rich, cultural
traditions and they are increasingly being recognized for their extraordinary
handcrafted textiles and silver jewelry. Cloth, clothing and dressing up play a
uniquely important role in cultures. Their clothing has distinctive features
which vary from place to place. It is the area of costume where mythology,
technical skill, and cultural identity coalesce in vivid aesthetic expression.
Traditional Dressing of Miao
Shidong, a small port town, is situated on the banks of the
Qingshui River. It is known for its inexpensive silverware and embroidery.
Woman’s dresses from Shidong are considered the most gorgeous because of their
intricate embroidered dresses and splendid silver adornments. For the Miao
people of Shidong, embroidery and the production of clothing are measures of a
woman’s value. The needlework of theirs is both beautiful and important in
understanding the mythological world of the Miao people. It seems that Shidong
Miao women express themselves creatively through their dressing. In the 1980s,
outstanding female artisans began to be recognized in China every year on March
8, which was originally referred to as International Working Women’s Day.
Celebrating the Women’s Day on March 8, the National Museum of
Natural Science presents the fashionable exhibition titled “The
Imagination and Creativity of Women” in cooperation with the Textiles and Clothing Department of Fu Jen Catholic University.
The Imagination and Creativity of Women presents
the traditional clothing of the Miao women of the Shidong area, which is
compared and contrasted with the creations of a contemporary Taiwanese designer.
The objective is to carry out a dialogue among female artisans that transcends
time and space, as well as tradition and modern fashion.
Ms. Su Shu-chun, a fashion designer
and a faculty member in the Department of Textiles and Clothing of Fu Jen
Catholic University, was invited to present her designs based on the clothing of
the Miao women of the Shidong area. It can be said that this exhibition presents
two different worlds in terms of clothing design, as well as a dialogue between
tradition and modernity.
Clothing & Handbag Designed by
“I am especially interested in anthropological research, and
have visited several Miao villages. From their traditional living environment
and techniques used to produce clothing, a theme emerged,” said Su at the
exhibition opening reception, “That theme was overlapping. In the Miao
villages, I saw overlapping mountain ranges, dwellings and terraced fields among
the clouds and mist, and overlapping in the clothing of the Miaw women as well!”
continued Su, “I applied this theme to my designs.”
In this exhibition, 61 pieces of selected needlework of Shidong
women are displayed, including textiles, embroideries, paper-cut flowers, and
silver ornaments. Su provides this exhibition with 31 pieces works of her
contemporary design including dresses, bags, and accessories. Miss Hao Chau-hwa,
another Fu Jen's faculty member in the Department of Textiles and Clothing
supports the exhibition with 19 pieces of Shidong dressing according to one's
age. In addition to these finished products made by Shidong people or Taiwanese
designers, visitors are able to take a look at tools used by Shidong women to
weave, dye, and embroider.
Welcome to take a look at the beautiful needlework of Shidong
women, get a deeper understanding about the mythological world of the Miao
people, and make a comparison or contrast between the Miao traditional clothing
and Taiwanese modern designs.
- Guided Tours: 11 am & 2 pm
- Free Admission
The Imagination and Creativity of Women is organized by the
National Museum of Natural Science in cooperation with the Textiles and Clothing Department of Fu Jen Catholic