Needlepainting – the art of “painting” with a needle and thread – is one of the most complex forms of hand embroidery. Realistic needlepainting is an art mastered by Chinese embroiderers in Suzhou, China. In this region of China, embroiderers create the most amazing masterpieces by hand using tiny silk threads
Creating various motifs by embroidery on pictures is a special type of technique. It is an embroidery with almost invisible silk threads. Silk threads create the impression of multi-colored light that flickers on the base of the picture. People are normally sensitive to beauty. This type of art is therefore highly valued and respected in the country from which it originates in China and throughout the world. Ink painting on silk is a more well-known technique, but silk painting is another type of painting technique. Silk embroidery is part of folk art and bears the stamp of the environment from which it originates. This technique is the most famous throughout China. The most representative works come from the provinces of Suchou, Yunan, Sichuan and Guangdong. The technique is traditional, although the images are contemporary. Individual paintings are made by several artists (artisans) at the same time and for many years. The pictures come from various time periods. Many paintings are contemporary copies of ancient works of art. The stamp from the original is transferred on all embroidery. The picture is more valuable if it has more stamps. Especially attractive are double-sided pictures in richly carved wooden frames (resembling lace). Artists (painters and craftsmen) create various motifs from diverse landscapes to portraits (for example, Johan Strauss). The pictures actually give an insight into the variety of needlework, silk, patience and skill.
Embroidery made with the “su” technique was created in the area of the Yangtze province with the center in Sucho. This embroidery is characterized by beautiful motifs, refined and elegant color, precise workmanship, variety of points and high skill of the craftsman (artist).
The embroidery “xiang” originates from the province of Hunan. It is recognizable by the effective use of the black-and-white production technique (from bright white to black with all shades of gray). The emphasis is on the contrast of light and shadow, thus creating a third dimension.
The embroidery “guang (or guandong)” is specific to the Chaozu region. It is a complex handwork with expressive colors, symmetrical motifs, various types of points and specific weaving. It is similar to the Western style of painting in the use of basic colors and the play of light and shadows).
“Szechuan” embroidery originates from the province of the same name, the center of which is Chengdu. These paintings are made on a satin or colored silk base. Clothes, bedding, even shoes and screens are decorated with this refined painting technique. The most common subjects are landscapes, flowers, figures, animals and various ornaments.
Portraits of white and brown cats have always attracted great attention. The cat’s hair looks so shiny and soft that the visitor wants to pet the cat in the picture.
All these painting techniques are admired by people who love painting and visit art galleries and art exhibitions. These techniques are part of the tradition of Chinese culture that is several thousand years old. This has resulted in the high skill of those who modestly call themselves craftsmen of this painting technique (although these people are artists).