Hand Made Silk Tapestry of Ethnic Groups of China

Liu Bingjiang

Museum of Ethnic Cultures, Minzu University of China

Museum of Ethnic Cultures, Minzu University of China
Beijing, China

This silk tapestry is based on a painting by professor Liu Bingjiang from the School of Fine Arts, at the Minzu University of China. The Boyi Silk Tapestry Co.Ltd in Rugao, Jiangsu province wove this tapestry using a revival of traditional methods and materials. The craft of producing silk tapestries in China dates back over 2,000 years. Silk tapestries were an important element of the décor in Tang dynasty palaces, and were offered as tributes to the imperial families of subsequent dynasties until the art was lost in the early 20th century. After 1958, weavers in the cities of Rugao, Jiangsu and Zhuozhou, Hebei revived traditional techniques once thought to be lost. This tapestry is 8 meters in length and 2.8 meters in height, and depicts 61 people representing the 56 ethnic groups in modern China, showing the great cultural diversity of the country. The weavers used strands of silk in 130 different colors to spin over a thousand different shades of silk thread creating a lifelike spectrum out of silk. 6,500,000 knots were hand-tied by the weavers to produce this tapestry. As an example of a once-lost art, the difficulty of the painstaking technique, the complex artistic composition, and the extraordinary number of colors make the tapestry one of a kind.


  • Title: Hand Made Silk Tapestry of Ethnic Groups of China
  • Creator: Liu Bingjiang
  • Physical format: 8 x 2.8 (m)

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