This embroidery piece is based on a partial section of the painting Crab by the well-known Ming-dynasty painter Xu Wei (1521-1593 AD), giving the crab the entire image. Having mixed glue in the ink to avoid permeation, the painter employed various techniques, thus creating a vivid crab with just a few strokes.
Crabs have been a quite rare subject in embroidery. In order to vividly illustrate the texture of the crab shell, the shape and gesture of the crab, the embroiderer skillfully employed various techniques including long and short stitches (changduan zhen, 长短针), broken-line-making stitches (xu zhen, 虚针) and color-transitioning stitches (can zhen, 参针) precisely reproducing the uneven surface of crab shell, transferring the ink charm of the painting onto the embroidery.
“Primrose Award” at the Second Oriental Headquarter Arts and Crafts Exposition in 2010