Woman Reproduces Song Dynasty Masterpiece in 22-meter Cross-stitch

April 16, 2015
Editor: Eileen Cheng

Xu Xiaomei, 44, a shop owner in Yiwu, east China’s Zhejiang Province, has recently finished her cross-stitch work "Along the River During the Qingming Festival", three years from the moment she decided to undertake the 22-meter work. [China News Service]

Xu Xiaomei, 44, a shop owner in Yiwu, east China’s Zhejiang Province, has recently finished an epic cross-stitch titled "Along the River During the Qingming Festival", three years from the moment she decided to undertake the 22-meter work.

"Along the River During the Qingming Festival" (Qing Ming Shang He Tu) is copied from a famous classical scroll painting by Zhang Zeduan (active early 12th century), a Song Dynasty (960-1279) artist. It captures the daily life of people in the ancient capital of Bian Jing (today's Kaifeng), revealing the lifestyle of all stratum of society, rich and poor, as well as different economic activities in the city. With over 800 figures and 26 bridges, it offers a stunning glimpse of the costumes and architecture of the period.

Given the heavy work entailed, few among China's thousands of cross-stitch lovers have had the courage to take on the highly elaborate project.

One day in 2002, when Xu was embroidering a simple cross-stitch in her shop, a customer came to visit and asked whether she would like to buy materials for a much more advanced 22-meter "Along the River During the Qingming Festival" kit produced by his company. Having never been engaged in such a work, she was inspired and accepted the "challenge".

Ever since the materials were delivered, Xu devoted herself to the "great work" around the clock, sometimes till as late as 2:00 in the morning. As a result, she developed severe pain in the waist and the neck, but banished all thoughts of "giving up halfway".

Bit by bit, Xu carried on her work, patiently and meticulously with every stitch. When the stitch-work was finally completed after three years of efforts, it was spread out on the local street, winning applauds and compliments from passers-by with its majesty and delicacy.

Part of the 22-meter cross-stitch of "Along the River During the Qingming Festival" [China News Service]

Part of the 22-meter cross-stitch of "Along the River During the Qingming Festival" [China News Service]

(Source: china.com.cn/Translated and edited by Women of China)

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