Explore Fiber is a collaborative website showcasing and exploring fiber as a fine art material.
Spend 5 minutes and watch this beautiful documentary video about this Buddhist technique of creating devotional images.
Hair embroidery is a particular technique practiced by lay Buddhist women to create devotional images. The embroiderers used their own hair as threads and applied them on silk to stitch figures. Scholars contend that this tradition started from the Tang Dynasty (618-907). However, the resurgence of this practice in the Ming period (1368-1644) was related to two historical factors: the spread of the cult of Guanyin, the most prevalent Chinese female deity, and the proliferation of embroidering Guanyin during late imperial China. In recent works on women’s talent, scholars have cursorily mentioned hair embroidery, but they have failed to study it in detail. Hair embroideries of Guanyin offer us a felicitous window on this tradition. Hair embroidery was a unique site where women externalized part of their body to communicate with Guanyin.
Communicating Guanyin with Hair: Hair Embroidery in Late Imperial China, Yuhang Li – 2011-2012 Postdoctoral Associate, Council on East Asian Studies at Yale University and Lecturer, Department of History of Art, Yale University – See more at: http://ceas.yale.edu/…/communicating-guanyin-hair-hair-embr…
Hair embroidered Tapestries by Yuan Miao.
Since the time of the Tang Dynasty, hair has been used to embroider sacred tapestries, which transmit the wisdom of spiritual leaders through generations. This video will take you to a remote town in the plains of southern China where you can witness the creation of these beautiful spiritual embroideries featuring the art of Yuan Miao, a dakini and zen master, and traditional Guanyins.
Film: Isaac Hernandez – http://www.isaachernandez.com/
Om mani padme hum, song by Yuan Mioa.
Music Produced by Shannon Michael Terry and Primal Future Now Music.