Shanghai Woolen Needlepoint Tapestry exhibition picks up the threads of cross-cultural art exchange

The opening ceremony of the Shanghai Woolen Needlepoint Tapestry exhibition on July 4 was the first summer event at the Center this year.

On the evening of July 4, the Shanghai Woolen Needlepoint Tapestry exhibition was officially inaugurated. This was a perfect opportunity for the Belgian and European audience to discover this exceptional art. As organizers, the China Cultural Center in Brussels, the Shanghai Museum of Arts and Crafts and the Shanghai International Culture Association were delighted to welcome around 120 guests to the opening ceremony held at the Center, with the support of the Shanghai Culture and Tourism Administration and the Shanghai Municipal Commission of Economy and Information Technology.

Before the exhibition was publically unveiled, a woolen needlepoint workshop took place. Mrs. FAN Shujun led the workshop and taught the participants various skills and techniques that are necessary to realize a woolen needlepoint tapestry. With these tools, the participants could finish their work, a woolen needlepoint cartoon panda, on their own time.

After the workshop, the official ceremony began, which was attended by special guests H.E. Ambassador CAO Zhongming, of the Chinese Embassy in Belgium; Mr. XIANG Shihai, Counselor of Culture of the Chinese Embassy in Belgium; and Mr. CHEN Yuqi, Vice Director of the Shanghai Museum of Arts and Crafts.

In his speech, Mr. GE pointed out the charm and the value of Chinese craftsmanship: “The Chinese culture is really extensive and profound; the artworks exhibited here are Chinese national non-legacy artworks. Thanks to this exhibition, we can feel the spirit of Chinese craftsmanship; some of these tapestries need more than one year, even two years to be created.” 

Addressing the audience, Mr. CHEN explained the history of woolen needlepoint tapestry, which originated in Europe, but was introduced in China at the end of the 19th century. Since then, Shanghai has become a flourishing base for Chinese embroidery artists, who reformed Western woolen needlepoint craftsmanship with the help of local silk embroidery techniques. Further innovation and development of needle skills enriched this Chinese craft and now, the emergence of Shanghai woolen needlepoint tapestry is the symbol of the internationalization of Chinese handmade art.

Subsequently, H.E. Ambassador CAO congratulated the success of the event and expressed his warm welcome to the representatives of the Shanghai Museum of Arts and Crafts. He voiced that embroidery is an outstanding symbol of Sino-European cultural exchanges. He hopes that this exhibition will stimulate the emotional resonance of the Chinese people, promote cultural exchanges, and build an artistic bridge for China-Belgium friendship.

The exhibition’s works include recreations of paintings by Western artists, Chinese as well as European natural scenery and cultural landmarks. There was a pleasant atmosphere as the unique blend of Eastern crafts and Western traditional art enchanted the visitors.

Shanghai Woolen Needlepoint Tapestry exhibition
July 5 – September 18
Open Monday to Friday according to the opening hours of the Center, closed from August 1 until August 16.