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Designer Wang Lan takes us into the culture of Chinese Miao

21 Feb 2019

Wang Lan grew up in the province of Guizhou in the extreme southwest of China. Already as a child she learned to sew and made her own doll and its clothes. Later Wang Lan studied ink painting, first at the art academy of the minority institute of the province Guizhou, then at the art academy in Shanghai. In the meantime, she worked in a print shop and attended various courses to further her education. The current designer came to Germany in 1997 to study textile design at the Kunsthochschule Kassel. "During this time I focused especially on pleated fabrics, because I recognize the closeness and connection to my home country", in which this fabric is a part of the culture, says Wang Lan.

Wan Lan

Learning embroidery techniques in the workshop

In Wang Lan's workshop "Made in China! Craftsmanship Embroidery" the participants have the unique opportunity to get an insight into the fascinating and unique culture of the Miao, to learn different craftsmanship techniques from the field of embroidery and even some smaller embroidery work to produce templates.

Wan Lan

Embroidery in the style of Miao

"Even though my geographical location has changed over the years, my passion for traditional embroidery has never vanished from my Chinese homeland," says Wang Lan, and so the colourful patterns can be admired on many of her works. She finds inspiration for the many different patterns of her work in the culture of the Miao. Although the Miao people have their own language, they do not have their own writing. For this reason, embroideries were often used in the past to illustrate events and stories. Thus, each symbol has its own meaning and tells a part of the story. For example, among many other symbols, the butterfly stands for the Miao people, the bird for freedom and the dragon for the imperial family. But not only the symbols, but also the colours used play a decisive role in the story. For example, the colour silver stands for wealth.

Anyone who wants more can also admire Wang Lan's works in her art gallery and fashion boutique in Berlin Charlottenburg, Seelingstr. 29 in 14059 Berlin or in her group exhibition "Horizontalen und Vertikalen: Textil in Kunst und Gestaltung" from 14 March 2019.