Thursday, 6 August 2015

China - part 14 - patchwork day 3 - morning

Angel joked that the crane is the national bird of China - the view from my hotel window this morning.  I wonder how tall this building will be? The pace of new build in Pintang isn't quite as great as in Kaili, which is a much bigger city, but there's a lot going on.

We are  holding up pillows made in the shape of different Chinese characters, from another project Angel is involved with.  Mrs Lao (Pintang County Leader), Carma, me, Jack Yu and Angel, plus lots of students with their Corner in the Cabin blocks.

Pressing hexagons and Log Cabin blocks.  Until this point, we had all been finger pressing, which worked very well in the rather humid heat.  I didn't want us having the irons on too much, heating up the classroom.  The ceiling fans were a help but almost every day the heat built up and we had a downpour in the afternoon or evening.

We went with Mrs Lao to see Jiao Dong Mao Nan minority village in Ka Pu town.  She had mentioned that it was basically still a building site, but I am so glad we went.  What a project!  A new road was being built to link the old village to Pintang.  Before this road, the only way link to the village was a 1.5 metre wide track.  Hence the popularity of motorbikes and the three-wheeler little trucks.  The road was being built from both ends simultaneously and cars could drive on the sub base.  It was all rather different from in the UK.

There was a lot of serious engineering work going on, including stabilising hillsides with retaining walls.  This road is scheduled to open in October.

Again, the landscape was so beautiful, with the hills seeming to go on for ever.

This is part of the new residential and work area of the village.  These blocks will have workshops on the ground floor, with apartments above.

A new village meeting area was already built.  

Visitors will be able to stay in the village.

A lot of government money is being put into this scheme.  All the new (and some renovated buildings) have these distinctive window grilles, showing a rather unusual traditional local sport, which seems to involve sumo wrestling but pushing with your head!  A lot of the buildings were finished with these blue textured tiles.

This pavilion walkway led to some older buildings, which have been reused as a crafts demonstration and display area.

Four women were weaving.  This was very interesting for us, because some of our students weave and had told us that they can make about 1 metre of cloth a day.  This fabric is cotton and is woven in stripes and plaids.

There were various crafts for sale next door.  These are stitched insoles used for their handmade shoes.

The stitching is very like sashiko or kogin.  However, the insoles are stiff, so the stitches cannot be made by pleating the fabric onto the needle, like in sashiko.

The baby shoes were so cute.  I bought the red pair, as I thought adult shoes might be too heavy to bring back in my suitcases.

One of the ladies' workbaskets, with pieces embroidered for shoes.  I saw a stall on Pintang market yesterday selling corduroy and velveteen - these seem to be some of the favourite fabrics for embroidery backgrounds here.

The weavers went outside and gave us an embroidery demonstration.

More exhibition halls was up the steps, which were decorated with traditional designs.

I had seen this style of open eaves on many buildings in Guizhou Province, but had no idea how it worked from inside.  Despite the hot day, it was very cool inside this building.

This vat was for indigo dyeing.

A loom, basically the same as the women were using today.

A rain cape, similar to those used in Japan.

The baskets looked quite modern in design.

In another building, there were a lot of textile pieces.

This is similar to a piece Martin Conlan showed me.

This is the same jacket and apron ensemble some of my students wore on the first day.

There were so many interesting window lattice designs and I managed to photograph only a fraction of them - I saw so many from the motorway on the way into Kaili on my first day.  They would make amazing patchwork designs.

We came back for lunch at a riverside restaurant, where we ate in a gazebo.

In the afternoon we started making a quilt as you go quilt, using some of the Corner in the Cabin blocks.  Photos coming soon.


mopinwil said...

I just love the documentary and pictures. I have to ask? Which came first do you think, as I know nothing of the history between Japan and China, just notice that there may be some animosity in the background sometimes. Was it China or Japan that had the culture and art first.

Maureen :)

Susan Briscoe said...

Well spotted Maureen! Chinese architecture and design is to Japanese art and design what Roman and Greek style is to Western art and architecture. A lot of Chinese art and ideas came to Japan initially from Tang dynasty China, from the mid 6th to mid 9th centuries AD. There was a second wave of Chinese influence in the middle ages - "In 1368, the Ming Dynasty replaced the Yuan Dynasty of the Mongols in China. Japanese trade with China had been frozen since the second and final attempt by Mongol China to invade Japan in 1281. Now a new trade relationship began with the new Ming rulers in China. Part of the new trade with China was the coming to Japan of Zen Buddhist monks. During the Ashikaga Shogunate Zen Buddhism came to have a great influence with the ruling class in Japan."

Just as the classical style in Italy is probably not the same as in the UK, Japan has given it's own twist to design classics that came over from China.

I guess the design aesthetic of any island (UK or Japan) is going to be influenced by it's bigger continental neighbours.