Sunday, August 17, 2014

Jin Ze Art Center, Qinpu District

Welcome to Jin Ze Art Center, in a river town an hour or so from Shanghai. Christina Shmigel, a wonderful artist, whom I first met in 2005 during her Duolun Museum residency ( and ( invited two friends to take the trek. We met in front of the Shanghai Museum, where the driver from Jin Ze awaited. Despite minimal exposure to textiles previously, I came away transformed, illuminated by the Center's top-notch facilities and its brilliant Director of Textiles Division, Edith Cheung.

At Jin Ze, buildings are restored with exquisite attention to detail.

Our ride for the river, right.

On the water...

The town was built in the Yuan Dynasty period, 1,300 years ago.

Three hole bridge - the oldest one on the river

Texture on a medieval path

And texture in a local shop

Everyone participates in village life

Back at the Center, a Japanese loom. The weaving building boasts a beautiful collection of looms, including several of these, a four-pedal loom, many others, and a spinner!

An example from the workshop, which was concluding the day we were there. Edith Cheung, Director of Textile Division, instructs students simply and succinctly before setting them loose to create in the way they work best.

From Jin Ze's textile collection: leg wraps 

Sleeves lined in batik

Embroidery and patchwork

Neckwear, made from small parts assembled into larger pieces. Cheung said that replacement pieces could often be found in antique shops.

Headwear. Hat on right dips in back so that a banana leaf can be attached for temporary rainwear. Hat on the front left is made from the brown growth underneath palm fronds.

Miniature looms.

Dry pigments. And this is just a small glimpse of the treasures there...

Jin Ze Art Center will participate in the 9th Annual Shibori Symposium, in Hangzhou,  October 31 - November 4, 2014.  To find out more about the event, visit
To find out more about Jin Ze, visit

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