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Writing with Thread
Traditional Textiles of Southwest Chinese Minorities
Yahui Miao Woman’s Ensemble
Danzhai County, Guizhou

The University of Hawaii Art Gallery is pleased to announce the arrival of its much-anticipated exhibition catalogue, Writing with Thread: Traditional Textiles of Southwest Chinese Minorities. With its scholarly essays and 345 stunning color images of the rich and intricate textiles and costumes, this handsome 430-page catalogue is an outstanding and rare publication that provides seminal and significant contributions to the fields of textiles and costumes research. It also sheds light and a deeper appreciation for the people and the cultures that created them. 

Paper. $50.00 + $7.00 shipping (media mail) or $13.50 (priority mail) within the U.S.

Mail checks to:

University of Hawaii Art Gallery
Department of Art & Art History
2535 McCarthy Mall
Honolulu, Hawaii 96822
U.S.A.

Call (808) 956-6888 or E-mail: gallery@hawaii.edu

Miao Woman’s Courting Ensemble
Shidong Township, Guizhou
Miao Woman’s Ensemble
Weining County, Guizhou

Scholars and essays

The University of Hawai‘i Art Gallery assembled an international team of scholars to conduct research for the exhibition and the accompanying catalogue. The following scholars have written essays for the exhibition catalogue. Their essay titles and topics include:

  • The Other Writing of People without a Written Language
    by Deng Qiyao, Professor and Dean, School of Communication and Design, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China

    Uses examples from Miao legend and folklore to demonstrate how accounts of Miao history and ethnic migration have been “written” into textile designs.


  • Reading Threads: Clothing, Ethnicity, and Place in Southwest China
    by Stevan Harrell, Professor of Anthropology, University of Washington, Seattle

    Discusses ethnic identity, gender, age, and social status that are written in the materials, colors, patterns, and techniques of the textiles of the Nuoso people from the Liangshan region in southern Sichuan.


  • A Journey: Collecting Southwest Chinese Minority Textiles
    by Huang Ying Feng, Architect, Collector, and Curatorial Advisor for Writing with Thread, Taoyuan, Taiwan

    Researched and provided information for all the objects in Writing with Thread. Discusses his personal journey of collecting Chinese minority textiles.


  • An Appreciation of Miao Silver Ornament Culture
    by Li Qianbin, Director and Curator, Guizhou Provincial Museum, Guizhou, China

    Discusses the wide range of silver ornaments worn by the Miao who place much more emphasis on their use than most of China’s ethnic minorities.


  • A Brief History of Ethnic Costume in Premodern China
    by Kate Lingley, Assistant Professor of Chinese Art History, University of Hawai‘i

    Investigates the question of how dress may have functioned as a sign of ethnicity for the people of China in the historic period.


  • Reading Costumes as “Texts” and Decoding Ethnic Visual Culture of Southwest China
    by Angela Sheng, Assistant Professor of Chinese Art History, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada; principle curator of Writing with Thread

    Provides an overall context for the exhibition and discusses the nature of the intercultural connection visible in costumes and textiles through the integration of Chinese technology, art, and visual culture.


  • Miao Marriage Symbols and Miao Clothing Styles
    by
    Xi Keding, Curator, Cultural Palace of Nationalities, Guizhou; Consultant, Institute of Archaeology and Cultural Relics, Guizhou, China

    Engages in a preliminary discussion of the styles and social functions of Miao clothing.


  • Interpreting Needlework from a Gender Perspective: Femininity and Self-esteem—The Southeast Guizhou Miao
    by Zhang Xiao, Director and Professor, Center for Minority and Women’s Studies, Guizhou University, Guizhou, China

    Focuses on needlework as a medium of communication for the Miao women from Xijiang and the gendered significance of needlework.
Miao Woman’s Ensemble
Xijiang Township, Guizhou
Miao Woman’s Ensemble
Detail, Xijiang Township, Guizhou
Gejia Miao Woman’s Ensemble
Chongan Town, Guizhou
Woman’s ensemble
Fangwu Village, Guizhou
Early–mid 20th century