A documentary introduces the lives of Qiao Yun & Xiao Fang, the two experienced traditional Chinese brocade weavers.
With over 20 years of weaving experience, they wanted to weave a wedding gown for their own daughters whom are married earlier in the year, but their idea dropped, as they lack money and graphic design skills. thonik was invited by UNESCOto Nanjing to undertake an artistic residency, with the supports of Stimuleringfonds & Nanjing local government, the dutch designers decided to collaborate with Qiao Yun & Xiao Fang, which enable them to create a wedding gown for her daughter.
Exhibited on 14 June 2019 at 'It's A Women's World'Kaserne Basel, from 30 March to 2 June 2019 at 'Why We Design' - thonik's Solo Show at Power Station of Art in Shanghai, from 16 April to 24 May 2019 at 'Cultural Threads'TextielMuseum in Tilburg, from 14 October 2018 to 3 February 2019 at 'BLOOT' Kranenburgh Museum in Bergen and 'Dutch Design Week 2018' at Veemgebouw in Eindhoven.
Graphic designed by thonik, fashion designed by Fang, story designed by Alice Wong, film designed by Alexandre Humbert.
Weaving Storiesenvisages the lives of two Yunji brocade weavers, Qiao-yun and Xiao-fang, untangling their journeys upon becoming craftswomen of a disappearing heritage.
This is the creative output of a designer-in-residence programme in Nanjing, China. The film envisages the lives of two Yunji brocade weavers, Qiao-yun and Xiao-fang, untangling their journeys upon becoming craftswomen of a disappearing heritage.The Yunji brocade is a labour intensive and malicious weaving technique which were exclusive to the Chinese emperors and aristocratic class. The slow-paced and demanding production results in a decline of quality and fail to attract young apprentices.
The Yunji loom requires two people to operate, a specialised dance of sort. Qiao-yun and Xiao-fang have been weaving together for over a decade and supported their families literally by hand. As mothers, both Qiao-yun and Xiao-fang are redundant for their daughters to follow in their footsteps and could never be able to afford the staggering price of Yunji brocade. A collaborative opportunity has arisen upon us when the weavers expressed their wishes to weave a piece of originally designed brocade for their daughters as wedding dresses. The knowledgeable and dynamic duo have helped us during the creative process and the dress has become an anchoring point of the project.
The film is woven with different themes concerning their encounters with weaving as well as their life stories. While traditional crafts are extremely hierarchical in China, we hope to shed light upon the anonymous makers who dedicate their livelihoods to the day-to-day work. The two women portrayed in this film tackles life with grace and dignity.