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Historical pattern

chinadaily.com.cn| Updated: April 16, 2024 L M S


[Photo provided to China Daily]

In 1959, Chang Shana returned to Dunhuang, Gansu province, where she spent her early teens living and studying the mural art with her father Chang Shuhong, the founding director of the Dunhuang Academy. During that trip, then a university lecturer, she copied decorative motifs on the mural paintings, the colored figurines and architectural components in the caves, which span several centuries. She later donated this collection of drawings to the China National Silk Museum, in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, the hometown of her father and a booming textile industry hub since ancient times.

Now, these works are on show at Blossoms on Costumes, an exhibition running until Thursday at the national silk museum, which highlights various patterns of the costumes of Buddhist deities and their followers as seen at Dunhuang. It provides a panoramic view of the aesthetic and technical evolution of textiles over 1,000 years.

These works show the beauty of different symmetrical combinations, revisit traditional motifs, such as the phoenix, and illustrate exchanges between the East and the West along the Silk Road, which introduced foreign motifs and styles.

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