Asian Silk Art
Learning A Bit About Asian Silk Art
The East offers a myriad of interesting stuff for Westerners. In addition to intriguing food choices, there are art forms to have the pleasure of viewing. Asian silk art is just one of the numerous works of art in the Eastern continent.
Silk making has been around for ages. Its roots can be traced to prehistoric China. In fact, it remained within the confines of the Chinese territory for centuries. More so, it served as the main currency within China during that time. It was used for paying fines, wages and taxes. In some cases, public office can even be bought with the use of silk. Because of the significant of silk and its uses in the Chinese community, different ceremonies involving silk was incorporated in the nation’s culture. Even religion has its hint of silk. There were significant associations between silk and its creations with that of certain deities in Buddhism. Silk, which was brought to the West via trade routes with a lot of dangerous terrains, is considered by many to be the top contribution of China to the world.
Technically, a caterpillar within the Bombyx more specie is the man behind silk. Considered to be a highly luxurious type of fabric, silk is produced by cultivating silkworms. They are carefully placed in an area with trees and mulberry bushes. These served as their source of food as well as their habitat. Rearing silkworms for producing raw silk is referred to as sericulture. The sericulturist spreads the silkworms along with the fresh mulberry leaves inside large trays. These trays are then placed in special houses. It is there where the protein filaments are produced and wounded tightly into cocoons, which are then sorted out and steamed to kill the chrysalis. After which, they are boiled to facilitate the loosening of the filaments, which are highly delicate. The filaments are divided into strands and twisted together to create a thread that is much stronger and thicker. The thread can be dyed and used in embroideries as well as for weaving. Once wounded into bolts of fabric, it can be used for upholstery and clothing among others.
It is in these forms that Asian silk art can be easily observed. Traditional garments are usually created with fine silk threads and even dyed for added beauty. The qipao, for instance, is one of them. This gown comes with a slender cut and high collars.
Another Asian silk art form can be seen in scrolls. With the use of the same tools utilized in calligraphy, different forms and figures can be created on silk. Scroll painting is actually inspired by the connection determined to exist between the ink, the brush, silk and colors. It is easy to observe spontaneity along with movement and line works. More so, it can be observed that the paintings done on silk are highly similar to calligraphic figures.
Considering how the use of silk has originated in China, it is just natural that more Asian silk art forms can be seen than those from other parts of the globe. There is no denying though that these creations are a sight to behold. They serve as beautiful representations of anything and everything around us.
Our next article looks at Chinese Paintings