Lee Mei-yin is a renowned collector of Chinese ethnic costumes. One major category she collects is embroidered baby carriers, both old and new. She selects these from her extensive travels doing community work with ethnic tribes from the northeast to the southwest provinces in China.
Lee's baby carriers were carefully chosen not only for their excellent craftsmanship, exotic beauty and representative styles of each tribe, but also for the symbolism in each image and patterns with different stitching techniques, detailed borders, colourful layers and piping. Above all, these baby carriers were made with the unconditional love and hope of a mother conveying her blessings and dreams for the next generation. The embroidery tells stories of ancient folklore with morals of humility and incompleteness, with respect for ancestry and traditions. They withstand the test of time and geographic isolation to arrive in our hands, speaking so vividly in silence the language of love in which words become redundant.
The workshop will begin with a lecture and power point presentation, showing the cultural backgrounds of some of the tribes in their everyday lives during which these baby carriers were made. This will be followed by a handling session to examine closely the many varieties of baby carriers. It is a precious opportunity to compare and truly appreciate these lovely folk art pieces. Gloves and magnifying glasses will be provided.
Lee Mei-yin is a Special Research Fellow of the Dunhuang Academy and a former lecturer at HKU SPACE from 2000 to 2008. A graduate of The Chinese University, she is an advisor to the HK Institute for the Promotion of Chinese Culture and has conducted in-depth research on Chinese ethnic culture, Buddhist art and Chinese embroidery for many years. Her renowned ethnic costume collection has been exhibited internationally.