Have fun in Shanghai

Updated: 2013-08-28

4. Culture

Yangjing Orchestra

Yangjing Orchestra is a folk music organization created to inherit and play Jiangnan Sizhu, composed of more than 30 musicians. From 1909 to 1911, masters such as Shen Yunzhong and Shen Jialin, who were famous in the Pudong folk music field, established the Yangjing Voiceless Sound Team, the predecessor for the Yangjing Traditional Chinese Music Orchestra.

The Yangjing Voiceless Sound Team was renamed the Yangjing Sizhu Team in 1945. Under guidance and emphasis from the CPC and Chinese government, the Yangjing Sizhu Team was developed after the establishment of the People's Republic of China. Shen Huijun restored the Yangjing Sizhu Team in 1983. Ni Yimei, Yu Huakang, and the couple of Tang Wende and Shen Huijun restructured the Yangjing Traditional Instruments Orchestra and renamed it the Yangjing Traditional Chinese Music Orchestra in 1991.

Yangjing Woolen Embroidery

Yangjing Woolen embroidery originated from Europe and was introduced into Shanghai at the beginning of the 20th century. Its embroidery style had 20,000 processors in Pudong district, Shanghai in the 1920s. In 1954, the Supply and Marketing Cooperatives, namely, Oriental (Hongwei) Woolen Embroidery Plant and Red Star Woolen Embroidery Plant, were successively founded in Gaoqiao of Pudong and Dongchang.

The Red Star Woolen Embroidery Plant began to produce woolen embroidery in 1958. The original design studio of Shanghai Embroidery Master, which was affiliated with Shanghai Li Hui Tapestry Art in Yangjing community implemented fabrication. Yangjing community has one Shanghai (embroidery) crafts and artisan master who is unique in China and more than 10 craftsmen who have been engaged in embroidery for over three decades.

For Yangjing Woolen embroidery, pure cotton mesh fabric and various New Zealand pure woolen color threads dyed in high temperature are used as raw materials and processed by hand to form a distinctive Shanghai artistic style. The images can reach relatively high artistic standards in all aspects through multiple stitching methods. Recently, a large-scaled woolen embroidery wall painting measuring 170 square meters was created and displayed in Beijing Hunna Plaza, the Yingbin Hotel on the Yellow River in Henan, the Henan Art Center, the head office of the People’s Bank of China, the Daqing Petroleum Command Center, the People’s Education Press, the Yunnan Stone Forest scenic spot, Chen Yun Memorial Hall, the Taiwan Affairs Office in Shanghai, the people’s government of Pudong New District, the Nanjing East Road subdistrict office of Huangpu, and the Xuhui district office among others. The Autumn Scenery of Songshan Mountain displayed in Yingbin Hotel on the Yellow River in Henan exhibits unprecedented woolen embroidery skills.

The woolen embroidery creators continuously improved their original design, developing modern wall-hanging styles and obtaining 291 total appearance design patents and one utility model patent. Media such as Xinmin Evening News, Labor Daily and Wenhui News reported on the master studio and their work. Many works were shown in exhibitions and as propaganda. Western Story and Night View of Shanghai Bund were awarded as the first place Shanghai Industrial Arts Works and the second Shanghai Industrial Arts Works, respectively.

The Portrait of Chen Yun was honored by the International Art Museum. Yangjing Woolen embroidery applied to be a Pudong New District intangible cultural heritage in 2006. It was formally named and declared in 2007 and elected as a world cultural heritage on June 14, 2008. It applied for Shanghai intangible cultural heritage status in 2008. In 2010, five embroidery works, including the Potala Palace, Pingyao Ancient City, Ancient Town of Lijiang, the Temple of Heaven and the Ancient Village in Southern Anhui—Hong Village from Yangjing community appeared at the World Expo.