Visit to: Scholar Yang Wen Bin Batik Collection, China
Words by Sharon de Lyster, images by Stephanie Teng Photography
The embroidery collection of scholar Yang Wen Bin is a great selection of intricate folk art. Yet, Yang’s expertise is most known on the topic of Chinese Miao batik. He has written extensively on the subject, recorded symbolic meanings behind motifs, and inspired and assisted the younger generation to rediscover the heritage of natural dyeing and batik art.
In his study at the Qiandongnan Minzu Vocational Technology College, Yang laid out a section of his vast batik archive on the huge table in the middle of the room and started to go through their backgrounds and significant one by one. From motifs of flowers, pomegranates, butterflies, dragons with multiple heads, single-legged birds with or without wings, he pointed them out. There are no fix images when interpreting the message of reproduction through the various animals forms. This kind of formative art becomes personal and reflects all the characteristics cherished by the Miao women.