New York City, NY
Embroidery, rooted in the long history marginalization as utilitarian “women’s work,” has evolved over the past years to a higher form of textile arts.
Korean embroidery and its technical, aesthetic excellence has been brought to light by the artist, pioneer, and historian, Young Yang Chung. Small needles and homespun silk threads proved to be immensely powerful in her hands as the tools that not only proved to be a creative outlet, but a means as a viable vocation for Korean modern women.
Boldly crossing the threshold of the women’s quarters (gyubang), Korean women have created a movement by breaking boundaries - both physically and metaphorically - through embroidery.
Elevating the gyubang culture of Korean embroidery, Chung’s ability to “paint with needles” has garnered worldwide attention as she has advanced an art form conceived as women’s work to an important part of textile arts and history.
The Movement of Herstory is a look into the legacy of Korean embroidery through the life and artworks of Chung, now an indelible part of Korean herstory.
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.
Whether or not you go, Painting with a Needle: Learning the Art of Silk Embroidery with Young Yang Chung reveals not only the secrets of silk embroidery, but also the colorful history behind the ancient art in Korea, China, and Japan. Just as important as learning its history is mastering its fundamentals, and there is no better guide than Young Yang Chung-master embroiderer, renowned scholar of East Asian textile arts, and gifted teacher. She shows how to "paint with a needle" in 19 projects she designed, with detailed, step-by-step instructions, glorious color photographs, diagrams, and color charts. The instructions have been written with beginners in mind, but highly advanced embroiderers will find plenty to challenge them as well.