Qu Yuan Scolds Zhang Yi

Design: SONG Ding-Guo
Embroidery: Lu JianyingEmbroidery Studio, Suzhou
Time: 1985
Dimension: 71.5×110.5 cm
The work represents the historical scene of QU Yuan and ZHANG Yi cross verbal swords against each other in front of King Huai of Chu during Zhang’s diplomatic mission to Chu. Even though it did not explicitly suggest if there was any confrontation between Qu and Zhang in person in Shiji (Historical Records), it did not prevent the designer in developing the bold imagination. Qu Yuan was situated at the center of the image in red garment and wearing high hat, scolding Zhang Yi, while Zhang in white shirt and black gown was leaning back, seemingly about to be defeated. The figures are portrayed faithfully full of dynamic. Also, the elements of the floor, the tables, the tripod as well as the morphed patterns of dragon and phoenix on the figures’ clothes were appropriated from the patterns seen on Chu Embroidery of Jiangling and Han Embroidery of Mawangdui, vividly representing the people and ambiance of Chu. The work was embroidered with the Straight Stitch, Long and Short Stitch, Stem Stitch, and Twist Stitch, delicately and faithfully capturing the solemnly intricate image. As such, it is a representative work of the traditional figure portrayal in Xiang Embroidery.