The Pipa Tune

Original: ZHANG Lei-Shu
Embroidery: WU Ming-Wen
Time: Unknown
Dimension: 14×19×37.5 cm
The Pipa Tune is a renowned long poem composed by BAI Juyi, telling the story of the poet’s encounter with a lady playing pipa over a river. The lady recounted her former life as a well-received musician at Jiao Fang at her youth before married to a merchant as youth faded away, who became the liveliest image in the Chinese literature. The work captures the posture of the lady “holding a pipa that partially conceals her face” in the form of the Subtle Embroidery. The artisan artfully embroidered the lines of the long poem The Pipa Tune over the edge of the belt on the lady. Each character is merely millimeters wide, embodying the ingenious embroidery craftsmanship. On the back of the work, the artisan also embroidered the complete poem of Bai’s The Pipa Tune with the Subtle Embroidery. The characters are minute yet legible with each stroke vividly and orderly embroidered that inspire awes and wonders from spectators.