Miao Traditional Arts Exhibition

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Image of vibrant embroidery close up, with the text "3 DAYS ONLY" overlayed.

Do not miss this opportunity!

Only on exhibition for three days, experience the detailed and vibrant embroidery of the Miao people of southwestern China at the Bolivar Art Gallery in the School of Art & VIsual Studies Building.

The Tapestry

Featured in this brief exhibition is a 72 foot embroidered tapestry completed by the efforts of 1000 Miao women for the Miao Sisters Festival earlier this year.  The bright figures and imagery tell 100 folk stories ranging from ancient legends to simple farming life.  The Sisters Festival is similar to the western world's Valentine's Day, featuring young women in elaborate and colorfully embroidered outfits accented by stunning silver jewelry who invite their beloveds to participate in a number of games and activities.

The Miao

While similar in appearance and style, the Miao are actually made up of four distinct peoples that share a common history and cultural elements.  Their languages share roots but remain separate as well.  Included under the Chinese moniker of Miao are the Hmong, Hmub, A-Hmao, and Xong (also called Qo-Xiong).  Due to the various Miao languages having no script or codified writing system, the tradition of embroidery has been used to pass down cultural heritage, important tales, morality, and histories of families and clans.  The earliest known mention of Miao embroidery is in the Book of Han, dating to the Warring States Period (475–221 B.C.E).

Girls beginning learning traditional arts and important motifs early from their mother and elders, and continue studying and practicing the rest of their lives.

The Occasion

This week, the University of Kentucky will officially open its Global Model Confucius Institute. The dedication ceremony will take place 3-5 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25, at the Lucille Little Fine Arts Library and Learning Center ground floor. UK leaders and presidents of Shanghai University, Jilin University and Beijing Language and Culture University will be present to officially dedicate the newly renovated space, which has been designed to be a welcoming and functional base for UK's Confucius Institute.

There are fewer than 10 Global Model Confucius Institutes among the 514 Confucius Institutes in 134 countries today. The University of Kentucky Confucius Institute (UKCI) is the youngest institute awarded this prestigious title after being in operation for just five years. This is not only a great honor, but most importantly it is a recognition of what the UK Confucius Institute has achieved and how the institute’s programming and work can be inspirational and exemplary for other Confucius Institutes in the world.

As part of the Institute's celebration, Chinese traditional art has been imported to the Bluegrass for display.  Besides the embroidery exhibition, a performance of Inner Mongolian Dances and Music will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 25 in the Singletary Center for the Arts Recital Hall (free and open to all).

Sep 25 2017, 12:00pm to Sep 27 2017, 8:00pm
Bolivar Art Gallery

Art & Visual Studies Building, 236 Bolivar Street

Free and Open to the Public
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