Wang Xu’s Research on Chinese Za ran/Zahran

His research will be shown at our 9th International Shibori Symposium, presented by Prof. Zhao Feng.

Born in 1930 in Yexian(present day Laizhou) Shangdon Privnce, Wang Xu was an important scholar in the archeological study of Chinese textiles. He oversaw and executed extremely important excavations of clothing and textiles during the later years after the Cultural Revolution. Several major textile conservation projects he directed include: the Chiu tomb at Mashan, Jiangling; the Han tombs at Mawangdui, Mancheng and Guangzhou; and the Tang underground repository at Famen Temple. Until his death in 1997, he worked at the Institute for the History of Natural Sciences CAS.

He was responsible for creation of reinforcement for burnt textiles and the design of a silk net made of single silk filament, later used for supporting fragile textiles. Publications include 20 research articles and the expanded edition of the “Study of Chinese Ancient Costume,” originally written by Shen Congwen. He devoted his entire life to the conservation,reconstruction and research of Chinese textiles.

Wang’s contribution to textile archeology and preservation in China is unparalleled to the work of his contemporaries today.

An educational display of Wang Xu’s research and documents on Chinese Za Ran( tie-dye). Exhibition objects and materials include documentation of textiles found in tombs in Turfan and Dunhuang dating from the 4th to the 8th century AD. Wang Xu also created a series of experiments in four areas: stitch tie-dyeing, clamp folding dyeing, knot dyeing and tie-dyeing. His experiments, documents and conclusions will be presented for the public.

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