It may be a tiny space with each shelf crammed with colorful shoes, but it’s not a problem for these customers seeking unique hand-woven designs.
The shoes are totally handmade. I appreciate this kind of traditional craft.
Embroidery is a family affair for Miru Wong. She learnt the craft from her grandparents, who set up the business sixty years ago.
刺绣对 Mira Wong 来说是一项家族事业。她从祖父母那里学会这门手艺。她的祖父母在60年前就开始做这门生意。
She’s now taken up the reins, expanding what’s on offer, modernizing her grandfather’s traditional approach.
Many years ago my grandfather only made 1 style of wearing shoes, but now I’ve many many different styles.
And you can see, they’re awesome blossoms, dragon and Phoenix and also some flowers for the theme of my embroidered shoes.
Despite the popularity of shoes, she’s worried. The trade is struggling to attract new talent, who keen to pursue it as a long-term career.
Many people are just interested in making them as a hobby or make them look for their friends and their families, but they won’t truly as a future career.
It’s with that in mind, young artisans are trying to promote this refined art. Miru Wong has embraced social media, earning her an international profile.
Others, like Andy GU, are trying to modernize the ancient Chinese designs.
The customers used to be interested in the traditional double-sided embroidery.
Over recent years, our customer groups are from the younger generation.
This silk embroidery business dates back 300 years , as well as some of the traditional designs.
They’re updating their techniques, merging needlecraft with calligraphy, brush paintings, creating popular modern designs.
I noticed the growing number of people appreciating this aspect of Chinese embroidery culture in recent years, including westerners.
There are now more westerners appreciating and understanding our embroidery culture.
Some next generation artisans may be thriving, but that may not be enough to entice more young people to take up this ancient craft.
And without more young apprentices, some are concerned that the future of Chinese silk embroidery could remain fright.