Alumni Stories

Yao Lan: Updating Suzhou embroidery for the 21st century

“The most valuable lesson Tsinghua taught me is the attitude of doing things – not only thinking about ourselves but thinking more about others and the meaning behind it,” said Yao Lan (China), an expert in Suzhou embroidery. After graduating from Tsinghua Academy of Arts and Design, Yao Lan devotes herself to the inheritance and innovation of Suzhou embroidery.

“Marketing Suzhou embroidery is not to subvert previous generations’ efforts, but to explore the present.” Yao Lan believes the best environment to inherit Suzhou embroidery is not in the museums, but in the market. She has been trying to blend this intangible cultural heritage into people’s lives through creative designs. She uses the elements of Suzhou embroidery in watches, necklaces, earrings, and even home decoration. DIY embroidery classes are also provided for people to experience Suzhou embroidery.

“We hope to share stories of China and Chinese handicraft through intangible cultural heritage powered by creative designs and innovations.”


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