Hard-of-hearing embroiderer from NW China's Xinjiang wins global recognition

(People's Daily Online) 09:40, December 07, 2023

Bu Yunxiu, a 53-year-old hard-of-hearing embroiderer from northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, won a gold medal in embroidery at the 10th International Abilympics in France in March 2023.

The competition assesses participants' embroidery skills according to the strictest standards. The participants were required to use 20 specified stitches, leaving little room for creativity, according to Bu, who is from Wuzhuniulu village in Qapqal Xibe Autonomous County, Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang.

She demonstrated exceptional skills by incorporating six different embroidery techniques, including Kazakh, Xibe, and Su embroidery.

Bu humbly credited her success to her team and support from government departments at different levels. She expressed gratitude for their collective efforts, including training, visa application, and psychological counseling, which contributed to her achievement.

Bu Yunxiu makes an embroidery work in her studio on Nov. 24, 2023. (Xinjiang Daily/Basha Tiegesi)

After receiving an invitation to the competition, Bu underwent intensive training with Qian Meirong, a master of arts and crafts in Xinjiang.

Following her gold medal win, Bu quickly shared the news with her supporters. Her husband, Chen Tinglu, expressed immense pride at her remarkable achievement.

Shortly after Chen and Bu tied the knot, Bu lost hearing in her left ear due to an illness. Yet, her passion for embroidery remains strong.

Chen recalled that Bu's love for sewing began at school. She even designed and made most of her husband's clothes. In her free time, she eagerly learned Xibe embroidery from local masters in their town.

As a child, Bu would draw on pillows and experiment with sewing fabric. Her enthusiasm for the craft remained strong into adulthood, leading her to seek guidance from Xibe embroidery masters.

In 2009, Bu took a significant step in her embroidery journey by enrolling in a local training class, marking her first formal training experience. The following year, Qapqal Xibe Autonomous County invited embroidery teachers from Suzhou in east China's Jiangsu Province, known for their exceptional skills, to conduct training classes.

Deeply impressed by the teachers' expertise, Bu decided to self-fund her studies in Suzhou, eager to further enhance her embroidery skills.

Despite financial challenges and the responsibility of caring for their young children, Chen fully supported his wife's passion for embroidery.

Through dedicated exploration and practice over the years, Bu's embroidery skills radically transformed, earning her medals at regional and national vocational skills competitions.

In 2018, Bu's exceptional craftsmanship was officially recognized, earning her the title of a master of arts and crafts in Xinjiang. By 2020, she was recognized as a representative inheritor of Xibe embroidery in Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture.

Since 2020, Bu has devoted significant time to promoting and sharing her embroidery skills. She has become an instructor, offering training classes to students, trainees, and villagers.

Beyond teaching, Bu supports her apprentices by helping them sell their embroidery works.

(Web editor: Hongyu, Liang Jun)


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