Friday, 27 August 2010


Our recent Silk Road  adventure took us on a tracing route to a few of the important towns/cities in China. The last stop brought us to the mega city of Xi'an.  Xi'an is the birthplace of the Chinese civilization, a famous historical and cultural city and  was the starting point of the Old Silk Road. It was once the hub of the Silk Road during the olden days where traders/merchants meet.

It was at the Museum in Xi'an that I was introduced to the ancient traditional auspicious knots. The Chinese knot was a decorative handicraft art that began as a form of Chinese folk art in the Tang and Song Dynasty (960-1279AD) in China. It subsequently gained popularity in the Ming and Qing Dynasty.

The word knot in Chinese is " Jie" which means harmony,unification, vigour,reunion,peace,warmth,marriage, love etc....

I love these Chinese knots for its characteristic form, its colours, the ornaments of semi precious / precious stones attaching to it, the skillful art of knot-tying and the profound connotation  each art piece represents.
I do have a few pieces of auspicious Chinese knots but the ones I came across in the shop at Shangri-la Hotel were so awesome, exquisite and extremely colourful .  I could not resist and decided to purchase them to add on to my collection.

Love to share with you my auspicious hangings.......
These knots were handmade and they are used to express good wishes.
The Chinese knots are based on about a dozen basic knots named according to their distinctive shapes, usages or origins.  They are usually symmetrical and the skill of crafting the knot involves 3 step process that is, tying knots, tightening them and adding the finishing touches.
By combining different knots with some auspicious adornments, a special and unique Chinese knot hanging is formed.  There is the happiness knot, longevity knot, luck knot ...etc...
With my love for these exquisitely beautiful works of art that come in so many varying types, I could not resist to create a canvas piece using one of the Chinese knot as an embellishment.
Have a look...........
The knot is one of 'happiness' with a flower jade ornament and great colour combination.
White paper dollies are glued using gesso and mat gel medium to give a texture to canvas frame.
To raise the depth of the canvas front, an artist foam is laid below the pattern paper and the white dollies prior to gluing the photos.
Well, look at  the Chinese knot, with its classic elegance it fully reflects the grace and richness of Chinese culture.  Love it !  Love it !


Susie Jefferson said...

Incredible! I never knew all that, and how significant each knot is.

Love your scrapbooking piece with the knot absolutley beautiful. Jade - also very auspicious, too, isn't it?

Wonderful work, Toh Ee!

Toh Ee said...

Glad I introduced our ancient Chinese knots to you Susie. These knots have evolved from ancient to modern in terms of the ornaments hanging from it but the tying of knots still remain the same.
Yes Jade is auspicious, it is said to protect the one who is wearing it from harm. Thx for liking my canvas piece. Hugs!

Chowchow said...

Love your knots Toh Ee. Your collection is most impressive.

Toh Ee said...

Thanks Michelle! Tying Chinese knots is an old ancient art. We are trying to source for antique pieces and apparently hard to find them, moreover can be pricey!