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15 Dec 2013 - 16 Feb 2014

The University Museum and Art Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of traditional Chinese costumes, baby carriers and silver ornaments drawn from the collection of Mei-yin Lee. This exhibition demonstrates the wealth of colours, techniques and styles found in the on-going traditions of Chinese minority groups. The display is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, and the production of both exhibition and book has been generously supported by the HKU Museum Society in celebration of the Museum’s 60th and Society’s 25th anniversaries respectively.

Elaborately embroidered costumes and baby carriers, most of which originate with the Miao, Dong, Shui and Zhuang ethnic tribes of the south-western Chinese provinces of Guizhou, Yunnan, and Guangxi are decorated with richly coloured, stitched and sewn ornamentation - and sometimes silver applications - indigenous to the particular culture and long-lived traditions they derive from. As some ethnic minorities lack a written script, the symbolism and colour-coding found in their textiles form a visual language that presents an important cultural and anthropological development and heritage still in practice today.

The exhibition opening coincides with the HKU Museum Society’s Members’ Day (14 December 2013, 3:30 – 6 pm), and it will present several of the featured embroidered dresses in a life fashion show.


Woman’s attire, Yi ethnic minority, Liangshan Prefecture, Sichuan Province

 Length of upper garment: 90cm               Width between cuffs: 148cm

 (Collection of Mei-yin LEE)


Woman’s festive attire, Miao ethnic minority, Taigong Town, Taijiang County, Guizhou Province

 Length of upper garment: 86cm               Width between cuffs: 123cm

 Length of skirt: 78cm               Waist: 88cm

 Overskirt: 95cm               Waist: 95cm 

(Collection of Mei-yin LEE)

Baby carrier embroidered with pomegranate and butterfuly motifs, Miao ethnic minority, Guizhou Province

Republican era

 Dimension: 103cm x 107cm

(Collection of Mei-yin LEE)

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