Individuality in Commonality: A Comparative Study of Su Embroidery and Gu Embroidery Based on Online Retrieval of Museum Collections

  •  Shuai Xu    
  •  Longdi Cheng    
  •  Yunying Liu    
  •  Lan Ge    


As traditional handicrafts in the south of the Yangtze River, Su embroidery and Gu embroidery are closely related to each other due to their geographical proximity, mutual exchange of embroidery techniques and similar cultural backgrounds. In recent years, there has been considerable research on the historical origins and relationship between the two, but no unified conclusion has been formed. Through the combination of quantitative statistics of online collections in domestic museums and qualitative analysis of literature records, following the idea of “deconstruction - research - recombination”, this paper studies the similarities, differences, and influencing factors of Su embroidery and Gu embroidery, and illustrates the relationship between them. Su embroidery and Gu embroidery are two independent embroidery categories, which showed the characteristics of “Individuality in Commonality” with the evolution of the historical process. Under the call to revitalize traditional handicrafts, it is beneficial for the protection and inheritance of Su and Gu embroidery to trace their historical origins, analyze their respective technical characteristics, and clarify their relationship.

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