LIANG YI TALKS
Title: Intangible Cultural Heritage in the "Story of Yanxi Palace": The Kesi Fan by Gu Jian Guo
Speaker: Gu Jian Guo
Date: Wednesday, December 5th, 2018
Story of Yanxi Palace, the most viewed Chinese TV drama of 2018, has accumulated over 13 billion views since its broadcast this summer. For our last Liang Yi Talks of 2018, we are thrilled to share the magic by inviting Mr. Gu Jian Guo, renowned kesi fan designer and technical advisor of costumes of the acclaimed series, to introduce the history and techniques in the production of kesi (a technique of silk tapestry unique to China) with our guests.
Kesi is an endangered silk tapestry art form dating back to ancient China in the Tang dynasty (618-907). It applies the technique of knotting coloured silk threads on horizontal white silk threads. The knots between coloured threads create a surface of unconnected patterns, resembling engraved designs. The production of kesi requires intensive and sophisticated labour. There is a saying in Chinese that “an inch of kesi has the same value as an inch of gold”, hence its exclusive use by the imperial court.
Mr. Gu will bring along 20 examples of kesi fans both from the set of Story of Yanxi Palace and ones created in other styles to demonstrate the beauty of the technique and craftsmanship.