[Video provided to en.nantong.gov.cn]
Nantong emulated embroidery originated from Suzhou embroidery and is mainly popular in Nantong, Suzhou, and Changzhou in East China's Jiangsu province.
It was created by Suzhou embroidery expert Shen Shou (1874-1921), and is thus known as Shen embroidery. Shen integrated Suzhou embroidery with the needling methods of Japanese embroidery and the light principles of European oil paintings, creating vivid emulated artworks.
Shen embroidery. [Photo provided to en.nantong.gov.cn]
Xue Yi Xiu Pu (Xue Yi Embroidery Book), dictated by Shen and compiled by Zhang, is a relatively systematic and complete theoretical work on the art of embroidery that sums up 40 years of Shen's practical experience.
In 1910, Shen completed the Portrait of the Empress of Italy, which won awards at the Turin World Fair and was presented to the then Empress of Italy as a national gift.
Shen embroidery President Obama's Family Portrait. [Photo provided to en.nantong.gov.cn]
In November 2009, the Shen embroidery work President Obama's Family Portrait created by the Shen Shou Art Museum was presented to Barack Obama. In March 2013, the embroidery work Portrait of President Putin, also produced by the museum, was presented to President Putin as a national gift.
Nantong emulated embroidery was included in the first list of intangible cultural heritage items by the Jiangsu Provincial People's Government in 2007. One year later, it was recognized as a national intangible cultural heritage item.