Huifen Yao (Biographical details)

Huifen Yao (fibre/textile worker; Chinese; Female; 1967)

Also known as

Yao, Huifen


Yao Huifen, is known as the senior arts and crafts artist, Jiangsu arts and crafts master as well as representation heir of non-material cultural heritage in Jiangsu province, is also recognized as a local expert and leading artist; and above all, the fourth successor of the legendary Chinese embroidery master – Shen Shou. Yao Huifen is currently entitled as member of China Arts and Crafts Association, member of China Arts and Crafts Institution, and art director of Yao Huifen Embroidery Art Instituion.
Yao Huifen was born in a family with a long history of embroidery in Suzhou and started to study embroidery when she was young. Later she began to learn Suzhou embroidery theories and arts following Mou Zhihong, the third generation heir of Shen Shou, the senior arts and crafts artist of Suzhou Embroidery Research Institute, and Ren Huixian, the national arts and crafts master. After ten years’ efforts, she has completely mastered stitches and embroidery arts of Suzhou embroidery and has thoroughly recognized the true essence of Suzhou embroidery arts. She can not only craftily apply dozens of Suzhou embroidery stitches at ease but also integrate arts of random stitch embroidery of Suzhou embroidery perfectly in form of traditional Chinese washing paintings and foreign oil paintings, providing vivid characteristics and uniqueness to her works as well as contributing brand new expression forms and modern features to the Suzhou embroidery. Since 1991, dozens of arts and crafts awards from municipal level to national level have been conferred to Yao Huifen for fine works she has created, as well as honors such as ‘Chinese Artful Women’, ‘CCTV Most Brilliant Female’, ‘Young and Middle-aged Experts of Suzhou Province with Prominent Contribution’. In the latest decade, she has focused on exploratory researching on random stitch embroidery to innovate traditional Chinese washing paintings. Gradually she has defined herself style as the embroidery of deficiency-excess random stitch and painting in the impressionistic manner, producing many highly artistic quality and creative embroidery such as “Tung Chee-hwa Portrait”, “Sketch Girlish Portrait”, “Grape Girlish Portrait” and “Enjoyable Peony ", which convey a brand-new concept not only in the color change and inosculation, body drawing-blank, Clair-obscure, but also in line erarchical processing method, different from traditional random stitch embroidery being a new breakthrough in aesthetic perception and embroidery skill and technique.
As a woman leader of new embroidery generation, Yao Huifen has visited several foreign countries many times as to promote embroidery culture and has carried forward long history of the city where the art originated. Suzhou embroidery has been recognized as a unique artwork nowadays thanks to her endeavor.