The entwining art is a traditional handicraft in the folk society in Taiwan. In the early years, it was used as a custom during wedding ceremonies and festivals, with the meaning of sending, inheriting and praying for luck. The entwining art is also called spring flower. The pronunciation of the "spring" is similar to that of “surplus” in Taiwanese dialect, signifying praying for having abundance year after year. As to the entwining art, it is to twine the string around a variety of paper patterns. The art is a fusion of the skills of paper cutting, weaving and embroidery. In ancient times, each woman had to learn this handicraft.
Women wear red spring flower as an ornament. According to the regions and ethnic groups, it develops different custom, name, and style. However, there are no big differences. It prays for continuation and prosperity of the family, implying lucks and joy. The skills of the entwining art in Hoklo region are more, especially focusing on red. It is used in the wedding ceremony and adult ceremony. The colors of the entwining art in Hakka are more diversified. The spring flower is used as offering flowers in the hall or decoration and setting on clothes. It is more widely used than that in Hoklo region.
【Source from Cheng Hui-Mei(2015)】
According to the author's, Hsu Hui-Long, saying, the literal meaning of the word "flower" is associated with "pattern" or "design". The entwining art is classified as weaving and embroidery and paper.
”Twist the silk thread around the paper softly.
Phoenix hairpins like cloud clung on the pomegranate.
Rise to a higher rank and feel satisfied.
Orange flower adds aroma to celebrate conjugal felicity. ”
In the early history of Taiwan, there have been no historical records found. We can only deduce from a few of local chronicles that the entwining art should have been existed no later than the Qing Dynasty. With the immigrant of Changchou and Quanzhou, it naturally adopts the custom and habit of Fujian province. Later, each region has developed its own spring flower with distinct features by different geographic locations. Three systems of the entwining art can be categorized: the Hoklo, the Hakka and the Kinmen.
Through the spring flower exchange between Taiwan and Mainland, we realize that Chinese spring flower focuses on Hubei province and Xiamen in Fujian province. It is used on the birth, marriage and death. It begins in Ming Dynasty, but prospers in Qing Dynasty. But there were not many spring flowers at that time. The origin of spring flower in Mainland and Taiwan comes from the needlework, used on the marriage and festivals.【Source of the team】
In the early days, the women in Taiwan practiced the entwining art as part of the needle in their leisure time. For those with skilled hands they would sell spring flowers for subsidizing family expenses. In order to reduce competitors, the skills were not carried on others. It was carried to daughters, not sons. The entwining art was prevalent in the 1960s and 1970s. It was used both on the wedding ceremonies and daily makeup and setting on the hall.
The entwining art is a cultural produce from festival and custom. It is a traditional craft of people's life aesthetics, combining with social custom and life culture. Women wore spring flower on their heads to send auspiciousness and blessing. In Taiwan, systems of the entwining art can be categorized: the Northern Taiwan、the Lukang、 the Hakka and the Jinmen. No matter its patterns, materials, colors and symmetry, the entwining art of Xiamen is similar to that of Taiwan. According to the Taipei City chronicles, hairpins can be made on plastic flowers and real flowers. Using red string or embroidery to make hairpins is called spring flowers.
In the early Hoklo wedding ceremonies, bride, matchmaker and female members wore different kinds of spring flowers to celebrate happy marriage, nobility and auspiciousness. Red for the groom’s family and pink for the bride's.【Click on the link to see more / Source from Cheng Hui-Mei(2016)】
There are five periods about the entwining art：
●Origin：Originate from Hong House in Qing Dynasty.
●Prosperity：Most women in Changhua can make spring flowers and sell them to make money in the market during the1960s-1970s.
●Declination：Plastic spring flowers appear in the1980s.
●Restoration：After 1990s, Chen Huei-Mei learned from Mrs. Hsieh Chen Aiyu. She taught the entwining art and founded the Chinese Entwining Art Association. In 2010, the entwining art was officially registered in the list of intangible cultural heritage by the Ministry of Culture.
●Splendid revival：In recent years, the forces of tradition and new generation were combined together. The entwining art is pushed to the international market, so the traditional entwining art is once again seen by the world.
【Source of the team】
The Chinese Entwining Art Association was set up in 2010. The aim of the establishment was to let people who are interested in it learn together, share the entwining art, and offer a course to learn from each other, upgrading skills and increasing mutual feelings. The association encouraged members to undertake and hold exhibitions to promote the entwining art. Because of this, the entwining art is spread out in Taiwan.
The association is an important platform for spring flower lovers, experiencing three elections. Chen Huei-Mei assumed as the first and second chairperson, and Tseng Kuo-Fen assumed as the third chairperson. With the institutionalized regulations and regular meetings, and through the participation of various activities and teaching promotion, the association increases the interaction among members, and cultivates more new craftsmen. This is the most important point to make the entwining art prosper.
With Chen Siou-Min’s help, Chen Hui-Mei received approval from the Ministry of Culture and recognized as a preserver of the intangible cultural heritage in the entwining art. Besides, she had the responsibility and mission to pass down and preserve the skill. The entwining art also became an intangible cultural heritage and got the attention from the public.
The Chinese Entwining Art Association holds many exhibitions every year. Recently, the Chinese Entwining Art Association holds a joint Exhibition of spring flower in Cultural Affairs Department, Tainan City in 2018. The craftsmen combine the traditional entwining art with creative materials and skills. With the members’ team work and creative ideas, the association makes the entwining art popular.
The study of Taiwan' folk custom becomes popular and popular, but some special skills are not easy to see because the craftsmen are not many and the cultural relics are owned by people or collected in the collection room. It’s hard to have further analysis and it is rarely known to people. The entwining art faces this difficulty. Inheritance is the basic rule of craft. The main mission of the craftsman is to pass down the traditional craft. Therefore, the importance of craftsman is related with inheritance.
To pass down the entwining art and give certificate to who learn the entwining art, Chen Huei-Mei built the system and encouraged more people to engage in the area of the entwining art. To maintain and follow the accuracy and quality of the basic skills, Chen Huei-Mei, the preserver of the intangible cultural heritage, submitted the certificate standards.
People who learn the entwining art from Chen Hui-Mei and get certificate can apply for the skill accreditation. According to the certification standards, people can teach spring flower and engage in promotion and development of the entwining art.
The entwining art (spring flower) belongs to the cultural heritage-traditional art. The detail certificate standards are below：
|Basic Level||People who apply for basic level certificate have to learn from the skills of Chen Huei-Mei for 30 hours, and offer relevant certificates or study materials.||Lily、
|Intermediate Level||People who apply for intermediate level certificate have to learn from the skills of Chen Huei-Mei for 30 hours, pass the basic level certificate and offer relevant certificates or study materials.||Round Blossom、
|Advanced Level||People who apply for advanced level certificate have to learn from the skills of Chen Huei-Mei for 30 hours, pass the intermediate level certificate and offer relevant certificates or study materials.||Carnation、
Certificate of basic level and a picture of charter ceremony
Students of intermediate level take pictures and display works
【Image & source provided by Chen Huei-Mei】
A beautiful promise ： Ms. Chen Huei-Mei met Granny Hsieh Chen Aiyu
At first, Miss Chen Huei-Mei worked at the antique and taught leather sculpture. The first touch to spring flower was due to her colleague’s dance competition. As a result, Miss Lai asked her male colleague to help her make one hundred Lily spring flowers. At that time, Miss Chen loved the elegance and delicacy of spring flower. With Lin’s help, he invited 90-year-old granny Aiyu to the workshop to teach spring flowers and was allowed to be her student.
In the beginning of learning spring flower, Aiyu said when I wanted to learn how to make spring flower, nobody wanted to teach me, because it was a skill to make money. Everyone lived on it. The current spring flower is invented by me. Therefore, Aiyu steps a big pace and teaches the skills of the entwining art without concealment.
Due to Ms Chen’s spirit of gratitude and learning original goal, Ms Chen remembered the produce method and process of Aiyu’s Taiwan red spring flower. Spring flower was first displayed at the International Landscape Sculpture Festival. At that time, the sponsor used a big bamboo sieve to display twelve spring flowers. And then put them into a display box. Until 2008, it takes root at NCFTA. Establish the workshop of “The Spring Flower.” Establish the first Craft House of “The Spring Flower” in 2012.
Mrs. Chen Huei-Mei learned that without Aiyu’ study and selfless teaching on spring flowers, the entwining art can’t be preserved. In 2004, Aiyu passed away. In memory of Aiyu’s contribution toward spring flower, she made a promise on the funeral. “Granny, I must promote the spring flower.” This promise starts Chen Hui-Mei’s career toward craft, and make the entwining art have an important place on the history.
↑Layout of the Craft House of “The Spring Flower”- Ms. Hsieh Chen Aiyu take a picture with spring flower
【Image & source provided by the team】
From the couple of the camera store to the talent of the spring flower ： Shy Li-Mei and Gong Xian-Sen’s dream of the spring flower
Teacher Shy was fond of flowers and ever learned ribbon flowers from Japanese. After marriage, she started to learn spring flower. Originally, Ms. Shy Li-Mei and her husband, Gong Xian-Sen, run a camera store. Because she knew the meaning of Lukang string flower very much, she would send a double pomegranate to the bride for free. She found that no one makes it in the old street in Lukang. Instead, ribbon spring flower came out. She thought that it was a pity to lose this precious craft. Thus, with the sense of mission, Ms. Shy looked for the old and learned skills from them. With the basic of making ribbons, she used string, paper and wire to make beautiful spring flowers.
Ms. Shy thought that only traditional spring flower couldn’t combine with modern life. Consequently, when making spring flower, she kept the traditional pattern and skill and combine with modern fashion elements. She used creativity to give the spring flower new life, turn red spring flower into colorful ones. She gave peculiarity and cultural context to each spring flower.
In recent years, Shy Li-Mei devotes her life to teaching spring flower and accepts the interview from the media. She promotes the traditional art of spring flower. Furthermore, she never stops telling when the junior of the entwining art come to visit her. She makes the entwining art leave a footprint on academic research.
↑Shy Li-Mei’s works, Media interview, Take a picture with Tangled Love
【Image provided by Facebook of Lukang spring flower / Source of the team】
The second spring of repurposing of unused space ： Lukang Artists Village
Lukang Artists Village, a Japanese-style dormitory, was located at Lukang Town, Changhua. It was an abandoned architecture. Under the organization and rebuilding of Changhua County and Lukang Town Office, it integrated the context of the historic development of this place, cultural facilities and layout. Thus, Lukang Artists Village was born. Lukang traditional art joint workshop consulted by Changhua County had a booth on Lukang Artists Village, which contains string flower derived from the spring flower worn on early wedding ceremony. Gung Wei-Cin uses colorful and silky string to wrap around the paper card and wire to make vivid shapes of rose, pomegranate or butterfly.
Lukang is a small town with 100-year history, which was Taiwan’s second trade harbor in Qing Dynasty. At that time, the business was booming and traditional art atmosphere was everywhere. Lukang owned abundant cultural heritage. Antiques were here and there. The architecture was quaint. Folk art is one feature of Lukang. After the Artists Village was set up, many craftsmen were selected to hold exhibitions here, pouring countless creative energy on Lukang.
The representative of spring flower in southern Taiwan is Lukang’s Hsieh family. Lukang Artist Village once held exhibitions of the Chinese entwining art, inviting the Chinese Entwining Art Association and the local excellent craftsmen in Lukang to have an exhibition together. The works are very delicate. Having a trip on Lukang, we increase the art atmosphere and do something for the traditional folk arts.
↑Street of Lukang Artists Village, Foreign visitors take a picture with spring flower
【Image provided by Gung Wei-Cin / Source of the team】
The Ambassador of preserving the folk art ： The National Center for Traditional Arts
The National Center for Traditional Arts (NCFTA) was located in Wujie, Yilan. The preparatory work of NCFTA commenced in 1996 and it was open in October, 2003. The center began to execute its designated missions on cultivating talents in traditional arts and conduct the investigation, research, conservation, transmission and development of traditional arts. It improves the rebirth, development and innovation. Towards the preservation, contact, care and emphasis, NCFTA continuously develops the beauty of life art in the folk society.
Wujie Township was once the place of residence. A group of pioneers from Fujian were led by Lin Han-Sheng. When the pioneers cultivated the land, they used the system of knots. The system was Han’s organization, consisting of ten tenant farmers to form a knot. After the land was cultivated, the leader of fifth knot got the land. It was called Wujie. Recently, the National Center for Traditional Arts was founded and Yilan International Children’s Folklore and Folk game Festival attract a lot of tourists, the craftsmen establish workshops and cultural factory in Wujie
The representative of spring flower in northern Taiwan is Chen Hui-Mei, ever promoting teaching and holding exhibitions at NCFTA. She fosters a lot of excellent craftsmen. For the local and foreign tourists, many craftsmen show their works at NCFTA. The “Spring Flower” workshop was set up and brought a lot of tourists to see the beauty of spring flower. And it inspired the learning desire. After the Craft House of “The Spring Flower” was set up, the Eastern Zen was founded by Chang Jin-Liang.
↑Street of NCFTA, Spring Flower workshop, Take a picture on the seminar of the entwining art
【Image provided by Chen Huei-Mei / Source of the team】
In northern Taiwan, the twelve spring flowers are the common ones for the wedding occasion, including turtle, deer, pomegranate, plum blossom, five-fortune flower, carnation, rose, peony, white michelia, round blossom, butterfly and lily. The twelve kinds are used to represent different statuses of family members in the folk ritual. Red color is used to express the image of spring flower. In the early Hoklo wedding, bride, matchmaker and female members wore different kinds of spring flowers to celebrate happy marriage and richness, nobility and auspiciousness and show respect to seniors. Red for the groom’s family and pink for the bride’s
The turtle implies fortune and longevity and shows respect to seniors; usually wore by the groom’s grandmother and the bride’s mother. The deer implies fortune and prosperity and shows respect to the elders; usually wore by the bride’s mother. The plum blossom’s pronunciation is the same as that of the matchmaker; therefore, worn by the matchmaker. The five-fortune flower implies fortune, prosperity, longevity, happiness and health. The carnation signifies appreciation mother’s love. The peony signifies richness, nobility and auspiciousness. The lily signifies happy marriage.
A proverb says “Fucheng, Lukang and Mank” expressing Lukang’s prosperity and its status as a trade port. It’s also an essence area for every kind of arts. At that time, social society shows its respect to spring flower in Lukang and shows its meaning of the society. Spring flower is used on wedding ceremony, praying and getting rid of bad luck.。
The eleven kinds are used to represent different statuses of family members in the folk ritual. Red color is used to express the image of spring flower. In the early Hoklo wedding, bride, matchmaker, bride’s mother, mother-in-law and female members wore different kinds of spring flowers to celebrate happy marriage and richness, nobility and auspiciousness and show respect to seniors. Red for the groom’s family and pink for the bride’s.
The turtle implies fortune and longevity and shows respect to seniors. The pomegranate implies fertility and prays for having more babies born into the family by the bride.
According to Cheng Hui-Mei’s research in 2008, the spring flowers in Hakka are not only used as bride’s hairpins and some decorations in the hall but also used as decorations in making children’s hats. It is divided into five categories: offering flowers, lanterns, hairpins, children’s hats and hanging parts. Vivid colors and various patterns play an important role in the custom. Spring flower not only mixes into the daily life but also signifies women’s exquisite skills. It’s a way to show the virtue of Hakka women and the fusion of custom and belief. It even shows folk aesthetics and the value of culture.
Spring flowers in Hakka are different from those in Hoklo society. They are the fusion of beads, weaving and embroidery. The patterns of spring flower in Hakka are five kinds of flowers with aroma: coco magnolia, osmanthus fragrans, banana shrub, magnolia, and orchid tree, implying good luck, happiness and auspiciousness.
The preservers of Hakka spring flower are unknown. Owing to some folk collectors’ treasures on Hakka chan-hua, Cheng Hui-Mei reproduced the forms and skills of it on the research of Taiwan Hakka chan-hua in 2008. It helps those who want to learn spring flower to follow the model to enlarge or reduce, to copy or reorganize, or to change forms to make innovations.
According to the Kinmen County chronicles, Kinmen has spring flower and auspicious flower. Auspicious flower is one of the local traditional crafts in Kinmen, also named spring flower, string flower and chan-hua. It is divided into “big auspicious flower” and “little auspicious flower”. The shape of auspicious flower is pomegranate, implying fertility and praying for having more babies. Its shape is the same as that of orange, so naming it “auspicious”. In daily life, people often use little auspicious flowers. For instance, Chinese New Year, Taoist sacrificial ceremony, pilgrimage, housewarming and birthday. They plug little auspicious flowers on the offerings on the altar, signifying “surplus”. When women go out or burn incense and worship the gods, they also wear a little auspicious flower to signify “luck”.
Before Chinese New Year, residents in Kinmen will choose an auspicious day to clean the Buddha at home and change “Buddha Crown” to have the meaning of “get rid of bad luck and bring in good luck”.
In Kinmen, the most special thing is that auspicious flower is used in the funeral. After finishing it, the family will plug auspicious flower on the steamed rice cake and traditional tangyuan, giving it to married women, nieces and granddaughters, to pass the period of mourning.
Craftsman of Chan-hua Bamboo
Chang Cai-Shu, a famous bamboo craftsman, integrates cross stitch into bamboo and shines in the world of traditional craft.
In recent years, she stepped into the world of handmade Chan-hua, and used the techniques of Chan-hua into bamboo. This forms a special Chan-hua and bamboo handicraft.
Silk Thread Heart．Twining Feeling: Chan-hua Solo Exhibition
Chen Ya-Hong held Chan-hua solo exhibition in the museum of Hualien County Cultural Affair Bureau. The display works are various, including the entwining art. Besides, she combined jewelry with decorations and hairpins and flowers.
Ying Chun Hua: Chan-hua Solo Exhibition
Lin Pei-Ying not only creates spring flower but also teaches in the community and school. “Her spring flower not only is a traditional handicraft but also has some features in Yunlin towns” said Chang Sheng-Jh, a town mayor in Beigang. Purple crow butterflies in Linnei township and golden bats in Shuilin township are used in her handicrafts.
Craftsman of Chan-hua Embroidery
During the process of learning Chan-hua, Chou thinks that she has the mission to take the responsibility. However, no one promotes Chan-hua in Chiayi. Then she expects to have her own business here.
Chan-hua Bloom: Teacher and Student Joint Exhibition
Liu Shu-Cin taught in the community university. In recent years, she followed Chen Huei-Mei, the preserver of cultural heritage in the entwining art. With the support and promotion of Tainan Community University, Liu held experience classes and training workshops in universities and colleges. Liu was loved by the public and students.
Chan-hua Patchwork Craftsman
Hua-Cin-Si: Chan-hua Joint Exhibition
When Li Shu-Hua taught in Fengshan Community University, she taught the basic skills of spring flower in a relaxed mood. Furthermore, she implemented the practicality of the art of Chan-hua in life and combined with fashion.
Chan-hua on nails-Chan-hua & Manicure Joint Exhibition
A few years ago, Chen first touched the entwining art during the curation. With a rush of enthusiasm, Chen plunged into the world of the entwining art. She studied by herself and learned from famous teachers actively. Her works combines with fashion design, putting different weaving skills and materials into the creation of the entwining art.
Craftsman of Chan-hua kneading Model
Happy Time: Chan-hua Solo Exhibition
Lin Shu-Cyong was a kneading model teacher. Since she met Chan-hua, she reproduced the entwining art, plunging into the new world. She not only devotes herself to creation but also displays the Chan-hua skills for the team. She hopes that she can create on diverse materials and discover the beauty of traditional craft.
Chairperson of the Chinese Entwining Art Association
Joint Exhibition of “Sword Lion Spring Tour & Flowers contend”
In 2009, Tseng was selected into the 10th Weaving Award and became addicted to Chan-hua. Hence, he selected this as the research topic of master’s thesis.。
Tseng Kuo-Fen, a rare male creator in this field, was addicted to Chan-hua. To make a comprehensive view of his creation, he develops more kinds of Chan-hua, getting rid of inherent ideas of Chan-hua. He devotes himself to taking root in Chan-hua. Making Chan-hua has been a tradition of in Guangrong Elementary School Sanchong District New Taipei City.
Chairperson of Hakka Creative Chan-hua Association
Combining the skills of stylist and Chan-hua, Guo Fan-Syuan won two champions in IBEAS International Beauty Competition in Seoul, Korea. She carries out the traditional culture of Taiwan.
Furthermore, she devotes to establishing the Association of Multimedia Art and Hakka Chan-hua in Hsinchu County, gathering more people to promote Hakka Chan-hua.Next
GongYi: Chan-hua Joint Exhibition
In 2010, Huang won the Honorable Mention Award of traditional craft in Taiwan Handicraft Competition. She presents Chan-hua with her ideas and changeable skills. Apart from continuing the tradition, she thinks outside the box.
“Gong-Yi Chan-hua joint exhibition” mainly focus on “Gong” and uses “Yi” to make Chan-hua works. She appeals for more creative ideas of Chan-hua.Prev
The preserver of the entwining art
The Preserver of the Entwining Art: Chan-hua Solo Exhibition
Chen was a leather craftsman. Only for a promise does she devote her lifetime to the entwining art. She not only dedicates to creative works but also continues the entwining art and nurtures talent for the entwining art.
Through exhibitions, promotion and communication, she goes into schools and infects more people with skilled hands. Let more people be fascinated with Chan-hua.Next
Craftsman of Chan-hua Embroidery
Chang Jin-Lian owns professional skills, like Japanese kimono embroidery, kesi, weaving, and European palace tassel. In recent years, she combined what she learned with traditional silk skills and established the brand of “Eastern Zen”.
After Chen Huei-Mei, Chang marched into National Center for Traditional Arts and stationed there. Shang said that many young visitors didn’t know the origin of spring flower. However, they are interested in DIY of the entwining art, hairpins and earrings. They think that these are classical and innovative souvenirs.Prev
Craftsman of Chan-hua Metal Wire
HuaXianJinXi-Thread Art Solo Exhibition
Winning the award of Taiwan’s excellent crafts in 2018, Shy Yu-Jie said the mind of making Chan-hua is like a metaphor as Zen.
In recent years, she made a silk thread be imaginative and connect the past and the present. When the hard metal wire in occident met the flexible silk thread in orient, they can crash the different sparks and become popular with the public.
Zen Words●Chan-hua: Chan-hua Solo Exhibition
Luo Siou-Yu learned the skills of spring flower in northern Taiwan and Hakka Chan-hua in central Taiwan. Two-year full-time learning, Luo laid a solid foundation of basic skills of traditional craft. Encouraged by her husband, Luo engaged in the entwining art and taught the juniors to create with new materials. Luo inherited this unique craft which declines in Taiwan.
Choosing Zen Words & Chan-hua as the topic, Zen and Chan-hua have the same pronunciation, implying the process of learning and creation.Next
Won a Prize for Excellence in International Chan-hua Competition
Liu Jh-Huei married to Taiwan and joined the training workshop of spring flower in her leisure time in Taichung City.
Liu’s spring flowers have transformed from wedding articles into delicate art. Liu helps the women in training workshop receive orders and makes these women have a second career. She won an award for an outstanding woman model from the Chinese Woman’s party.Prev
The preserver of the entwining art
Found Chan-hua: Chan-hua Solo Exhibition
Xie Ya-Xiu, the third generation of successor, learned the skill of spring flower from her mother and promoted the beauty of spring flower.
In 2016, Xie was registered as the preserver of the intangible cultural heritage in the entwining art by Changhua County Government. Engaging in creation for 30 years, she developed innovative techniques and devoted herself to promotion and teaching. She brought Chan-hua into another new frontier.Next
Craftsman of Chan-hua Silk Flower
Shy Li-Mei was good at ribbon flower, art flower arrangement and bridal bouquet. When she saw the double pomegranate, she was fascinated with this delicate works. She started to learn from her good friend, Xie Ya-Xiu.
Recently, The dance of phoenix flower of SamadhiTang Brand-new Puppet show in Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Department Store in Taipei is a crossover with this national treasure Craftsman.Prev