Batik and Botanic Dyes (Guizhou Province, China)

Guizhou’s Miao and Dong communities base their botanical knowledge on centuries of subsistence farming in the region. At least three species of the flowering plant indigofera are cultivated in Guizhou and provide a dye used on clothing and household furnishings. To prepare the dye, harvested leaves are converted into a paste. Because indigo dye does not have to be kept hot, it is ideal for wax-resist batik. In batik, patterns are applied to undyed cloth using liquid beeswax; when the cloth is submerged in dye, the waxed parts remain white while the unwaxed parts absorb the colour.

Dr. Yang Wenbin is an executive member of the China Ethnic Minority Clothing Research Association who has researched ethnic botanic dyeing techniques.

Learn more about Batik and Botanic dyeing at the Artist Talk on July 12 at 2pm.

Everyone: FREE

Saturday, July 12, 2014
12:00PM – 8:00PM
North Exhibition Common
235 Queens Quay West, Toronto Ontario

Sunday, July 13, 2014
12:00PM – 6:00PM
North Exhibition Common
235 Queens Quay West, Toronto Ontario

Yang Wenbin 杨文斌
A scholar from Kaili, Guizhou Province, Yang Wenbin has been researching and promoting ethnic folk arts, including those of his own Miao community, since the 1960s. His field research has focused on clothing art and craft of ethnic minority groups in southwestern, central, and southern China. He also practices Miao traditional batik, botanic dyeing, and silver decoration. In the 1980s he helped to establish the Guizhou Qiandongnan Region Ethnic and Folk Craft Research Institute and served as its director. His current research focuses on the eco-social meaning and sustainability of botanic dyeing, and he is the author of books on Miao Traditional Batik and Guizhou Batik.