ultramarinus – beyond the sea

CHINESE HAND PRINTED BLUE NANKEEN GALLERY (藍印花布博物館), Shanghai, China

Originated from the nearby provinces of Jiangsu, Zhejiang and Guizhou, the hand making of blue nankeen cotton fabric have been a local heritage for centuries.  Dyed in indigo and finished with white traditional patterns, the traditional blue nankeen fabrics have caught the eyes of many people, including Japanese artist Kubo Mase (久保麻紗).  Kubo Mase was a prominent collector of blue nankeen fabrics, dyeing tools, handlooms, and many other blue nankeen related tools collected from the rural areas across Southern China since 1950s.  Kubo Mase founded the Chinese Hand Printed Blue Nankeen Gallery in a small courtyard at Changle Road Lane 637.  It houses many of her collections, and also hosts a small shop selling hand printed blue nankeen fabrics.

Before leaving Shanghai, we were keen to drop by the Chinese Hand Printed Blue Nankeen Gallery to know more about the traditional indigo cotton.  Following the sign from the main road, we found our way through small lanes and courtyards until reaching the gallery forecourt where a few rows of indigo fabrics were hung.  In an old two-storey house, Kubo Mase’s collection and a small shop of a variety of blue nankeen products made up the off-the-beaten-track attraction for anyone who is interested in cultural heritage and beautiful handcrafts.  In a nation where modernization is rapidly wiping out authentic heritage, historical neighborhoods, and rural culture, the gallery appears like a peaceful oasis where the old ways of blue nankeen making is quietly preserved.

DSC_2539Entrance into the gallery forecourt.

DSC_2533Blue nankeen fabric hanging in the forecourt of the gallery.

DSC_2537Blue nankeen fabric hanging in the forecourt of the gallery.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAMore blue nankeen fabric hanging on the second floor of the gallery building.

DSC_2542Inside the gallery building, many blue nankeen fabrics were framed and displayed all over.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA With nice wooden floor and nostalgic pendant lamps, the gallery interior was an atmospheric old mansion.

DSC_2545On the second level, a traditional handloom was on display.

DSC_2551The Koinobori (Japanese carp flag) inspired print was also on display among the traditional blue nankeen fabrics.

DSC_2558Detailed patterns of a traditional blue nankeen fabric.

DSC_2560Detailed patterns of a traditional blue nankeen fabric.

DSC_2562Second floor exhibition hall showcasing dyeing tools in the glass display counters.

DSC_2567Traditional clothing made with the blue nankeen fabric.

DSC_2570A hallway marked by neat archways was also used to display blue nankeen fabrics.

***

Read other posts on Shanghai 2016:
0.0 SHANGHAI, 2016
1.0 SUZHOU MUSEUM, Suzhou, China
2.0 HUMBLE ADMINISTRATOR’S GARDEN, Suzhou, China
3.0 LION GROVE GARDEN, Suzhou, China
4.0 SOUP DUMPLINGS AND MORNING STROLL, Shanghai, China
5.0 ROCKBUND, Shanghai, China
6.0 M50, Shanghai, China
7.0 1933 SHANGHAI (老場坊) , Shanghai, China
8.0 POLY GRAND THEATRE (上海保利大劇院), Shanghai, China
9.0 FORMER FRENCH CONCESSION, Shanghai, China
10.0 POWER STATION OF ART, Shanghai, China
11.0 LONG MUSEUM (龍美術館), West Bund, Shanghai, China
12.0 THE BUND (外灘) AT NIGHT, Shanghai, China
13.0 TIANZIFANG (田子坊), Shanghai, China
14.0 CHINESE HAND PRINTED BLUE NANKEEN GALLERY (藍印花布博物館), Shanghai, China
15.0 LUJIAZUI (陸家嘴) OF PUDONG (浦東), Shanghai, China

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