Four of Liu's embroidered fans. [Photo provided to chinadaily.com.cn]
With a love of embroidery and Dunhuang murals, Liu Yao, a young woman from northwest China's Gansu province, has found a way to combine her two passions.
Liu's mother and grandmother are both accomplished embroiderers, so it made sense that she too would pick up the art. Liu uses needle and thread to recreate on fabric the images of Buddha's hand gestures seen in murals across Dunhuang.
"These gestures comprise a very important part of the region's art heritage," Liu said.
She attends museums, libraries and exhibitions for inspiration. "We express ourselves through body language. And hand gestures embody so many emotions and meanings," she said.
Liu's latest work features three parts: Buddha's hands, Avalokiteshvara's hands, and hands holding flowers.
For each category she's created four fans, and in the near future, she plans to embroider the most celebrated asparas, a female spirit intrinsic to Buddhist culture.