China Adorned: Ritual and Custom of Ancient Cultures
Qiyao Deng, Cat Vinton
Thames & Hudson, 2022
Combining decades of ethnographic research with newly commissioned photography, this is a celebration of the lives of ethnic-minority groups in China.
Aesthetic influences drawn from China have long resonated throughout Western art, design and thought. China Adorned challenges the monolithic idea of ‘Chinese’ culture and fashion, turning the lens on the rich clothing traditions of the country’s ethnic-minority peoples.
Drawing on more than three decades of research by cultural anthropologist Professor Qiyao Deng, the book documents and demystifies the customs and rituals of more than thirty minority peoples through their clothing and accessories. Deng’s never-before-published archival photos sit alongside contemporary imagery by photographer Cat Vinton that showcases fabrics, jewelry and the surrounding landscapes, helping readers to better understand the deep connections between people, place, ritual and adornment. Contributor essays delve further into textiles and techniques, the role of the artisan and the extraordinary resilience of material cultures that face disappearance, offering a timely reminder of the importance of preserving these traditions for generations to come.