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VA Cheongsam

From March 25th to 27th, we, the art lovers in Shung Tak, participated in the “Transmitting and Creating” Intangible Cultural Heritage Art Education Program: Cheongsam Making Workshop. Are you curious about what a cheongsam is? Cheongsam is actually the Qipao, but Hong Kong is the only place in the world that still refers to it as the ‘Cheongsam’. Read on to learn more about this wonderful program. On the first day of the journey, the teacher taught us about the history of intangible cultural heritage and the cheongsam.

When the cheongsam was brought to Hong Kong, it reached its peak where both girls and women could be seen wearing Cheongsam on the streets. Unfortunately, the trend of wearing a cheongsam kept declining so much so that there are very few cheongsam tailors left today. On the second and third day, we focused on making the cheongsam. Making a cheongsam emphasizes needlework and the creation process includes choosing the fabric, neckline design, cutting, sleeve assembly, sewing on the buttons, sewing and finally ironing the cheongsam. Now, the cheongsam that you can see in the art room are all put together by us, stitch by stitch. The process of making a cheongsam takes a lot of time. It is very complex and requires high technical skills. What is even worse, is since there is a decreasing number of cheongsam masters nowadays, the chances of passing on the skills to the next generation becomes even more unlikely. At Shung Tak, we have been very lucky to be able to learn these skills and we also understand why we must cherish each cheongsam even more. We need to respect the techniques and the history behind it.

Our class really feels so fortunate to be able to make a cheongsam by ourselves and we all hope that more Shungtakians will engage with Hong Kong’s intangible cultural heritage in the future!

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