Chinese Artists Recreate Old Currency

Chinese husband-and-wife artists Shao Yinong and Muchen used traditional embroidery techniques to create larger-than-life versions of outdated Chinese currency for their collection “Autumn Spring,” exhibited at a gallery in Hong Kong earlier this year. The pair has been working on the series for a decade.

The Beijing-based artists told TimeOut Hong Kong that they used modified traditional Suzhou embroidery techniques to create the depictions of obsolete money. The artists approached the silk by separating threads into smaller, finer strands to give each piece a deliberately washed-out look. The collection has a political message: “What’s interesting to us is that, normally, when a new government comes in, they will release their own money so the old currency becomes useless,” Muchen tells TimeOut. “Though at first glance we want people to be attracted by the beauty of the embroidery, when people look at these, they can tell the message behind it. It’s a window and symbol and gives an insight into the aesthetic of that time.”