Health food, chocolate, tobacco, and wine are normally chosen as gifts for relatives and friends during the Spring Festival (Chinese lunar New Year). This year, embroidered portraits, instead, become popular in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, as people are pleased to receive fine pieces of embroidery with their own images on them.
Suzhou embroidery leads Chinese embroidery with its lifelike and delicate work. Just based on one's picture, embroidery artists can produce a vivid likeness of the person merely with needle and string. It is astonishing that even the person's skin color, facial expression, and wrinkles can be presented clearly in the embroidery work.
Besides that, many people like to have embroidered portraits made of their relatives and friends, or of themselves, while crazy fans are keen on collecting the embroidered portraits of pop stars. In Suzhou, an embroidered portrait of Sang-woo Kwon, a Korean movie star, is being produced at the request of about 70 fans, who will present it to Sang-woo Kwon as a New Year gift.
(Chinanews.cn January 31, 2007)