Knot-making skills kept alive online by craftswoman
Lyu Min livestreams the art of making Chinese knots at her home in Tianjin. (SONG RUI/XINHUA)Resting her phone on a stand and adjusting the angle of the lighting, 49-year-old Lyu Min started her livestreaming session-her daily routine during the novel coronavirus outbreak.Clad in a qipao, a traditional Chinese dress, Lyu started the livestreaming session from her workshop at 10 am, sharing the art of making Chinese knots with many handicraft lovers in Tianjin.Lyu, an inheritor of the art of making Chinese knots, which is listed as an intangible cultural heritage in Tianjin, became a livestreaming host during the COVID-19 epidemic.”Though the sales of Chinese knots have dropped a lot, I’m still optimistic I can ride out the pressure brought by the outbreak. I can make full use of this period to improve my weaving techniques and revive this traditional handicraft online,” she said.Lyu is quite new to the world of livestreaming, having bought all the necessary equipment after following her friends’ advice. “I practice livestreaming every day and record a huge number of educational videos,” Lyu said.As face-to-face interaction is still impractical for many, even as the outbreak has been largely brought under control in China, Lyu said livestreaming classes can satisfy Chinese knot lovers’ curiosity and their eagerness to learn the handicraft.During one of her classes, Lyu intertwined the threads as she taught her fans how to make different Chinese knots step by step.”I have more than 200 followers right now. I see more and more Chinese knot enthusiasts on online platforms,” she said.Lyu has integrated the anti-epidemic spirit into her works, expressing the determination and confidence of the Chinese people to defeat the epidemic.”I have a deep affection for Wuhan (in Hubei province), where I exhibited my works in 2019. Chinese knots are popular among many local people, and I made lots of friends there,” Lyu said.She designed a special Chinese knot to express her gratitude to the medics of Tianjin who were dispatched to aid Wuhan, the Chinese city hit hardest by the epidemic, several months ago.”I am using a length of colored cord and perseverance to keep this traditional art of Chinese knots alive online and help more people understand it,” Lyu said.