Skip to main content
The Keyword

Arts & Culture

The Art of Chinese Crafts across a thousand canvases

Article's hero media
China’s rich crafts heritage dates back many centuries. But as traditions evolve and time passes, many of these arts and crafts are at risk of being lost forever. This is why we’re pleased to open “The Art of Chinese Crafts” on the Google Arts & Culture platform—a digital collection that brings together thousands of years, untold artists and infinitive inspiration in a single online destination for people around the world to see. We also hope it will help safeguard these national treasures for future generations to enjoy and appreciate.

There are plenty of treasures to discover with 38 new exhibitions and over 1,800 new artifacts from six partners, including the Arts & Crafts Museum HangzhouChina Intangible Heritage Industry AllianceChina Paper Cutting MuseumMuseum of Ethnic CostumesMuseum of Ethnic Cultures, and Soyim.

The Art of Chinese Crafts on Google Arts & Culture

Preserving Miao traditions

The Miao people’s crafts are well-known throughout China, but not everyone practices these age-old traditions anymore. This puts much of their heritage at risk of disappearing. With exhibits from across several partner museums, you can explore their culture’s tangible and intangible heritage.

Starting with the Miao-style Oxhorn-shaped hair ornament from the collection of theMuseum of Ethnic Costumes, you can zoom in to discover the butterfly, phoenix and centipede motifs carved into this silver headdress which is often worn by young Miao women on Zimei Jie, or Sisters’ Day.

Miao-style Oxhorn-shaped hair ornament, Museum of Ethnic Costumes

And then learn about the dozen or so different processes and techniques that go into the Miao silversmith’s work, many of which have been passed from one generation to the next.

Making Miao silver jewelry

You can also learn more about the Zimei Festival, when Miao boys and girls exchange sticky rice and love songs in an elaborate courtship ritual in the springtime.

Zimei Festival - the most romantic day in Miao

Crafts across many canvases

The "Art of Chinese Crafts" collection spans across many mediums, from silver to silk, to paper and peach pits too.

Marvel at the collection at the Soyim by miniatures artist Tian Hongbo, whose intricate designs have been carved into peach stones.

Flying Kites (left) and Dragon Boat (right) by Tian Hongbo at Soyim

Unfold one of the many ornate folding fans at the Hangzhou Arts & Crafts Museum and discover how they emerged as a symbol of wisdom and grace rather than a cooling device.


And zoom into the fine lines of cut-paper paintings at the China Paper Cutting Museum. More recent pieces such as Li Haixia’s “A Delight to Watch” may even remind you of the Miao silver carvings.

"A Delight to Watch" by Li Haixia, China Paper Cutting Museum

These exhibits and much more are waiting to be explored on the Google Arts & Culture platform, or on the iOS and Android apps. We’re excited to be working with our partners to use our technology to digitize these fine examples of Chinese crafts and folklore, and preserve them online for people around the world to admire for years to come.

Let’s stay in touch. Get the latest news from Google in your inbox.