Motif: by Diana Lui
Type: Photo embroidery
Technique: Ercigoj stitch
Year: 2013
Edition: Limited

Size: Medium
Dimension: 73 x 92 cm | 28.7 x 36.2 in
Number of stitches: over 2 mio
Thread length: over 24 km | over 14.9 mi
Thread colours: 31
Development: over 400 person hours

Price: not for sale

About the artwork

This embroidered artwork is based on a photograph from the series of anthropological portraits for which Diana Lui received many accolades. The ethereal play of veils is perfectly rendered in the subtle medium of stitching.

About the artist

Diana Lui is a French-Belgian artist, originating from Malaysia, living and working in Paris. She is involved in a large variety of art forms, from painting and dance performances, to photography, filmmaking and sculpturing. She is famous for her large format photographic portraits of globalisation on the intimate scale of people that have multicultural and multi-ethnic origins.


Innovation of layering

We layer multiple colours of threads and so create rich embroidery and colour texture that is impossible to create with classic one-layer embroidery technique. By layering, we develop colour transitions and shadowing, by which we create multiple-colour surfaces, similar to pointillism painting.

Smooth transitions and shading

By intertwining threads of endless colours and creating colour transitions, we can shape soft shadows, make one surface transition into another and mix colours into an endless multitude of hues. This way, we can also recreate motives from photographs and sophisticated art paintings which wouldn’t be possible with classic embroidery technique, using vector surfaces.

Sophisticated colour calibration

Usually in embroidery, 10 or 20, maybe 30 colours of threads are used. We use around 1,000 colour hues and if a colour still doesn’t match the desired one, we create it by layering and colour transitions. We have digitally scanned colours of all threads by using a spectrograph, so we can colour match any colour from an original material or from CMYK, RGB or Pantone colour schemes.