Textiles: China

Testimony and Textiles


This pattern is traditional in Chinese textile design and was chosen to represent the testimonies from survivors and witnesses of the 1937 Nanjing Massacre, housed in USC Shoah Foundation’s Visual History Archive. In Chinese, the expression: “上善若水” (shang shan ruo shui) means “water is like charity, benefitting all things without struggle.” Water seeks harmony. It is versatile, it can be a solid, liquid, or gas, and “千变万化”(qian bian wan hua), always capable of evolution and transcendence. The flowers oating on the water represent our memories, sometimes moving forward and sometimes backward. We remember the past and look toward the future.

Learn more about the Nanjing Collection.