Peonies & Co.: The Enchanting Power of the Chinese Flower

Written by Maria Giglio

Attention boyfriends of the world, I’m about to tell you the secret to a woman’s heart: if you love her, bring her flowers. That’s right, that’s it. Every woman in the world has a thing with flowers… unless she’s allergic, of course. In any case, no doubt she will fall in your arms. But why? Well, for starters it’s the simplest gesture to show appreciation to your other half. Plus, because there is a mystic, millennial symbolic connection between flowers and women.

Many cultures worship flowers as a universal image of feminine grace, beauty and prosperity. For example, in Christian tradition the Virgin Mary is often associated with the lily, symbol of purity or referred to as “Mystical Rose” without thorn to represent her sinless nature. In Buddhist culture, the lotus is worshipped as a symbol of perfection and fertility; resembling the woman’s uterus with its rounded shape, this flower is known for its incredible beauty and the capacity to stay clean despite flourishing in swamps and wet habitats. The energising power of flowers and spring are immortalised in Botticelli’s eternal masterpiece La Primavera.

In Botticelli’s La Primavera, Flora (3rd figure on the right) personifies the rebirth of Spring wearing a floral dress

Naturally, this charming love story between flowers and women reaches one of its highest peeks in Chinese culture, where it has been widely celebrated over millennia by a prosperous artistic tradition.

Chinese blossoms

Since ancient times, the Chinese have cultivated a true passion for flowers, by decorating their public and private spaces with beautiful gardens. Interestingly, the Chinese word for flower is “花” (huā) and visually represents the magic of a flower in bloom. In fact, the character is a compound, growing from the radical for grass “艹” under which the magic joyful metamorphosis of a plant when producing flowers is represented by a cheerful character.

On the twelfth day of the second month of each lunar year, as soon as nature awakens, a Spring Festival is held in honour of百花深 (Bǎihuā shēn), the White Goddess of Flowers, to celebrate fertility. As in other cultures, Chinese people too associate flowers with women and beauty very frequently, although the symbology related to flowers is much richer and varied, as evidenced by traditional and tribal art and poetry production.

Pink peonies

King of Flowers

Among the many flowers linked to Chinese culture, peony is certainly the most treasured by Chinese people. The equivalent of the Westerners’ beloved rose, the peony is also known as the king of flowers (花王, Huāwáng), existing in two main varieties, the tree and herbaceous peony. The original Chinese word for the herbaceous peony was 芍药 (sháo yào) to refer to the medical properties of the flower. Shao (芍) means in fact a spoonful (勺) of plant (艹), whereas yao (药) means medicine. After a while, both the tree and herbaceous varieties were known as 牡丹 (mudan). This word consists of two characters. The character 牡 (mu) is composed of the radicals for ox (牛) and and earth (土). The character 丹 (dan) means either pill, probably referring to the healing properties ascribed to the peony in Traditional Chinese Medicine, or the typical colour red, as a typical variety of the flower.

An ancient passion

Up until the Qing Dynasty (1636-1912 A.D.), the peony was renowned as the official national flower of China, as per appointment by Empress Dowager Cixi in 1903. As a matter of fact, Chinese passion for this flower sprang around 1,400 years ago. During the Tang Dynasty (around 600 A.D.) peonies started to be employed to decorate the imperial gardens and soon began to spread everywhere else in China. An imperial emblem of opulence and beauty, peonies were featured in paintings and textiles, as well as used in poetical allegories to celebrate the prosperity of the nation. Among the most valuable, the red ones represent wealth, while white peonies symbolize the beauty and cheerfulness of Chinese young girl.

Cultivating national pride

After the Cultural Revolution, the Peony is not recognised the official status of national flower anymore, though its fame and glorious reputation is unvaried in the heart of the Chinese people as it embodies the national hope for an ever-growing prosperity. Over the last twenty years people already expressed their willing twice by casting a ballot (one in 1994 and one 2003) for a renovated official acknowledgment by the Government of the peony as a national emblem. The proposal is still pending.

Although Chinese peonies can be found almost everywhere in the country, Luoyang (Henan Province, Eastern China) is certainly the best place to admire their beautiful blossoms. Renowned as the city of peonies, Luoyang offers a spectacular Peony garden showcasing over 500 varieties in full bloom. The garden is famous for hosting a peony high over 3 metres and as old as 1,600 years.

A view of Luoyang Peony Garden

Flowers in Chinese traditional fashion: take your pick!

The passion for flowers is vividly featured in the traditional apparel of Chinese people.

Back in the 60s Scott McKenzie used to sing “if you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear flowers in your hair”. If you insteadwant to wear flowers everywhere, check out our exclusive florid collection of handmade Qipaos!

Amongst the 56 minorities in China, Miao people hold pomegranate blossoms 石榴花 (Shíliú huā) particularly at heart. A national cultural heritage as enlisted by UNESCO, Miao embroidery features pomegranate flowers to symbolise the wish for prosperity. If you want a taste of this true textile rarity, check out these handmade bags that our Miao artisan partners have created exclusively for our costumers!

If you smell a nice deal… Discover these and more products on InteractChina.com!


About Interact China 

“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”  

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 13 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste. 

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts. 

Shape

P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!  
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you! 

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Chinese Gardens: Meeting Point Between Beauty and Philosophy

Written by: Stefania Miletti

The traditional Chinese garden, known as Zhōngguó yuánlín (中國園林,中国园林), is characterized by the search for balance and harmony between human and nature, often with the recreation of a miniature landscape. These gardens try to recreate natural visual balances, for example by sculpting rocks as if they were eroded by atmospheric agents. 

Different types of gardens were built to adhere to the function they served: for example, the emperor’s gardens were vast and immense and therefore built to pleasure or to impress. More modest functionaries, scholars and poets preferred more intimate gardens with the scope to relax and escape from the real world.

A little bit of history

China has a long history related to building traditional Chinese garden that dates to 3,000 years ago. Many important figures, ranging from emperors and government officials to scholars and poets built their own. In the Yellow River Valley, the first Chinese gardens were created. Monarchs and members of the nobility harvested and planted fruits and vegetables in their gardens since the Shang Dynasty (1600–1046 BC).

Chinese gardens deeply relate to both philosophy and to Feng Shui, with meticulous assortment of natural elements in relation to their historical-mythological, literary or symbolic meaning. In fact, it is curios that both landscape painting and Chinese gardens develop side by side in ancient china.

This link between gardens and philosophy leads, almost unsurprisingly, to the meticulous study of every element added to the garden, nothing is by chance, resulting in a combination between the landscape painter and the garden artist’s different points of view. 

Sacred Gardens and their Philosophy

A perfect example of Chinese Gardens and in particular the influence of philosophy in their design are the sacred gardens, which were built by scholars, drawing inspirations by three main philosophical streams of thought: Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism.

Starting with the Taoism philosophy, which relies on the concept of Tao, which represents the path every being takes, the “becoming of everything”, which becomes reality with the two extremes. Every time one of the extremes is reached, a force pushes in the adverse direction and vice versa. Natural examples of this theory can be seen with the passing of seasons, or with the movements of the Sun and Moon. The decent person has been seen as one whose existence has been based on naturalness, not fortune or status. This philosophy is reflected in the gardens’ layout, with a more natural approach in the design, that allows humans to better connect with their surroundings.

On the other hand, Confucianism philosophy is more concentrated toward geometry, leading to the Chinese domestic and urban geometric order. The main theory behind Confucius ideas was that knowledge was the most important tool available to humanity in order to exceed, leading to the “good man” mentality. This was clearly reflected in the gardens’ design, that encompassed the most traditional virtues of sensibility and harmony between humanity and the Cosmo. 

Example of Confucianism influenced gardens, The Forbidden city

When Buddhism arrived in China, it developed into a monastic tradition strongly based on meditation. 

The importance of spirituality transposed into the design of the monastic gardens, elevating them from a mere functional meditation aid to a rich example of the spiritual values of Buddhism.

The tradition of meditation gardens is also a product of the melting pot of different philosophies, such as Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. In particular, the cult of the beauty of natural gardens from Taoism and Buddhism mixed with the Confucian appreciation for geometry. This shaped the gardens into idyllic landscapes, perfectly bonding inanimate rocks with live plants and water.

Example of Buddhism influenced park








About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!” 

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact Chinain 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 13 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashionvia ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team! 
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Qi And Chic: Feng Shui For A Life Full Of Energy

Written by Maria Giglio

Why moving furniture gives you thrills? Ask the Universe.  

Feng Shui (风水, literally wind and water), the traditional Chinese geomancy, teaches how to set up our living space so to keep the Universal energy, Qi, in balance between its opposites Yin and Yang, and thus live better. 

Want to know how? Here are some tips! 

Take a compass

Suppose you have a compass. At the centre, you have Yin and Yang. Each direction instead represents an Earth element and an aspect of human life.

Colours matter 

Colours channel energy. Want the sun to shine in your social life? Use bright colours like yellow to grant the right amount of Yang in your living room.

In bed instead, opt for darker tones to help you relax or use red to enhance passion.  

The right spot 

Want to get that promotion or have more love in your life? Put them in the right place!

Place your kitchen stove to South to Fire up your meals. Point your bedroom to Southwest to improve relationships.

Mirror, mirror…off the wall! 

Mirrors reflect Qi energy and double it up, so they are perfect for hallways or small spaces.  Don’t put a mirror in front of your front door: it would reject good luck. 

In bedroom, avoid placing a mirror facing the bed. As it reflects the personal energy of the sleepers, it bothers their rest. Also, by doubling up love luck, it enhances the chance of infidelity between lovers.  

Natural Decoration 

Don’t take the use of plants for granted. As plants are full of Qi on their own, they can help or stop the correct flux in the house depending on their position. 

If you enjoyed this very short guide about Feng Shui and want to learn more, here are some readings for you: 

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide!”

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 13 years of solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we are well positioned to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and directly bring you finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion via ChineseFashionStyle.com, Kungfu Fashion, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!
If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

The Culture of Chinese Antique Furniture

Written by Juliette Qi

 

As a country with a long history and refined civilization, China has a real taste for brightly colored furniture, which is heavily influenced by and involved in oriental and Asian traditions. Indeed, Chinese furniture exhibits both the common characteristics of Asian furniture and the main characteristics of traditional Chinese culture.

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Ancient Chinese furniture is often crafted based on the necessary conditions of Yin and Yang, a Taoist belief. Thus, its design is optimized not only for practical use but also to ensure a better Fengshui, a chance in life or spiritual protection according to the folk belief (this idea comes from an ancient belief). That’s why the color red is ubiquitous in Chinese furniture as we can see in the wedding cabinet, it represents positive energy. Copper or brass is widely used on sections of furniture which can be opened/closed due to its power to chase bad minds away.

Ancient Chinese furniture, which was intended either for the imperial court or ordinary people, was enhanced by cabinetmakers with excellent natural materials and with great care, extended and refined based on the traditions of previous dynasties dating back thousands of years.

 

Three Characteristics of Ancient Chinese Furniture

First of all, the job is always executed to perfection. The structure of the furniture is strictly adhered to and highly methodical while the lines are very smooth. Their splendor and clear colors (of what?) are realized by the delicate sculpting of the furniture and the repetitive varnishing, which occurs 7 times in total.

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The Details of Careful Engraving

 

Secondly, the shapes and variety of models are totally unique throughout the whole world. There are more than 100 variations, like the imperial bed that was made over the course of a thousand days of work; There are also all sorts of dining tables, desks, chairs, wardrobes, buffets, screens, dining racks, buckets and benches. These are valuable works of art and are to be appreciated by everyone.

Last but not least, the decorative patterns on the windows or doors have very specific powers. According to Chinese legends, they are able to hunt down evil spirits and bring good luck to the family.

 

Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Styles of Chinese Furniture

Southeast China has a temperate and mild climate. The generous nature there offers a very flowery and green spring, at the same a very rich and varied harvest autumn time. Thus, from the first imperial dynasties until today, these very favorable conditions make the region the “land of fish and rice”(like the land of milk and honey) – the major financial assets of ancient and agricultural China. This cultural subtlety gives cabinetmakers in the region a favorable condition for sumptuous and extremely varied creations. Furniture facades often describe a scene of life or nature: the flight of birds, flowers, plants are the most common decorations .

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Tea Table with Bird and Flower Motifs

 

In contrast, northern China is cold, dry, and sometimes arid. The people there are simple, honest and frank. The furniture looks like its users, it is rustic and solid, but very practical.

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Furniture and decorations are seen by Chinese families as signs of wealth and they really appreciate their furniture. To equip their places, they choose the raw materials used to create their furniture with the greatest care – wood, bamboo etc. They also invite experienced cabinet-makers to come to their homes for a few weeks. These traveling cabinet-makers, admired by all, are housed fed and laundered and perform their craft to the highest standard, each with his own style, leading to a wide variety of creations.

 

 

 

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide” 

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Kungfu Clothing, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Most Inspiring Oriental Home Decorations

Written by Juliette Qi

 

It seems that Asian-style decoration is slowly infiltrating contemporary decor. It attracts everyone due to its serenity, its relaxing forms and its diversity which is in harmony with modern interior design.

But how can we integrate the original Asian style into our interior? Can we create a modern and elegant decor while adding Zen elements or oriental beauty? Here, we present you with the most inspiring projects to give you some ideas.

 

Asian Decoration of a Modern Living Room

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Zen deco implies the almost ethereal effect of harmony and perfect balance. You can create this effect in your interior by incorporating natural materials, a neutral and calm color palette and furniture with a simple and minimalist design. Just like for other decorating styles, exquisite balance is a key concept in Asian decoration.

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Original Decoration Inspired by Asian style

Open and airy spaces are much sought after in Zen oriental interiors where positive energy is encouraged to flow through the space. The inner harmony created by the objects and their negative white space is accentuated by using other elements of natural design such as wooden blinds and bamboo details in addition to Asian art paintings.

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Round shapes are also very important in Asian decor because they represent a complete and perfect model. You can use circular decorative elements for the decoration of the front door or the doors of your storage furniture.

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Elegant Living Room with Chinese Cultural Objects

Chinoiserie represents the whimsical Chinese influence through imaginative and complex designs.

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The chinoiserie can create an almost magical atmosphere and it is most often found in embroidery and textiles, as decorative motifs on furniture, or on porcelain objects. Feel free to incorporate colorful Chinese motifs into your minimalist decor.

 

Bamboo as a Decoration for your Bedroom and Bathroom

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Asian deco is also characterized by the use of many screens. No matter if it’s a simple screen placed in one of the corners of the room or a sliding screen-holder that separates two spaces, the screens create a beautiful Asian-style decor. They also act as room dividers for privacy while keeping connections among different rooms (They don’t completely separate the rooms like a wall).

 

Modern Asian Interior Decorated using Wood

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Un des moyens les plus faciles et les plus versatiles d’incorporer des éléments de déco asiatique dans l’intérieur contemporain est d’intégrer du bambou. Les options sont vraiment illimitées et le bambou peut être présent sous forme de revêtement du sol, stores pour les fenêtres, meubles et même comme cadres de photos et de miroirs. Quelques tiges de bambou dans un vase haut pour décorer le salon est aussi une très bonne idée.

One of the easiest and most versatile ways to incorporate Asian deco elements into the your contemporary interior is to use bamboo. The options are truly endless and bamboo can be made into flooring, window blinds, furniture and even picture frames and mirrors. Some bamboo stems in a tall vase to decorate the living room is also a very good idea.

 

Asian Interior Decoration with Neutral Colors

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Red is a color that evokes passion and its presence is very strong in Chinese culture. As the color of the sun, red symbolize life, energy and vitality. It is not without consideration that red and other strong colors must be incorporated in a space. But when they are there, it should be done with confidence and strength.

 

Bedroom with Canopy Bed

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Mixing and matching Chinese prints on fabrics and furniture brings richness and taste to the space. As for achieving harmony in the interior design, try to combine rich shades with simple design elements and neutral colors. Remember that the purpose of your interior decor is to make you and all your guests feel good and serene.

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About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide” 

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Kungfu Clothing, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Chinese Inspirations in Modern Home Décor

Written by Juliette Qi

 

Nowadays, China and its ancestral traditions still inspire decorators looking for new ideas. At the same time, Chinese style deco accessories have become a kind of travel guides to the other side of the world.

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For Europe, China represents above all exoticism and passion from elsewhere. In the eighteenth century, it was also the symbol of a fantasy Orient where everything was luxurious, calm and pleasant. Today China still fascinates as it once did due to the richness of its culture and its traditions. It is also where we can find some decorative objects to bring a little serenity to our home.

 

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To decorate the walls, Chinese calligraphy adds some fun to the decor. Choose the characters that correspond to the message you want to convey in your home: calm, purity, serenity and harmony in life, or, on the contrary, strength and vitality for your career. And for the rest of the house, you will also find calligraphies or paintings that will perfectly echo the original styles of your rooms.

 

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Privilege all the objects that suggest meditation and soothe the mind: bamboo objects, plants, aerial lanterns, screens to isolate oneself in a quiet place … and the essential accessory: a Buddha statue. You can place it on tables or cupboards, it will bring its wisdom to your daily life.

 

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For a Chinese-style Asian decoration, choose curtains matching the background color of the furniture. This will be diffused on the white walls when creating a luminous and warm atmosphere.

 

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The Chinese- or Asian- style decoration has had a strong presence for our home deco for a decade. This is indeed the popular style with the large consumer community in all major furniture decoration stores.

 

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A simple and clear style, a mix of various materials and scents, Asian style is a call for rest and exotic travel that we can do at home thanks to all our decorations and decor accessories.

 

 

 

 

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide” 

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Kungfu Clothing, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Feng-Shui and the Art of Feeling Good at Home

Written by Juliette Qi

In recent years, Feng Shui has been experiencing a huge craze. It is neither science nor religion and is based on ancient Chinese knowledge. The purpose of Feng Shui is to arrange the space in order to optimize the circulation of Cosmic Energy and to improve your quality of life. If Feng Shui was a modern artform, it would be called the “psycho-energetics of places” or the “psycho-sociology of space” … Indeed, this is exactly the relationship of ourselves to everything around us.

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Feng-Shui: the “psycho-sociology of space”

 

The Foundation of Feng Shui: A Positive Energy to Stay at Peace with Oneself

Based on coexistence, on nature and ourselves, and on the two contrary forces of Yin (feminine) and Yang (masculine), here energy is fundamental in our daily life. The more fluid the circulation, the more you feel a subtle but real well-being.

At home, decoration is an attempt to appropriate the place in which we try to project our identity. That’s why we say it’s the human who gives his or her identity to the place. Trying to improve our wellbeing by harmonizing the energy of the habitat, Feng Shui, an Asian discipline more than 5,000 years old, brings modern answers to our desires to feel good at home.

 

The entrance

Ideally, the entrance to your home should be spacious, bright and clear of any bulky object. Shoes, umbrellas, storage boxes, shelves, tools: all these objects that sometimes adorn our entrance halls will block the “chi” (positive energy coming from outside) by preventing it from circulating freely in the house.

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A Spacious and Unobstructed Entrance

 

Any object placed in the entrance to your home will influence the overall image of your home. Hang a picture of a beautiful landscape or other positive symbol in front of the front door. A shoe cupboard topped with a beautiful bouquet of flowers (fresh!) or a vase filled with small colored candles are the best effect for visitors (they bring vitality and are welcoming).

 

The living room

The living room should preferably be large and bathed in daylight. Some apartments or houses are from this point of view very poorly designed (narrow living rooms and large bedrooms). If this is the case in your home, you should only keep the furniture which is absolutely necessary in the living room so as to enlarge the available space.

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The Vast and Bright Living Room

 

The sofas must always be placed back to the harmonization of the energies of the habitat, against a wall or, failing that, against a room divider or a cupboard. Armchairs and sofas should also face the front door of the living room. These precepts address one of the most important rules of Feng Shui: protect your back – by using a wall, a wardrobe, a screen – but keep a vision in front of you, so as to see those who enter the room. This provides a great sense of security.

Choose decorative elements (carpets, cushions, lamps, curtains, paintings) in warm colors. To increase the feeling of intimacy and warmth, place small indirect lights (reading lamp or wall-mounted).

 

The Dining Room

As a place of conviviality for exchanges, the dining room should preferably be used regularly, so as not to make a dead room where energy does not circulate. Choose a round or oval table, the corners of a rectangular table are considered in Feng Shui as sharp arrows. If your table is square or rectangular, you can soften the corners by covering it with a tablecloth.

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A Dining Room with Warm Decorations

 

Hang some positive pictures or symbols related to food and abundance, with bright and appetizing colors (no war scenes!), onto the walls of the dining room. A mirror that reflects the food on the table is also a sign of abundance and prosperity. On the cupboard or table, place a vase filled with fruit, nuts or other food (another sign of plenty).

 

Bedroom

Known as a place of sleep and healing, the room is a vital piece: we sleep a third of our lives! Its primary function is recovery, so it cannot be used as an office annex or storage space for everything that cannot be stored elsewhere.

The orientation of the bed is very important for a good sleep. The safest position is to place the headboard against a wall (north or east), with a view of the front door if possible. To avoid: the bed against a window or bay window because it gives creates a feeling of insecurity.

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A comfortable and intimate room

 

Move everything away from the head of the bed that is reminiscent of work and stress: books, files, clocks, telephones if possible. Avoid mirrors, separate mattresses (symbol of division of the couple) and ventilate the room more often in order to renew the air of the room. Indirect lighting is also preferred (small bedside lamps, wall sconces) to central lighting.

 

 

 

 

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide” 

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Kungfu Clothing, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us at bloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

The Jade in Today’s Life

Written by Juliette Qi

 

Today, jade is still very popular in Chinese daily life. It is a precious material much sought after by collectors not only for its different shades of green, but also for its symbolic meaning rooted in traditional Chinese culture.

Often made into jewelry such as pendants, bracelets and earrings, jade is also widely used in Chinese interior decoration as a symbol of honesty and courtesy vis-à-vis the master. It also adds a quiet and peaceful atmosphere to the house.

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Modern interior decoration with jade objects

 

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“Jade Cabbage”, Imperial Interior Decoration, Qing Dynasty,
National Palace Museum, Taipei

 

 

The Acknowledgement of Jade in Europe

Jade has been known for over 7000 years. The name jade dates back to the time of the Spanish conquest of Central and South America and comes from the “piedra d’ijada” or hip stone, which was considered a protection and cure against kidney disease.

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Modern Design Pendant

For its therapeutic effect on the kidney, the stone was also known as “lapis nephriticus”. It was not until 1863 that mineralogists discovered that jade consisted of two distinct minerals, jadeite and nephrite. Jadeite is very hard and durable due to its structure made of very small grains fit tightly together. And nephrite, a variety of actinolite mineral, is even harder, because of its inter-paired fibrous crystal composition in a hard compact mass.

Nowadays, jade also plays an important role for Western stylists in the design of modern jewelry as a special aesthetic element.

Jade has become increasingly popular. In China, the finest qualities of jade come from Xinjiang (Hetian), Fengcheng in Liaoning (Xiuyan), Zhejiang (Qingtian) and Henan (Nanyang). The line between jade and precious stones is not always easy to draw. For example, the most beautiful jade stones can be worth as much as gems of comparable quality.

 

 

 

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide” 

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Kungfu Clothing, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us atbloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

Chinoiserie as Fantastic Decor of Yesterday and Today (II)

Written by Juliette Qi

 

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Modern Living Room with Chinoiseries

Last time,we talked a lot about the birth and the development of the Chinoiserie between Europe and Asia. In this article, we invite you to discover how the term “chinoiserie” has evolved, from a word which means exotic objects to an artistic decorative style. Before that, let’s watch a video together to discover how to add a ” Chinoiserie Touche” to our home decor .

 

Initially, the word “chinoiserie” meant small subjects, fantastic animals or burlesque characters (called “magots” or “pagodas”) that European manufactories fabricated to imitate statuettes imported from collections from the Far East. These figures were generally colored with bright tones detached on a milky white background. They often served as table decor, candle holders or decorated clock frames.

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Writing Desk in Painted Wood Decorated with Chinoiseries. 17th Century

As a style belonging to the court, chinoiserie quickly explanded to all the decorative art fields : textiles, ornaments, architecture, furniture, tapestries and porcelain. Fantastic Chinese characters settle on tables and consoles while their silhouettes decorated the body of the vases. Their ceremonies and living scenes are reproduced on tapestries or painted decorations. Candy boxes and cane handles take the form of Asian characters. Some oriental pavilions are built in gardens while some legendary Chinese characters dance on European opera stages.

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Plate Decorated with a Chinese on a Mound. 18th Century.

However, even if the craftsmen sought to imitate oriental creative techniques (whose secrets have still not been revealed), their aesthetic catered to French taste above all others. Therefore, chinoiserie no longer attempted imitation but have become the results of authentic European creations based on Chinese themes.

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François Boucher, « Le jardin chinois »

Including Antoine Watteau, Jean Pillement and François Boucher, the artists of the 18th century broke  with the style of the previous century, abandoning rigid models to embrace pleasure and dreams. China becomes the favorite motif for ornamental designers, in its most fantastic and fantasized dimension. Settled in decorative arts, intimate pieces and ornamental pavilions, chinoiserie was unburdened from the established practice and presented itself as one of the most original styles among the art of the Enlightenment.

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Canvas Screen Painted with Chinoiserie after A Set by Jean-Baptiste Pillement

In the middle of the eighteenth century, the fantasy of rocaille cartridges gave way to quieter compositions. Grouped into small scenes alluding to fragments of great compositions, the characters represented engaged instead in peaceful activities, such as gardening or tea tasting. The Chinese-themed paintings, still numerous in the second half of the 18th century, depicted fragments of landscapes suspended in light networks of branches and foliage.

Aesthetic trend, ornamental style, decorative art…Chinoiserie is above all else a Western invention. It reflects European fantasies about a mythical Far East, about an alluring China filled with colorful birds, mountainous landscapes and fragile pagodas populated by phoenixes and dragons. From past to present, this style still functions as a bridge linking imagination and reality, the East and West as well as history and the future.

 

 

 

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide” 

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Kungfu Clothing, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us atbloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!

 

Chinoiserie: Fantasy Decoration of Yesterday and Today (I)

Written by Juliette Qi

 

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Tapestry, «Prince chinois»

 

You’ve certainly heard about “Chinoiserie” in the field of Decorative Art, but do you know the origin of this historical art style that has inspired so many creations? Here is a video to give you some ideas.

This time, the Interact China team will be looking back at the history of Chinoiserie to better appreciate this style, which is of great interest and still applied in today’s interior decoration.

Born from Western taste for Oriental Arts, “Chinoiserie” is inspired by a kind of fantasy that mixes various exotic ornamental motifs. Throughout all the great European styles, from silks to furniture, in all fields from the decorative art to architecture, chinoiserie owes its success to its paradisiacal imagery, as well as to the wonderful stories of traveling merchants. Based both on their real experiences and their imagination, some European writers like Marco Polo and Jean de Mandeville also built their image of China in the similar way.

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Table with Chinoiserie Design

In the field of Decorative Art, Europe owes a lot to Chinese art: western artisans have imitated ceramics, lacquers and precious fabrics imported from the Far East. Louis XIV construction of the Trianon de Porcelaine in Versailles is an example of this. In the eighteenth century, all castles in Europe had a Chinese living room or pavilion erected in a Chinese garden. It’s quiet interesting that, at that time, Europeans also covered the walls of their homes and decorated their everyday objects with scenes of Chinese life.

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Glass Wine Cooler Painted Chinese Décor

Until the 16th century, trade with the Far East was only by land. However, the boom in maritime navigation increased its intensity. At the beginning of the 17th century, specific trading posts were set up, but the prices of these products imported to Europe remained expensive. So, Europeans tried to produce similar objects to compete with the imported products, which stimulated the desire to imitate some materials still unknown like lacquer or porcelain.

This is why varnishing developed to create objects comparable to lacquerwork, and generations of lacquerers were emerging all over Europe. In the 18th century in Paris, the Martin Brothers developed the Vernis Martin, which produced multiple compositions of colored images, glued and varnished on furniture.

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Tea Box in Black and Gold Lacquer, Featuring Characters

Since it was nearly impossible to manufacture porcelain without materials thought to be found only in Asia, earthenware was first used to imitate porcelain  and a fake porcelain, called soft porcelain, was invented. The Delft manufacturers did a particularly good job in this area by adopting the blue and white decoration of the Ming period (1368-1644). But it is the discovery of kaolinite in Saxony that finally allowed for the Western manufacture of porcelain with the same qualities as those of China. The ceramic wares of Meissen and elsewhere were thus able to take inspiration from the Chinese forms for their plates, vases and tea sets.

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Pair of Cloisonné Vases, Canton (China)

Thus, a particular art style was born in Europe, based on Sino-European intercultural communication. It is rather fantastic, isn’t it? In the next episode, we’ll invite you to continue our journey through time and space to explore the development of this inspiring art style.

 

 

 

About Interact China


“A Social Enterprise in E-commerce Promoting Oriental Aesthetic Worldwide” 

Aileen & Norman co-founded Interact China in 2004 with specialization in fine Oriental Aesthetic products handmade by ethnic minorities & Han Chinese. Having direct partnerships with artisans, designers, craft masters and tailors, along with 10 years solid experience in e-commerce via InteractChina.com, we position well to bridge talented artisans in the East with the rest of the world, and bring you direct finely selected products that are of good quality and aesthetic taste.

So far we carry 3000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Kungfu Clothing, Home Furnishings, Babies & Kids, Painting Arts, Textile Arts, Carving Arts, Tribal Jewelry Art, Wall Masks and Musical Instruments. Our team speak English, French, German, Spanish and Italian, and serve customers worldwide with passion and hearts.


P.S. We Need People with Similar Passion to Join Our Blogging Team!

If you have passion to write about Oriental Aesthetic in Fashion, Home Decor, Art & Crafts, Culture, Music, Books, and Charity, please contact us atbloggers@interactchina.com, we would love to hear from you!