Traditional Chinese Ming Furniture

Ming Furniture

Representing the zenith of Chinese furniture, Ming furniture is treasured for its precious wood, comfortable design, simple decoration and superb craftsmanship.

Bookshelf of the Ming Dynasty
 Chinese home decor

Background

Ming furniture dates from the end of the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644AD), a transitional time in Chinese history. During the beginning and the middle of the Ming Dynasty, austerity was a government edict. Later, though the economy gained substantial growth, people had to remain low-keyed about their wealth to avoid high taxes. With the issuance of a policy to lower taxes, people finally found a solution to vent their natural inclinations. The vogue went beyond a rich and decent life; luxury and novelty became the fashion. Under such a social background, people, rich or poor, were free to wear bright and magnificent clothes and to build large houses; consequently, luxurious furniture was needed.

Cultural Features

Scholars’ participation substantially influenced the development of furniture. The ancient hierarchical tradition required scholars to pursue spiritual goals and to not get involved in craftsmanship. However, Ming Dynasty scholars differentiated from their counterparts in previous dynasties not by bizarre dress, but by their novel interest in furniture design, which helped it throw off rigidity and develop cultural meaning. In addition, references to furniture by scholars leave us valuable information.

 
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The scholars’ aesthetics helped Ming furniture follow an elegant and natural taste. The scholars grasped the essence of “less is more.” Decoration for decoration’s sake was a lowbrow skill. In quality furniture, the texture of wood was fully used to reveal natural beauty. Simple design had nothing to do with cheapness; red sandalwood and scented rosewood represented essential value. Scholars had their special interests and preferences. Small tables, vases, bibelots and incense burners created an elegant atmosphere.

 
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Handwritings and paintings by well-known calligraphers and painters were engraved in desks and chairs, increasing the artistic and aesthetic value of the furniture.

 
 Chinese home decor

Ming furniture features durable and precious woods such as red sandalwood and scented rose wood, which emit pleasant aromas, naturally adding a touch of taste and grace. Simple structure and minimal decoration set off the natural beauty of the wood. This meaningful simplicity was achieved without sacrificing comfort. Scientific protection for bodily form was reflected in details such as curves, lines, height, and size.

Chinese traditional culture emphasizes the positive interplay between nature and human beings. Applying ideas from Zen and Tao, scholars and craftsmen devoted their wisdom and passion to reflecting this golden rule in furniture, creating the Golden Time of classical furniture.

Qing Furniture

 
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At the beginning of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), furniture followed Ming patterns and styles. During the reign of Emperors Kangxi, Yong Zheng, and Qian Long, Qing Furniture showed its own uniqueness with the absorption of western art. It was larger in size with grandeur and pageantry.

Engraving was a popular and important means of furniture decoration. The subjects range from auspicious character patterns, to geometric patterns and scenes in nature with animals, mountains and waters, flowers and grass. Color painting, especially gold painting, was widely used.

by Xiao Xiao xiaoxiao@interactchina.com

About Interact China


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

We 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 2000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, 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!

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Asian Decor – 7 Quick Tips on How to Decorate With Asian Style

As the US population becomes more and more diverse, people are becoming exposed to many styles of décor from around the world. Asian home décor is fast becoming one of the more popular decorating styles. And while many people are looking to add an Asian influence to their home, few really know how to correctly accomplish this theme.

Here are 7 quick tips you can use to decorate your home with Asian-style:

  • Whenever you are redecorating a room you always should start with color as your foundation. Asian style is characterized by several colors – red, brown, gold, gray, and tan. Red is the most prominent color, because it is believed to provide good luck. In general though, natural earth tones typify Asian style. Also, all woods should be a dark chocolate/burgundy tone.
 
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  •  Next, you want to consider adding texture to the room. Natural materials, such as bamboo, rice paper, and rock, are very important to Asian décor. Shoji room dividers, bamboo candles and picture frames, and rock gardens and fountains are perfect additions to your décor.
 
 Chinese home decor
  • Since Asian culture is very nature-centric, adding plants to your décor is a must. Lucky bamboo is very popular and is a very inexpensive and quick way to add Asian style to your bedroom or bathroom. Bonsai trees are also a surefire way to continue your cultural makeover.
 
 Chinese home decor
  •  The use of sacred animals is a great way to add a touch of the orient to your home décor. Elephants in particular are the symbol of physical and mental strength along with responsibility and loyalty. Ridden by gods and owned by kings, elephants were said to bring good luck and prosperity. Find pillows or art that depict sacred animals.
 
 Chinese home decor
  • Asian wall décor is another important consideration. Written scrolls with Chinese writing symbols will lend an instant Asian appeal to your décor. Japanese Noren curtains, while intended for doorways, also make great wall decorations.
 
 Chinese home decor
  • The Buddhist religion has a strong influence in Asian décor. Try adding sandstone or wooden Buddha statues to your bookshelves. Buddha masks will also add a calming and serene effect to your home environment.
 
 Chinese home decor
  •  And lastly, Asian décor is characterized by its’ minimalist style. Don’t overpower your home décor with too many Asian accents. A few key furnishings will go a long way to adding the cultural appeal you are looking for.

by Xiao Xiao xiaoxiao@interactchina.com

About Interact China


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

We 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 2000+ goods covering Ladies Fashion, Tailor Shop, 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!