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Art in the best possible taste

Updated: 2022-03-18 08:07 ( China Daily )
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A poster from the fictional costume drama Royal Feast, featuring its major characters.[Photo provided to China Daily]

Viewers develop appetite for new romantic period drama where the lovingly re-created Ming Dynasty delicacies prove to be the real draw, Xu Fan reports.

During his later years to escape turmoil, prestigious Tang Dynasty (618-907) poet and artist Wang Wei lived in seclusion in his countryside villa surrounded by mountains and rivers in Northwest China's Shaanxi province.

The picturesque environment inspired him to create Wangchuan Tu (Wangchuan Villa). The giant mural vanished a long time ago, but replicas created by artists in the following dynasties remain.

Seeing the masterpiece "reappear" in our modern world will, to say the least, raise eyebrows. Especially as it is "re-created" in such a mouthwatering way. It could be food for thought.

Royal Feast, a costume drama currently streaming domestically and abroad, features, in one episode, a skilled cook carving multiple vegetables into shapes resembling the scenery in the painting. She then places an array of dishes together to make them look like a three-dimensional "replica" of the full Tang Dynasty masterpiece.

This lavish feast is served to the queen and some noble women, such as the emperor's concubines and the crown prince's wife, as part of a competition which brings together the best cooks serving the royal family's dining table.

Released on Chinese streaming site Mango TV on Feb 22, the 40-episode drama has also been streamed overseas, including North America and Europe, as well as broadcast on several TV channels in Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei.

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