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Symbolism of colors in Qing Dynasty fashion on display in Beijing

Updated: 2024-06-24 14:44 ( chinadaily.com.cn )
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Robes, attires and accessories with embroideries once adored Qing Dynasty's royal members are on show. [Photo provided to China Daily]

The significance of colors transcended mere aesthetics in ancient times, especially when adorning members of the royal family and their opulent surroundings, each hue carrying profound meanings linked to governance and presence.

An ongoing exhibition at the Guardian Art Center in Beijing, running until Sept 22, meticulously showcases the intricate connections between specific colors and the authority of ancient rulers, shedding light on their hierarchical understanding. The display features over 100 exquisite gowns and accessories adorned with embroidery dating back to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911), highlighting the preferred colors of emperors and other esteemed royal figures.

Curated primarily from the collections of the Palace Museum, with select pieces on loan from the Shenyang Imperial Palace Museum in Liaoning province, this exhibition delves into how these colors symbolized dignity, sovereignty, and adherence to social protocols during that era. Moreover, it provides a rare insight into the dying and embroidery techniques developed for royal haute couture, illuminating the historical significance of the textile industry and trade relationships between China and the global community centuries ago.

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