Initially, the design styles of China were rarely recognized outside the country. Many designers and artists are now rediscovering the traditional art and creation of China and refining them in new and exciting ways. They are now celebrating the success of refining its own culture. I am going to narrow down to furniture and interior design. Though china has a large population, it supplies a lot of furniture to the world market year in year out. This is because of the Increasing construction for both residential and office buildings.
Furniture can be referred to as movable objects which may be used to support the human body for instance seats and beds. There are furniture which provide storage space, or hold objects above the ground for example drawers, cabinets, tables, chests and shelves. They are made of a variety of materials namely: wood, metal or plastic. It can be used as a symbol for religion, for domestic reasons and as an artistic design product. Chinese furniture are based on antique styles such as China’s Qing and Ming Dynasty, The Chinese Grandfather Chair, Classical Furniture and Jiaoyi wood. Chinese furniture information
Ancient Chinese furniture have great worth in modern China and the West as they display to a greater extent of their cultural facts and excellent craftsmanship. It was designed with a high level of beauty. History of Chinese Furniture In most Chinese homes, it was rare as per their customs to find a Chinese sitting on a chair; they would instead kneel or sit cross-legged. Furnishing was restricted to decorative screens and low level tables. Later in (618 – 907 AD), the Tang dynasty seats which were higher were used by the Chinese elite and they were adapted by society (Eastern Curio Shanghai Ltd).
Ming Dynasty Furniture With the introduction of furniture by the 12th century, the Chinese no longer sat on the floor unlike in other Asian countries where they still practiced their customs. They would use a chair or a stool. With the rising need for furniture, its design and construction improved over the years which grew to the late Ming period (1368 – 1644). This was the most prosperous period as demand for furniture arose. During this time the degree of craftsmanship was excellent high degree of accuracy and quality; they were designed for both functional roles and to add beauty to one’s home.
Ming furniture was simple and had little decoration; it used precious wood like mahogany. In the Ming Dynasty, Craftsmen used a language of art to express their inner feelings so as to achieve simplicity of structures and distinct shapes. Lines were applied to bring out unique details like the resting bars of chairs and tables; they also engraved design patterns. Qing Dynasty During this period, furniture took some of the features of the Ming Dynasty. The features of Qing furniture were heavy, sizable and had carved patterns. It used materials like porcelain, inlays of stone, enamel and metal.
Chinese traditional furniture had a distinct aesthetic attraction because of its simple lines and the fact that it used natural resources like hard wood. Chinese furniture reached a high quality design from the sixteenth centuries, most common timber used during this period were: maple, oak, chestnut, birch, poplar, elm, (Abercrombie and Sherrill 2006. ) The Chinese Grandfather Chair It was a cross-legged chair made up of hard wood and had a straight back. In the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the chair was reshaped, with its back and arms forming a semicircle. Grandfather chairs were large in size.
Classical Furniture- These include pieces from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. Vernacular Furniture- This is a defined group of Chinese furniture that was related in their place of origin and the daily lifestyles of the people that used them. Reproductions- All the structures defined in this section were imitations made by Chinese carpenters in the style of the Classical Ming and Qing Dynasties’ furniture. Woods- They are classified as: Yingmu or Hardwood and Zamu, Miscellaneous wood or Softwood Jiaoyi- It referred to a folding chair used in ancient China.
Although there are different furniture and interior designs, furniture produced in China’s towns and villages remained simpler in style, this type of furniture continued to be made into the early 20th century, with distinct styles visible in different regions of China.
Abercrombie, S. & Sherrill, W. (2006) Interior Design and Decoration. New Jersey: Prentice Hall. Eastern Curio Shanghai Ltd. (2009). Furniture information. Retrieved on May 20, 2009. Retrieved on May 20, 2009, from http://www. easterncurio. com/easten%20curio/Afurniture/Furniture%20Informations. htm