P O W E R H O U S E M U S EU M – TAASA Review December 2011


This article was originally found in the December 2011 edition of TAASA Review (Volume 20, Issue 4, Page 59).

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technology, evidence the dazzling aesthetics and superb skills of Asian artists and makers. A significant example in the Museum collection is this apricotyellow semi-formal Chinese dragon robe or jifu.

In all societies, dress plays a significant role not only to protect the body but also to communicate the wearer’s social status and reflect cultural traditions and beliefs.

The cut of the jifu and the choice of colours and motifs are design elements that inform us regarding different aspects of Chinese culture. The cut refers directly to a significant historical event: when the Manchu rulers seized control of China in 1644, they changed the design of court dress to the Manchu style, whose front and back slits and horse-shoe cuffs referenced their northern horse-riding culture, indicating both their identity and their supremacy. ...