This exhibit is, in a word, breathtaking. It has such a wide variety of objects; from paintings to furniture to clothing, and for the most part, each one was meticulously crafted by hand. It really shows the technical skill of many Chinese artisans, and how they could create the most detailed objects without the technology that the world has available today.
I found that one of my favorite pieces in the exhibition was a pen and ink painting of a landscape with birds. Its mark is very thick and rough in most places, but it brings the piece together and adds to the effect on the viewer.
Another piece that I enjoyed was the installation of bells. The support system is made out of wood, and it is intricately carved into the shapes of different animals as well as more organic patterns. It is large and a bit overwhelming, but it is truly incredible.
This exhibit shows how truly powerful and influential the emperors were. They had large portraits commissioned for themselves, as well as lavish furniture and beautiful clothing. Even without directly using the emperor as a subject, the viewer can see the influence of the powerful rulers.
There is also a large presence of work relating to religion, particularly Buddhism. For example, there is a large panel showing many Buddhist entities that one emperor kept in his study. The deities have long eyebrows and exaggerated features to emphasize their earthliness, but they also have instruments of writing and worship to exhibit their spiritual qualities.
I really enjoyed this exhibit! I always enjoy seeing the historical art of different cultures, and this was a good experience.
Image creds: http://thegraciousposse.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Forbidden-City.jpeg