No place like home

Updated: 2014-01-03 10:10

By Lin Qi (China Daily)

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No place like home

Classical Chinese seats in various styles are displayed in the World Art Museum in Beijing. Jiang Dong / China Daily

Through seating and watercolors, two Beijing shows illustrate the social connotations of the spaces where we live. Lin Qi reports.

No place like home

Museum preserves hutong history 

No place like home

Nantong Abacus Museum 

East or West, home is best. Two parallel exhibitions at the Beijing World Art Museum show the similarities and differences in how Chinese and Western interior furnishing bring dwellers comfort and security.

On the museum's first floor, visitors can appreciate the crafts of classical Chinese woodworking, especially Ming-style furniture, through the simple yet graceful lines that shape a chair. Upstairs at another venue of time and culture, people get to see the changing home decoration styles depicted in watercolor drawings of 19th-century Europe.

The displays not only celebrate the aesthetics of interior spaces in two cultures. They also attest to the rising demand of China's nouveau riche, who desperately seek inspiration when decorating their newly bought apartments and villas.

The Art of Woodworking of Chinese Antique Furniture presents its second show: nearly 100 seats in various styles spanning 1,000 years from the Liao Dynasty (916-1125) to the early 20th century. Its debut exhibition in 2012 centered around the evolution of beds.

According to its co-curator Lin Cunzhen, hidden behind the behavior of seating are profound social connotations; and seats provide the most vibrant examples of people's lives in different times and regions.

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