Now, the Palace Museum has converted the inner palaces to exhibition halls, where a variety of Imperial art and artifacts are displayed. It is the largest tourist attraction in China.
- Look at the layout of the Forbidden City, and pay special attention to the Ancient Chinese theory of the five elements, and associated colors (about halfway down the page). When you know about the importance and use of colors, do you look at the photos of the Forbidden City differently? How?
- Browse the curators’ picks at the Palace Museum website and pick two of your favorite items. Share why you chose them, and discuss the importance of art and design in Imperial China. My two favorites? These incredible blue glass perfume bottles and this cloud and dragon-embroidered armor. I love the colors, the intricate details, and try to imagine their use in Imperial Palace life.
- During the Qing Dynasty, there was a cultural tradition called the Tea Reception, where the Emperor had tea with his subjects, and composed poems together. Read this article on the Tea Reception and then, in small groups, compose short poems based on something you’ve learned about the Forbidden City.