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Events & Festivals

‘Stately Demeanour’ at Macao Museum of Art reveals clothing’s role in Chinese culture

Clothing and regalia were central to the emperors and empresses of the Qing dynasty. In a large-scale exhibition at the Macao Museum of Art (MAM) available until 14 March 2021, nearly 90 sets of clothing from the era help shed light on thousands of years of tradition and culture within the Chinese nation.

“Stately Demeanour: Costumes of Qing Emperors and Empresses from the Collection of the Palace Museum” opened on 16 December. The exhibition takes rare pieces from the Palace Museum collection in Beijing and presents the sophistication and aesthetics behind the costumes. Some of the items are being showcased outside the Palace Museum for the first time.

Clothing is one of the most noticeable elements of a nation’s tangible culture. In the preface of the “Illustrated Regulations for Ceremonial Paraphernalia of the Qing Dynasty”, Emperor Qianlong wrote that “clothing is the manifestation of a dynasty”. This exhibition shows how clothing differentiated people and declared their authority during the Qing dynasty.

The exhibition is divided into five sections: official costumes, festive costumes, regular costumes, military and travel costumes, and leisure costumes.  In order to increase interest in the showcase, a number of outreach activities is being held during the exhibition period, including lectures by experts from the Palace Museum, guided tours, workshops and games with prizes to be won.

The exhibition is organised by MAM – a unit of the Macao SAR Government Cultural Affairs Bureau – and the Palace Museum, co-organised by the Macao Government Tourism Office and Macao Foundation, and supported by the Macao Daily News. It is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day of the week, except Mondays. 

More details about “Stately Demeanour” can be found at MAM’s website