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Dressed to Rule

Imperial Robes of China

Free entry

NGV International

Asian Art Temporary Exhibition, Mezzanine

17 Apr 09 – 6 Sep 09

Dressed to Rule exhibits imperial robes of China from the Qing (pure and clear) Dynasty (1644-1911). Mostly drawn from the NGV Asian Art Collection, the exhibition features robes worn by the Qing Emperor of China and members of the imperial court as well as accessories, including undergarments made of bamboo beads and silk `lotus’ shoes for bound feet.

The exhibition gives a glimpse of life in the imperial court of the Forbidden City in Peking (present-day Beijing). The robes bear witness to a confrontation of two different cultures, the nomadic conquering Manchu and the sedentary conquered Chinese, combining Chinese elegance with the barbaric splendour of the Manchu.