Chinese Furniture, the Development History of Chinese Furniture

Chinese furniture is one of those rare categories of art that appeal across generations and cultures. The furniture also follows the footsteps of times to develop and innovate continuously. It is an important foundation for the establishment of work and living space. By now, there are various categories with different material and applications.

During Xia , Shang and Western Zhou Dynasties

Xia and Shang dynasties was the original period of ancient furniture of China, with primitive and crude modelling and emblazonry. During this period, there were bronze furniture (such as Bronze chopping block), stone furniture(such as stone chopping block) and lacquer furniture (such as lacquer wood tabletop).


The lacquer wood was decorated with clamshell, which created a blueprint for mother-of-pearl inlay furniture.

Because there was a strong concept of ghosts and gods in people’s ideology at that time, the decoration patterns of Shang furniture tended to have a sense of solemnity, majesty and ferocity.

In the bronze ware, the decorative pot door (the four foot in plate shape, two symmetrical features between the front and back feet) has been in the history of Chinese furniture for thousands of years.

During Spring and Autumn Period

During the spring and autumn period, furniture of Chu style was the typical representative and the main source of lacquer wood furniture system in China. There are various categories of Chu furniture: all kinds of chopping block, exquisite lacquer case and table, distinctive small seat screen, the oldest bed.


Painted wooden bed is the earliest bedding in our country.

Chu small seat screen marks the beginning of Chinese furniture having pure ornamental value.

The carving technique is widely used in the decoration of furniture, such as means of engraved and embossed. It was the precedent of the furniture carving.

Pingji(a kind of arm rest) in the “H” shape marked the development of industrial art from the heavy bronze to the light lacquer.

The process of bronze casting developed greatly, and the method of “lost wax” appeared.

During Qin and Han Dynasties

During the Han dynasty, Chinese feudal society entering its first golden age, the furniture technology of Han developed greatly. The outstanding decoration of Han lacquer wood furniture made it shining and exquisite. Besides, there are all kinds of jade furniture, bamboo furniture and ceramic furniture. And a complete set of furniture on the ground appeared, which could be regarded as the representative period of short furniture in China.



In the Han dynasty, there was a new type of small seat, which was the originator of all the seats.

Ji (the originator of table): There are more varieties, such as activity Ji, multilayer Ji, curled ear Ji, and even the embryonic form of table.

Couch screen: It is a new type of combination of screen and couch, which marked the birth of newly-developing furniture of Han dynasty.

Hutch and ark: It is a new furniture that appeared in Han dynasty, different from traditional box, which was used for storing expensive articles.

Dressing table: The earliest mirror image appeared in the mural of Han dynasty. A rectangular plate was set on the circular pedestal, and the round plate was on its top.

During Three Kingdoms and Jin Dynasties

Two types of furniture series appeared: tall and type. This period was an important transitional period in the history of ancient Chinese furniture between Han dynasties and Sui and Tang dynasties. Bed of Hu minority was introduced from ethnic minority areas and merged with furniture of central plain, which made furniture higher in some parts. Furniture such as chairs, bench come out and furniture with sitting and lying style was also gradually higher. But overall, short furniture is still dominant.


The furniture developed from short type to tall type.

It promoted the combination of the tall furniture and the original short one of central plains. For example, the bed was in gradually heighten, with bed top and mosquito net, suitable to sit at bedside.

Pingji(凭几): It is a kind of furniture used for people to lean on. The special Pingji for protecting waist with three legs appeared.

Chair & Stool: The earliest chair & stool image appeared on murals.

During Sui and Tang Dynasties

The Tang dynasty was the heyday of China’s feudal society. Furniture making entered a new historical stage on the basis of inheriting the past and attracting foreign culture and art. It pursued the fresh and free style in the production process and decorative arts. Thus the furniture style in the Tang dynasty got rid of the unadorned features of those in the Shang, Zhou, Han and Six Dynastyies, and replaced them with gorgeous and dignified style.


Tall and short furniture coexisted at the same time.

The kind of table gradually increased and was widely used in all aspects of life.

Rocking Chair evolved from Hu bed and gradually appeared in the secular society.

Drum-shaped Stool: Bodhisattva seat appeared in the Wei, Jin, Northern and Southern Dynasties, which was more exquisite and popular in the Tang dynasty, with more forms.

During the Five Dynasties

On the basis of inheriting the furniture style of the Tang dynasty, the furniture style of the Five dynasties developed continuously. With the coexistence of tall and short furnitures, it was a special transition period that popularized to tall furniture. The functional difference of furniture was increasingly obvious. The gorgeous and dignified style of Tang furniture was changed and it tended to be simple.


The tall furniture style such as table, chair, stool matured gradually.

Screen changed from small screen to large.

Furnishings changed from an infinitive pattern into a fairly stable furnishing pattern.

During Song Dynasty

During Song dynasty, tall furniture had popularized to common family, such as tall bed, tall end table, towel rack, etc. At the same time, a lot of new products appeared such armchair, drawer, etc. Furniture of the Song dynasty was concise and neat, graceful and elegant, featuring with the simple style and no overelaborated adornment. While it also lacked grandeur.


Table and Chair: It laid a foundation for further development of frame furniture in Ming and Qing dynasties. Armchair named after official rank appeared.

Screen: Every family must have screen, so people more emphasized its position. Aesthetic meaning was greater than practical value.

During Yuan Dynasty

The Yuan dynasty was a feudal regime established by the Mongolian nationality in China. As the Mongolian nationality advocated force and pursued luxury, it was reflected in the furniture modeling, which was massive in shape, heavy and magnificent in decoration. The size of bed was big and the seat was in the shape of equinus.


Bed became large due to the body size of Mongolian.

The table basically inherited the shape of that in the Song dynasties, but high table became more and desk drawer appeared.

During Ming Dynasty

Ming dynasty was the glorious period on the development of Chinese classic furniture. Chinese ancient furniture experienced the development of thousands of years and reach an unprecedented level in Ming dynasty. The hardwood furniture was highly praised and appreciated. It paid much attention to choose material that needed to be hard wood with high intensity, fine color and lustre, decorated with wax to show its natural texture and color. From now on, Chinese traditional furniture entered an unprecedented new era represented with “hardwood furniture”.

The characteristic on modelling furniture was to pay attention to beauty of lines especially. Carving techniques were mainly relief, openwork carving, circular engravure, etc. The way of carving was exquisite with fluent line, vivid and lively. The place of carving was the backboard of furniture, tooth board, enclosure, etc., only doing carving in small area.


Bed: More kinds of bed appeared, including couch, canopy bed, arhat bed, etc.

Chair: It began to use hardwood manufacturing, with fine quality and wide varieties, such as official hat chair.

Screen: The screens are more elaborate. The styles are six, eight and twelve screens, in particular, the famous “Slanted apron(披水牙子)”.

During Qing Dynasty

The furniture craft of Qing dynasty was exquisite and reached the peak of feudalism. In the process of inheriting the traditional furniture making technology, it also absorbed the foreign culture and formed the distinct style of the times. As a result of economic prosperity, it formed the styles of different area such as Guangdong style, Suzhou style , Beijing style , etc. Due to Qing dynasty was closer to our modern society, some of the object was left and it has great influence to us.


Back-rest chair: It had great development on the basis of that in Ming dynasty.

rectangular spirals was the most representative decorative patterns.

Qing style armchair had greater development than Ming style armchair. One kind was throne, which was the supreme symbol of imperial power.

Wulong Karst National Geology Park, a Valuable Treasure that Nature Created

Wulong karst national geopark, located in the lower reaches of wujiang river in the southeast of chongqing, is an important part of karst landform in the south of China. It was listed as a world natural heritage site by UNESCO in 2007. Wulong karst landform is famous for its spectacular karst landform, including the three main parts of furong cave, three natural Bridges, houping mountain (houping tiankeng) and other scenic spots.

Wulong karst is a precious treasure created by nature. It is a karst landscape of canyons, natural Bridges, caves, eroded valleys, shafts and underground streams. These karst landforms developed in carbonate rocks, which vividly recorded the development and evolution of karst landforms in the three gorges area since the pleistocene. Furong cave, three natural Bridges and rear ping giant cave are three typical forms of karst landform, which developed under the condition of earth’s intermittent uplift movement.

Each of these three karst systems independently forms a spectacular landscape. Furong cave, also known as furong cave, is filled with a variety of mudstone sediments, forming many of the magnificent natural wonders. Limestone sediments also have important scientific significance. The three natural Bridges form the largest natural bridge group in Asia. The natural karst Bridges are towering and magnificent, which are rare in the world. The houping giant Doline is the largest group of sinkholes in the world and the longest underground cave system in Asia.

Wulong karst national geopark is located in a relatively remote area far away from the influence of human activities, compared with karst in shilin of yunnan and karst in libo of guizhou. Therefore, wulong karst retains the original characteristics of karst landforms plundered elsewhere and has outstanding universal value.

People’s Assembly Hall, a Landmark Building in Chongqing

The great hall of the people is located on renmin road in central chongqing, across from people’s square from the chongqing three gorges museum. It stands majestically in the center of the city and is the landmark of the city, considered one of the top ten cultural symbols of chongqing. Seen from a distance, the great hall towered into the sky.

The great hall of the people in chongqing enjoys a high reputation both at home and abroad for its unique architectural style. It is mainly in the Ming (1368-1644) and qing (1616-1911) styles, combining western architectural styles. The hall consists of two parts: the upper part is modeled after the temple of heaven in Beijing, which means blessing and peace; The lower half is a row of thick columns.

At first glance, visitors are captivated by the grandeur of the building amid the lush woods. The bright contrast between the green glass dome and the bright red pillars made the venue even more gorgeous. As you get closer to the building, you’ll notice that its columns and other structural elements are elaborately carved. In addition to the conference hall, there are hotels, entertainment rooms, banquet hall and other supporting facilities. So far, the hall has hosted more than 100 Chinese leaders and dignitaries from other countries. It is also a theatre.

In 1951, under the leadership of marshal he long, an auditorium was built in chongqing to receive guests from home and abroad. Completed in 1954, it was named the great hall of the people in chongqing in 1955. At the turn of the 21st century, people’s square’s musical fountain and evergreen meadow were built before the hall. The square is popular with laid-back locals. They usually do sports in the morning and take a walk in the square in the afternoon. It was especially lively in the evening, with many people dancing happily.

The roof of the great hall of the people is decorated with colorful neon lights, providing an excellent opportunity for night photography. If you want a panoramic view of this magnificent hall, the three gorges museum across the street is the best place to go.

Jingbian Wave Valley, to Enjoy the Danxia Landscape

Located in northwestern China’s Shaanxi province, Jingbian county boasts the largest Danxia landscape of the province. These formations show different colors at different times and various shapes from different angles, looking grand and magnificent. It is said that the landscape is comparable with the Wave, a sandstone rock formation located in Arizona, United States.

Wave Valley, also known as Jingbian Red Sandstone Canyon, Jingbian Longzhou Danxia landform, Yanjiazhaizi, located in Longzhou Township, 22 kilometers southeast of Jingbian County, commonly known as Yanzhaizi. The wave valley is a red sandstone landform. Because the texture on the rock sand is like a wave, it is called “The Wave”, that is, the wave.

In the 1980s, people discovered the wave valley at the junction of Arizona and Utah. The magical appearance and high scientific value made it one of the eight rock wonders of the world. The wavy valley of Jingbian also has a red sandstone gorge comparable to the American wavy valley.

The gap between China’s Jingbian wave valley and the American wave valley is not big. It is a red sandstone landform. The Jingbian wave valley is younger, only 60 million years old. Many sands have not yet reached the ground and solidified into rocks.

The record of this strange rock formation in jingbian is as follows: it shows a wonderful world carved out of sandstone by millions of years of wind, water and time. The complex layers of wave valley rock are made up of giant sand dunes that were deposited during the Jurassic 150 million years ago. Sand dunes are constantly covered with layers of red sand impregnated with groundwater, and over time, minerals in the water condense the sand into sandstone, forming cascading structures.

Jingbian wave valley in northern Shaanxi, a loess – covered area, has such a stone landscape is a miracle. Jingbian “wave valley” this name is given here by the photographer, it and Arizona wave valley is a certain difference. Arizona’s wave valley has white lines sandwiched between red and white, while Jingbian’s wave valley is mostly red

Jiefangbei CBD, Jiefangbei Pedestrian Street, Jiefangbei Square

Jiefangbei central business district, also known as jiefangbei pedestrian street or jiefangbei square, is the busiest business district in western China. The whole pedestrian street covers 36,000 square meters (about 43,055 square yards) and centers on the people’s liberation monument, including minquan road, minzu road and zoulong road. Now it is a must go place for tourists in chongqing, where people can enjoy shopping and all kinds of delicious food.

In 1997, the chongqing government built the jiefangbei central shopping mall, the first commercial pedestrian street in western China, in an area of 24,000 square meters (28,700 square yards) around the people’s liberation monument. In 2000 and 2001, the pedestrian street was further expanded to bayi road and minzu road.

Today, this CBD has become the core of chongqing’s economy. The total retail sales of consumer goods reached 41.4 billion yuan, which is regarded as the CBD with the most investment value in China.

Bayilu Road Food Street is the most famous food street in this area. You can taste all kinds of Chongqing snacks here including Shancheng Tangyuan, hot and sour rice noodles, Dandan noodles, rabbit heads, iced powder and so on at a very cheap price. Most of the shops are open air and you may have to queue to buy them. You will not be dissatisfied if you are a fan of Chongqing flavor.

Being the most prosperous business district and the transportation center in Chongqing, this pedestrian street has all kinds of hotels from 5-star grand hotels to youth hostels to meet your needs.
Jiefangbei CBD is the most prominent and vibrant business circle in West China, and modern landmark of Chongqing. Come here and feel this lively city and beautiful night views with colorful neon flashing everywhere.

Hongya Cave, the Building in Spirited Away

Hongya Cave has a history of over 2,300 years. It was a military fortress from the ancient Ba State (1046 B.C. – 256 B.C) to the Ming and Qing Dynasties (1368 – 1911), and was also the site of the earliest and most developed pier of ancient China. The site now houses a large-scale stilt house complex built alongside a steep cliff on the bank of Jialing River. It has become a popular destination for visitors to experience Bayu culture – a Chinese ethnic culture, gaze over the river, and taste delicious food. The stunning night view is a highlight and should not be missed.

Hongyadong is an 11-storey, 75 meters (245 feet) stilt house abutting a steep cliff. It is popular with tourists because it has a similar appearance to a building in Spirited Away – a masterpiece of a famous Japanese cartoonist, Hayao Miyazaki. It is incredible that the 1st floor and the 11th floor are accessible by two different roads. Visitors can take an elevator to each level where various bars, café and restaurants are arranged. Visitors can also see the symbolic Hongya Dripping on the 2nd floor, which is a small waterfall cascading down the cliff-face. It is regarded as one of the 12 Bayu Sites.

Red cliff hole night scene is a highlight of chongqing, but also a feature of chongqing. At dusk, warm lights illuminate the stilted building. Combined with its reflection on the water, the shimmering complex floats like a dreamy pavilion amid the towering skyscrapers surrounding it. Visitors can view the amazing night view from different angles. In Exotic Balcony Street, visitors can buy exotic garnitures and handiwork and also have coffee and hamburgers there. There is also a ship-like pirate-theme bar with half of a ship’s hull suspended from the ceiling. As well, visitors can overlook the stilt house and Jialing River from the balcony.

Dazu Rock Carvings, the County of Rock Carving

Dazu stone carvings include all the cliffs in dazu county. The stone carvings collected have beishan, baoding mountain, nanshan mountain, shimen mountain, shizhong mountain, etc., the highest artistic attainments, the most exquisite skills.

Dazu county is located in the southeast of sichuan province. It is 168 miles from chengdu and 104 miles from chongqing. Covering 540 square miles (about 1,400 square kilometers), the county has a history of more than 1,200 years since it was founded in 758 during the tang dynasty (618-907).

Dazu stone carvings were first built in 650 during the tang dynasty and continued into the Ming dynasty (1368-1644) and qing dynasty (1616-1911). It is as famous as the mogao grottoes in dunhuang, gansu province. The stone carvings in these places are famous at home and abroad. Among the stone carvings, there are more than 50,000 statues and over 100,000 inscriptions. In this group of stone carvings, buddhist statues dominate, and Taoist and Confucian stone statues can also be seen.

It is 1.2 miles (about 2 kilometers ) away from the northwest of Dazu County. Figures in this part are something like ‘an Assembly of Oriental Beauties’, since it enjoys good preservation and elaborate craftsmanship. Tourists can see the graceful statue of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, crowned as ‘the Oriental Venus’. Rock carvings in this part reveal the common Buddhist faith. Standing here for a while, one may feel that it is really a Buddhist palace.

Apart 12 miles (about 20 kilometers) from the eastern part of Dazu County, Shimenshan Rock Carving combines Buddhist and Taoist statues, but the later one predominates. In addition to these stone figures, there are also some inscriptions and remarks beside the figures. Representaion of some gods’ figures are lifelike and vivid. For example, outside the niche of the Great Jade Emperor stands the statuary of Shun Feng Er, a favorable god having clairaudience. It looks as if he is looking into the distance. Besides, there is a figure of Qian Li Yan, a god that can see things happening in a thousand miles’ distance. It looks as if he is listening attentively.

Many statues show the Buddhist and the Confucius doctrines, particularly the filial piety. In 1999, Dazu Rock Carvings were ranked as a World Cultural Heritage Site. Every year many thousands of tourists from home and abroad pay a visit to Dazu to appreciate the rock carvings.

Datong Soil Forest, the Only Soil Forest Attraction in North China

Tulin, located in Duzhuang Township, Datong County, consists of hundreds of soil pillars and walls tens to more than ten meters high. It is called Shibangou by local people. Under different illuminations, they show wonderful changes: sometimes they shine with gold, sometimes they are red like fire, sometimes they are abyss, sometimes they are white like frost fields. Like Yuanmou in Yunnan and Alizada in Tibet, precious geological relics and magical workmanship show the desolate and solemn beauty of the Loess Plateau.The “soil forest” refers to the landscape consisting of protrusive loess and grit sediment due to crustal movement as well as wind and water erosion.

When visitors enter this place, it is difficult to understand that they are still on the Mars and still in the magic field. This is the Datong Soil Forest. The locals are called “Stone Trench” and it is the only known soil forest attraction in North China. Looking at it, the strangeness of the forest is dazzling, like an old castle rather than an old castle, like a sculpture and not a sculpture. Under different sunlight, the forest has different styles, or glittering, or red like a flame, and it is magnificent, which is favored by many photographers. Different from the stone forest, the earth forest changes with time and under the shape of wind and rain. However, the charm of the whole earth forest still does not affect its aesthetic sense. The local people call the earth forest “Shibangou”.

Nature’s ingenuity has created a strange and fascinating landscape of the soil forest. When visitors enter this place, it is difficult to understand that they are still on the Mars and still in the magic field. This is the Datong Soil Forest. The locals are called “Stone Trench” and it is the only known soil forest attraction in North China. Looking at it, the strangeness of the forest is dazzling, like an old castle rather than an old castle, like a sculpture and not a sculpture. Under different sunlight, the forest has different styles, or glittering, or red like a flame, and it is magnificent, which is favored by many photographers.

Dali Travel Tips, to Learn About Local Folk Customs

Located in the northwest of Yunnan province, 300 kilometers (186 miles) northwest of Kunming, Dali is the economic and cultural center of the Dali bai autonomous prefecture. Surrounded by mountains on the east, west and south sides, Erhai lake is the center. Here you will find 25 ethnic minorities who have created a unique cultural heritage in a picturesque setting.

As early as 4000 years ago, bai ancestors settled here. In the 2nd century, it was brought into the territory of the central government of the han dynasty (206bc-220ad). Two minority states, nanzhao (738-937) in the tang dynasty (618-907) and Dali (937-1253) in the song dynasty (960-1279), were also founded here. Throughout history, it has been a middle ground linking ancient China and other countries through India for economic and cultural exchanges. The ruins of the ancient cities of taihe and Dali bear witness to the historical changes here over thousands of years. The surrounding ancient towns, together with xizhou town and zhoucheng village, showcase the bai people’s most historic daily customs.

Ethnic minorities have lived in the area for generations, with the bai making up 65 percent of the population. The customs of ethnic minorities bring charm to daily life. Every spring, celebrations and festivals bring the city to life. Celebrations such as the march street festival and butterfly festival provide excellent opportunities to learn about local customs.

The city’s famous street of foreigners attracts tourists with its handicrafts and local delicacies. Xiaguan, located in the south of the ancient city, is the seat of the Dali bai autonomous prefecture government. Here, hotels, plazas and shopping malls add a modern touch to the historic city.

Ci Qi Kou, Porcelain Village in Chongqing

Located on the Banks of the jialing river, not far from its confluence with the Yangtze river, is an ancient village called ciqikou, formerly known as longyin. Located in the western city of chongqing, it covers an area of about 291.6 acres (1.2 square kilometers) and is 9 miles (14 kilometers) long.

Chongqing itself has undergone many changes over the centuries that are not reflected in ciqikou, so the village gives an impression of what chongqing was like in the distant past. This fact was recognized by the state council and became a protected cultural site in 1998.

The history of ciqi can be traced back to more than 1,700 years ago. During the Ming and qing dynasties (1368-1911), it was famous for producing porcelain. So far, more than 20 ancient kiln sites have been found there. Because of the importance of the porcelain industry, its name has been changed from long Yin to chi qi kou, which translates as porcelain village. In addition, the fact that the village is an important shipping depot explains why so many shops line the 12-lane route, paved with their flagstones, forming the main route. Here, you’ll find many outlets for crafts, groceries, and more, as well as watchmakers, photographic equipment, pharmacies, and enticing roasted nuts and seeds. As one might expect, there are also teahouses and restaurants catering to the many tourists who come to see a way of life that has been here for centuries.

Most of the houses on ciqikou street were built during the Ming and qing dynasties, when many of China’s architectural masterpieces were created. Most of the two – and three-story buildings are made of bamboo and wood. Black bricks and pillars set off the white walls, contrasting with cinnabar doors and latticed Windows. Black stone slabs and lanterns decorate the doors to complete the authentic and traditional exterior attributes. The quietly flowing jialing river, which has been the lifeblood of the village in people’s memory, flows past the village. Because it is the river that brings goods and people here, and local products to customers both at home and abroad.

Three of the village’s most striking attractions are the tea bar, the artist’s studio and the shu embroidery workshop. Surprisingly, there are more than 100 tea bars, each with its own unique characteristics. Here, friends like to chat or have meetings to discuss business. Therefore, the tea bar offers you the opportunity to meet the local people and familiarize you with the unique folk opera.

The studio, where you can see the work of local artists, will be very interesting. It is said that the more beautiful a place is, the more artists it attracts. You must be surprised by the quality and progress of the work on display, as many artists document the local scene with skill and dedication. With so many artists working in the magnetic seven, you’ll be spoilt when you’re looking for souvenirs to visit.