Five Things to Know About… Hexi Paintings

When you walk into a palace or temple in Beijing, don’t forget to look up! Ceilings were often painted in wonderful colours and designs! This is Hexi color painting (和玺彩画), also known as Yan Dayi (严大义), and it’s found on palace buildings or buildings related to the royal family. Read on to learn five fascinating facts about this beautiful style of painting!

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The lotus: Simply a flower?

In midsummer, Beijing parks and river banks entice us with the delicate perfume of the water lily or lotus (liánhuā 莲花 in Chinese), “the buds of which still keep the fragrance of the goddess of the Luo River,” as we read in the poem ‘Lotus’ by Wen Tingyun, a great lyricist of the Tang Dynasty.

Read on to find out all about the meaning of the lotus in ancient China!

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