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Remark: Through a display of Chinese dress, this exhibition at Powerhouse Museum, Australia, explores the extraordinary changes that have occurred in Chinese society over the last 300 years. The objects range from the sumptuous silk court robes of the Qing Dynasty to the latest designs from young fashion designers from mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

 

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Details: The art dates back about 3,700 years to the Yin Dynasty and has its origin in the cutting of oracle inscriptions on tortoise shells. It flourished in the Qin Dynasty of 22 centuries ago, when people engraved their names on utensils and documents (of bamboo and wood) to show ownership or authorship. Out of this grew the carving of personal names on small blocks of horn, jade or wood, namely the seals as we know them today. The name "cheongsam," meaning simply "long dress," entered the English vocabulary from the dialect of China's Guangdong Province (Cantonese). In other parts of the country including Beijing, however, it is known as "qipao", which has a history behind it.

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