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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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A vividly painted face, however, enables audiences to see expressions clearly even from a distance, a great advantage in the days when dramatic performances were usually staged in the open air before large crowds. So actors began to apply powder, ink, paint, and soot to their faces, creating the art of facial make-up.   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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