Round and Square - Austere Style Furniture of Ming Dynasty

While watching the austere Ming Dynasty Tiao Zhou (a long narrow table) with Four-Side-Square-Surface in front of you, you wouldn't think of a utensil, but appreciate it as an artwork. No details about Ming's furniture were recorded in history. The carpenters in Ming dynasty didn't get a relevant social status which could compare with their achievement. We know less about the carpenters' idea of that time. We may have full knowledge of the painters in Ming dynasty, but we can't tell the name of the carpenter who made a classic Ming's furniture.

The Four-Side-Square-Surface, a pattern of Ming dynasty furniture, features absolutely the sense of form. Taking the relevant existing furniture and regarding the relationship between the round and the square as a basic clue, I analyze the abstract language embodied in the Ming's furniture and the subsequent visual experience.

The pattern of Ming's furniture is various. Among them, the austere but elegant one is considered to be the top of the line, that embodies the nature of form language and expresses the spirit quality of Ming's artifacts most. This is the key content that we should learn and study.

By intuition and experience, the carpenters at that time adjusted dimension of the furniture. They obeyed the visual balance principle. Observing the material object, we can feel exactly the sense of intimacy embodied in the furniture. It seems that even now the furniture still can communicate with us.