Beijing's Forbidden City
“We are all patchwork, and so shapeless and diverse in composition that each bit, each moment, plays its own game.” -Michel de Montaigne
I simply adore the grandeur of ancient Chinese architecture. I love the aggressive spirit, which I think of as a “more is more” sensibility. Although the intricacies can sometimes be overwhelming, I’ve learned to look with a sense of humor and a free spirit, and edit the view by silencing out the noise and vigorous opulence of the surroundings. This kind of editing and composition is one of my favorite things. Here, from my recent trip to Beijing, I was fortunate enough to revisit the Forbidden City to accomplish what I love to do the most.
Within the “more is more” expressions, not only am I stunned by them, but I feel compelled to unwrap the mysterious stories and symbolic references. For example, the gold roof tiles represented the emperor, symbolizing his reign as “golden,” as well as yellow as the primary color of the emperor. There are some exceptions throughout the palace, however. The library has black tiles in order to prevent fires (black represents water), and the prince’s private quarters have green tiles that symbolize growth.
I would like to share the images I took from the Forbidden City, composed with my own personal expressions: silence.
All images by D.B. Kim.