This article explores and examines the Chinese interior during the imperial times in a sequential order, that is, the portrayal of various interior styles from the Qin to the Northern and Southern dynasties (221 BC-1912 AD). It focuses on the process of how the Chinese perceived, constructed, and maintained their inner space through dynastic succession. Through textual and linguistic enquiry in combination with historical and archaeological studies, the article aims to demonstrate that the Chinese concept of a space was first developed according to the cosmogonic order, regulated and maintained through human actions as stated in some early Chinese texts. These rules and regularities were later altered and transformed into different formations due to the change of the ruling ethnics to reclaim their authority. That is to say, the definition of a space was subjected to change and was mainly served to legalize the succession of a powerful regime.
Min-Chia Young, Shu-te University, Taiwan