This article explores and examines the Chinese interior during the Han dynasty (202 B.C.-220 A.D.), that is, the depiction of the interior styles from the ruling class to the ruled. It focuses on the process of how the Han Chinese perceived, constructed and maintained their inner space. 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 mandates and regularities were later changed and transformed into different formations to meet with the various needs of the succeeding dynastic rulers to claim and reconcile their authority. That is to say, the definition of a space was mainly served to legalize the succession of a ruling class and could be easily manipulated, altered and implemented.
Min-chia Young, Shu-te University, Taiwan