Macao Museum of Art celebrates Macao’s Return to the Motherland with an exhibition displaying magnificent imperial costumes of Qing dynasty

Date of publication: 09/12/2020
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Jointly presented by the Macao Museum of Art (MAM), under the auspices of the Cultural Affairs Bureau, and the Palace Museum, the large-scale exhibition “Stately Demeanour: Costumes of Qing Emperors and Empresses from the Collection of the Palace Museum” will be inaugurated on 16 December 2020, at 6:30pm, at the MAM. The exhibition is divided into five sections, including Official Costumes, Festive Costumes, Regular Costumes, Military and Travel Costumes, and Leisure Costumes, and will showcase nearly 90 pieces (sets) of Qing emperors’ and empresses’ attire and accessories from the Palace Museum’s collection, giving viewers a glimpse of the exquisite craftsmanship applied in the production of each item, the mutual influence and integration of Manchu and Han cultures, and the sophisticated Chinese fashion tastes.

This exhibition mainly features selected artefacts from the periods of the emperors Kangxi, Yongzheng and Qianlong to recreate the splendour of the era, in addition to dazzling items worn by imperial consorts from the mid and late Qing dynasty to reflect the fashion development. Given the demanding storage and display requirements for proteinaceous artefacts such as silk and fur, the Palace Museum has always remained cautious when exhibiting imperial costumes and accessories, and some of the items will be showcased outside the Museum for the first time. It is therefore a rare opportunity for people in Macao to have a close look at the superb brocade, kesi tapestry and embroidery techniques used in the Qing dynasty.

In order to enhance the public’s interest in the exhibition, a number of outreach activities will be held during the exhibition period, including lectures by experts from the Palace Museum, guided tours, workshops and prize games. The series of activities will begin with the lecture “National Splendour and Imperial Demeanour – Colour System of the Qing Dynasty Costumes and its Evolvement”, to be held in the evening of 14 December, conducted by Zhang Xin, an associate researcher fellow from the Embroidered Artefacts Division of the Department of Palace Life and Imperial Ritual at the Palace Museum, who will shed light on how the colours of the costumes influenced the power, culture, techniques, economy and fashion of the era. The lecture is well received by the public and the registration is full. The “Family Activity for Friends of MAM: Emperor's New Clothes”, to be held on 26 December, will guide participants in understanding cultural connotations behind the motifs on dragon robes. Interested parties can register from 10 am on 10 December through the Cultural Affairs Bureau’s Activities Registration System at

The exhibition, organised by the MAM of the Cultural Affairs Bureau and the Palace Museum, co-organised by the Macao Government Tourism Office and Macao Foundation, and supported by the Macao Daily News, is held until 14 March 2021. MAM is open daily from 10am to 7pm (last admission at 6:30pm) including public holidays, and is closed on Mondays. Admission is free. For more information about the exhibition and activities, please visit MAM’s website at In cooperation with epidemic prevention efforts of the SAR Government, visitors must wear face masks at all times, undergo temperature checks and present their health code of the day.