Advanced Drainage System in Ancient Beijing

The flood problem in Beijing, Chinese capital situated away from coast and major rivers, becomes more severe in the recent decades. The cause could be multifactorial: The expansion of the urban footprint, the impermeable road pavement, the lack of maintenance and repair to the underground drainage infrastructure, and the damage done to the natural and manmade water system that historically served as […]

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Nirvana in Fire (6): A Rescue Operation

A plan to rescue former Red Flame Army general Wei Zheng was quickly drawn by Mei Changsu. Observing how the pale-faced scholar developed an intricate prison break strategy and simulated each step of the operation in meticulous details, the chief of the Medicine Valley kung fu sect was awfully impressed. “What a marvelous action plan!” he exclaimed. Mei Changsu played it down. […]

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Nirvana in Fire (4): A Birthday Party

Following China’s scholarly garden tradition, Mei Changsu redesigned his residential garden. After the completion of the project, he invited his friends and associates in the capital to his garden parlour for a drink. Being grateful for Mei Changsu’s help on the incident of firecracker mill explosion that resulted the emperor to severely punish the crown prince, Prince Yu arrived at garden-warming party without […]

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Nirvana in Fire (3): Chinese New Year Festival

Chinese New Year was approaching and cargo business was booming. The wharfies complained to the headman that the two boatload of mandarin packages were unreasonably heavy. The traditional Chinese royal family was a strictly hierarchical community, with emperor at the top as the absolute ruler and empress as his deputy sheriff  Each morning, emperor’s lesser wives were required to pay respect […]

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Nirvana in Fire (2): A Wanted Man

A traditional Chinese balcony, fully integrated with the indoor space Mei Changsu’s initial misjudgement over Princess Nihuang incident rose Prince Jing’s suspicion in his character. Thus he laid ground rules for their cooperation: you may play party politics, but you must not hurt the people who spilled their blood and risked their lives to defend the nation. Mei Changsu was […]

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A Brief Introduction to Ancient Chinese Cosmology

Traditional Chinese cosmological system is mainly based on the positions, relationships and movements of the sun, the moon, the five major planets in the solar system and the 28 constellations in the sky. It was established more than 2,200 years ago during the Warring States period (330 BC – 221 BC), serving the purpose of observing and monitoring the impact of climate change on […]

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Nirvana in Fire (1) – A Popular Genius

For its faithful depiction of a traditional China in both spiritual and physical aspects, highly acclaimed Chinese TV drama Nirvana in Fire is in fact the best visual introduction to all things Chinese, from customs, costumes, architecture, interior design, garden design, urban design, furniture design to state politics. 31-year old Mei Changsu kept waking up from a recurring nightmare in […]

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Money God in Chinese New Year’s Painting

Chinese New Year’s Paintings are typically used to decorate the internal walls at the beginning of each new lunar year. The themes of New Year’s Painting are often closely associated with Chinese people’s common aspirations and unique language. For instance, a bat (蝠) represents fortune (福), a fan (扇) indicates kindness (善), a spear (戟) is a symbol for luck (吉) […]

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