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Vivian Wang

Girl in Red

Cast glass, Stoneware, Gemstones: Garnet, Moonstone, Faux pearl and crystal, 23.5"h x 12"w x 8"d, Item No. 18875,

Currently on exhibition "All Under Heaven: Wonders of the East, Original Antiquities from Asia" at the Museum of Natural Wonders in Cathedral City, CA through September 25th, 2022.

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GIRL IN RED portrays a young Mongolian girl during the Yuan Dynasty (1279 - 1368) when all of China was under Mongolian rule. Her attire is a blend of Mongolian and Han Chinese elements, a style  permitted by the Mongolians in the Yuan Dynasty court.

The girl’s “vest” with wide flanged shoulders was a popular Mongolian silhouette, yet the row of tiny buttons down the center front of her bodice is a Chinese detail. Mongolian dress did not have buttons. They closed their garments by braiding the fringed edges.

Her sleeves are very wide, a Chinese feature, but her “vest” is fitted at the waist, which is a Mongolian silhouette. The metallic trim on her garments is indicative of both the Han Chinese and Mongolian style. For the Chinese, the color red of her dress symbolizes good fortune and joy. Red in Mongolian culture was the official color of the elite.

During the time of Mongolian rule in China, the Han Chinese of Northern China adopted Mongol clothing to show their allegiance to the New Mongol Yuan rulers. Southern elites who resisted the Mongol rule continued to wear the Chinese-style clothing of the previous Song Dynasty, overthrown by the great Mongol emperor, Genghis Khan.