Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Last Emperor & Upholstered Doors

After tucking the kids to bed a couple of nights ago, my husband and I watched the movie The Last Emperor. The movie tells the life story of Puyi, the last imperial emperor of China who was thrusted to the throne to rule the country at a tender age of 3. He lived a lonely life imprisoned behind the gates of the imperial palace, better known as the Forbidden City and was kept oblivious of the tensions arising from fundamental changes in politics and society.

Puyi's only view of the outside world was through his English teacher, Reginald Johnston who taught him for 5 years. Johnston was as frank with Puyi on the changes that were happening outside the gates of the Forbidden City as he was firm in fending off the extended imperial family's exploitation of the young and vulnerable emperor.

In the later years of Puyi's life, he was expelled from the imperial palace. In desperation to regain power and a noble status, he collaborated with the Japanese, China's arch rival at the time, who provided him an asylum and made him the emperor of Manchuria though without power. Puyi was made a puppet while the Japanese entrenched further into the country.

When China overcame the Japanese occupation, Puyi was imprisoned for treason. He was placed in a school of reform for 10 years and released at a time when the cultural revolution was at its peak. His life at this point was far from an emperor and more of a common lowly civilian.

Anyhow, it was through this movie that I was inspired to pimp up my guestroom door. The red double door with oversized gold studs that the Forbidden City is known for would be taking it too far but the idea is there.

I'm thinking Miles Redd's door in his New York apartment upholstered in zebra stripes and brass nail-heads.
via New York Social Diary

Another upholstered door leading to the walk-in wardrobe and bathroom.
via New York Social Diary

By the way, I gasped when I saw his kitchen which I will write about another day. It is B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L.

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