One of the surprises for me in the Shanghai Museum was the collection of Ming hardwood furniture. These pieces date to between 1368 and 1644.
Although some pieces have elaborations and carved decoration the majority of pieces are quite simple and minimal in form and treatment. These two tables are very elegant. The use of simple shapes and braces to stiffen the legs reminded me immediately of the Breuer tables (see previous entry). The ‘giant’s-arm’ braces on the second table really assert their functionality.
A selection of Ming chairs of various shapes. The ones in the background are folding designs. Some of the backs look rather uncomfortable. Again on the whole the fluid lines and simple forms dominate. They remind me more of Hans Wegner than Breuer.