Interiors, Pattern & Texture

Color of the Week: Chinese Red

May 20, 2013 • By
Temple of Heaven - Night Event

Temple of Heaven – Evening Event

For better or worse, no one quite owns a color the way China owns red. Throughout history, the color and the country have been connected, be it through feng shui, spirituality or politics.

Red China…red silk…red flags…red for good luck…red for temple doors…


Costumed ‘Warrior’ on the Great Wall

On my last trip to China, as always, red was a recurring theme.  It makes for fun photos.

Of course there are the traditional images.  The pagodas and temples and of course, Mao’s tomb.


Mao’s Tomb

There’s the slightly forbidding image of Communist-red flags flying over Tiananmen Square on a very gray day.


Tianenmen Square, Beijing

And then, there’s the less-expected.  The red Budweiser umbrellas at the outdoor cafe in the hutong for instance.


Budweiser Umbrellas in Beijing’s Hutong

I love using red in unexpected places – in decor, in art, in photographs, in fashion.  Red enlivens whatever it touches.

And I love when designers, much as the Chinese use red, use a color or pattern with loads of weighty history, and then do something totally unexpected with it.  Playing with history’s design lessons can be very inspiring.