Chinoiserie is the European interpretation and imitation of Chinese and East Asian artistic traditions, especially in the decorative arts, garden design, architecture, literature, theatre, and music. The aesthetic of Chinoiserie has been expressed in different ways depending on the region.
Its acknowledgement derives from the current of Orientalism, which studied Far East cultures from a historical, philological, anthropological, philosophical and religious point of view. First appearing in the 17th century, this trend was popularized in the 18th century due to the rise in trade with China and East Asia.
As a style, chinoiserie is related to the Rococo style. Both styles are characterized by exuberant decoration, asymmetry, a focus on materials, and stylized nature and subject matter that focuses on leisure and pleasure. Chinoiserie focuses on subjects that were thought by colonial-era Europeans to be typical of Chinese culture.
Chinoiserie is an art form inspired by the world. The blend of elegant European design with intriguing, exotic East Asian artistic traditions is versatile enough to work with every interior design style. Whimsical designs, lush garden scenery, and embellished finishes contribute to chinoiserie’s worldly aesthetic.