New Ultimate Imperial Feast

‘Manhan Quanxi’, literally ‘Manchu Han Imperial Feast’, one of the grandest meals ever documented in Chinese cuisine, consisted of at least 108 unique dishes from the Manchu and Han Chinese culture during the Qing dynasty. The meal was held for three whole days, across six banquets and exclusively reserved and intended for Emperors. The culinary skills consisted of cooking methods from all over Imperial China.

Monkey brain, ape's lips, shark's fin and bird’s nests were among some of the dishes served at this feast. Most of the ingredients hailed from endangered species making these cuisines extremely rare in China today. It is regarded as one of the most exuberant meals in the entire collection of Chinese cuisines.

In order to conserve this perishing Chinese dining heritage as well as protect endangered species used as ingredients in the feast, this project aims to re-design a series of cuisines to form a new imperial feast. By combining design practice, animal husbandry and emerging biotechnologies, “New Ultimate Imperial Feast” proposes a dining experience with the aim of raising awareness about preserving threatened species and questions animal ethics of the current factory farming system.

This project is currently at work-in-progress stage and the result of the preliminary research is shown with a conceptual video during this exhibition.


Videographer: Jian Da Huang

Supported by:

-Stimuleringsfonds, Netherlands

-Arts and Technology: Creative Innovation and Counseling Project, Ministry of Culture, Taiwan