Where there are tales of women there are almost always tales of beauty, or at least, there were. In a world that’s working to dismantle gender-binary expectations, the social construction behind objects is ever more fascinating. At Liang Yi, 250 pieces associated with the female—boudoir furniture, objects of the toilette, hair ornamentation, textiles—and dating from the late Imperial era in China and Japan to the modern day, are on display. How did ideals of female beauty in the East influence the West? How much have constructs of the “feminine” changed with the 21st century? —E.C.