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The exhibition in honor of the Lunar New Year opens at the Museum of the East

31.01.2023 Пресс-центр Государственного музея Востока 50 просмотров

On February 3, the State Museum of the East presents the exhibition "Happy Rabbit Year, Cat! 2023: In search of the symbol of the Year", dedicated to the lunar New Year.

The exhibition includes works of art from China, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and other countries. In total, there are more than 60 exhibits at the exhibition — pictorial scrolls of famous artists of the twentieth century. Fukuda Heihatiro and Xu Beihong, folk paintings-splints, decorative and applied art objects made of ceramics and porcelain, wood and bone, stone and metal. The chronological framework of the exposition covers the period from the XVI century to the XXI century.


Нго Динь Тьыонг (1934 – нач. 2000х) Черная кошка Вьетнам, 1989 г. Бумага, ксилография.jpg

The State Museum It is not the first time that the East turns to the topic of the Eastern calendar. The exhibition "Happy Rabbit Year, Cat! 2023: In search of the symbol of the Year" is timed to coincide with the Lunar New Year — one of the most joyful holidays in China and in a number of other countries of the Far East and Southeast Asia. The black tiger, who ruled last year, will give way to a hare (rabbit) of black color, more precisely, the color of xuan (black, in which scarlet is born). Nowadays, in many countries, the fourth year of the 12-year cycle is called the year of two animals at once – a rabbit and a cat. Why are there two of them? Which of them will become the symbol of the coming year? And what were the images of cats and rabbits in the traditional cultures of the Far East and Southeast Asia?

Народная картина «Мышиная свадьба» Вьетнам, провинция Бакнинь, деревня Донгхо, 1950-60е гг. Бумага, цветная ксилография.jpg

In the Far East, the symbolism of the hare originates long before the emergence of the animal cycle. In the dark spots on the moon, residents of a number of countries saw the silhouette of a hare with a mortar. Ancient myths say that he lives on the moon, where he grinds powder for the elixir of immortality in a jasper mortar under a cinnamon tree all year round. In Japan, there is a legend that the dark areas visible on the moon are depressions that a hare living there hollowed out with a wooden mallet, beating mochi dough from glutinous rice in a mortar to make tortillas with the same name. It was believed that if you look at the moon for a long time, you can see the big-eared animal behind these classes. Everyone who saw the hare was promised happiness, well-being and longevity. The hare is a popular character in myths and folklore of many regions of the East.

Фукуда Хэйхатиро (1892–1974) Кролики под цветущим кустом хаги (фрагмент) Япония, 1931 г. Шелк, тушь, краски, гофун.jpg

The cat also found its place in the horoscope of some peoples who adopted the Chinese calendar: for example, in Vietnam, he displaced a hare, taking the fourth year of the cycle belonging to him. Mouse hunters who protect sacred Buddhist texts and protect crops – cats have become heroes of legends, legends and oral-poetic traditions of the inhabitants of the Far East and Southeast Asia. According to local beliefs, a cat could become both a formidable enemy, turning into a werewolf, and a talisman, embodied in the "God of Luck" — a popular talisman in the form of a sitting cat figurine with a raised paw luring success.

The media resource "Greater Asia" is an official information partner The State Museum of the East

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