Febuary 8th–May 10th, 2005
The Chinese people welcome the joyous arrival of spring with celebrations that reflect multiple aspects of its distinctive cultural traditions. Going beyond the spectacular public pageantry of colorful parades, acrobatic performers and exploding firecrackers, is an intensely private expression of cherished dreams and great expectations. The actual celebration begins on the last day of the old year as the families gather eagerly anticipating the shower of blessings the new year will bring. By then, the entire household would have been thoroughly cleaned and freshly furnished with decorations for the occasion. These furnishings are deeply rooted in traditional beliefs, local customs, and cultural practices, which reveal the hopes and fears, connected with the family’s activities for the coming year.
This exhibition highlights everyday, folk objects associated with the spring celebration. These objects symbolize the foremost concerns of the people as they strive to ensure the well-being and prosperity of their household. Pictures of door guardians posted at entrances provide protection for the family from evil influences. Images of deities from Taoist, Buddhist, and folk traditions offer personal assurances of specific blessings and safeguard from harm. Auspicious symbols convey promises for health, safety, mercy, wealth, success, and all the good things that life may bring. Illustrations of myths and fairy stories enrich their mundane lives with entertainment and provide relief from their often routine existence.
The most compelling expression deals with the depictions of harmonious relationship within the family. Fortunate is the household where several generations live together and thrive. There is a great desire for peace and harmony between the members of the household as they fulfill their respective duties exercising the ideal Confucian principles of respect and honor toward one another. Women care for the children as they supervise the household duties. Children carry the hopes and dreams for the future fortune of the family. Parents and grandparents impart their wisdom and experience to the next generations. These highly esteemed senior members are treated with extreme deference.
“Celebrating Spring: the Chinese Folk Art Way” illustrates how these great expectations can be expressed in the most colorful and creative forms. Some are articles and objects used by the family during spring celebrations as well as throughout the year. Others are pictorial representations that range from paintings to embroideries, prints to woodcuts. The most unique cultural expressions are artistic renditions of the Chinese written word to express these ideas. Featuring folk objects drawn from different regional traditions in China, this exhibition aspires to create an atmosphere of joy and optimism for everyone who enters its doors.
The Chinese Culture Center wishes to thank the lenders to this exhibition: East Asian Art Association, Man-u Imports of San Mateo, George McWilliams, Carol P. Peckham, Denise and Alan Tom. Our deepest appreciation goes to Guest Curator Mrs. Sally Yu Leung for organizing such a meaningful exhibition. Mrs. Leung, senior docent at Asian Art Museum and instructor of Chinese calligraphy for Pixar Studio, was appointed commissioner to Asian Art Museum in 1999. We also wish to thank Ms. Manni Liu for her assistance in the labels and Mrs. So Kam Ng Lee for her insightful introductory report.
Funding for this exhibition is provided by Grants for the Arts of the San Francisco Hotel Tax, members of the Chinese Culture Foundation and private donors.
展覽： 迎 春 接 福
時間： 二零零五年二 月八日 至 四月三十日
參觀時間：上午十點 至 下午四點，週二 至 週六