15 Taiwanese artists to exhibit Chinese New Year prints at BenCab Museum | Lifestyle.INQ

OCTOBER 27, 2022

LIN CHIH-HSIN’S “Auspicious Dragons (Greeting Millennium)”
LIN CHIH-HSIN’S “Auspicious Dragons (Greeting Millennium)”

The Lunar New Year in Chinese society or community traditionally sees the emergence and proliferation of decorative pictures and prints overflowing with auspicious symbols to convey wishes for good fortune, prosperity, longevity and even double happiness.

Such Chinese New Year culture will make an unprecedented big splash at the Print Gallery of the BenCab Museum (Km. 6 Asin Road, Tuba, Metro Baguio) when 15 prominent and award-winning Taiwanese artists lend their contemporary works inspired by the 12 Chinese zodiac signs over the years to the exhibit “Chinese New Year Prints: A World of Good Wishes” from Jan. 21 to Feb. 20.

Lin Chih-hsin’s “Auspicious Dragons (Greeting Millennium)” in the exhibition to welcome the Year of the Dragon is a woodcut print showing rural Taiwanese performing a traditional dragon dance, thereby projecting a rousing image of welcome for the new year. The picture captures a feeling of energy and excitement.

Wu A-sun brings into focus the customary practice in traditional Chinese society to post the image of Chung Kuei, the deity known to protect households, big and small, from evil spirits, and to ward off evil influences for the coming year. Wu’s Chinese New Year print design adopts the format of door gods in ancient prints. His “Ringing Out the Old, Ringing In the New” tells of a desire to be ensured of peace and prosperity.

Lee Pek-khean’s “A Truly Happy New Year” highlights his childhood memories of a very colorful Chinese New Year celebration. During the new year period or spring festival, he conveniently avoided punishment for childish mischief, played with firecrackers, got excited by the dragon dance, received red envelopes filled with cash and enjoyed the feasting during family reunions.

LEE PEK-KHEAN’S “A Truly Happy New Year” reveals a nostalgia for the Spring Festival during his childhood.

Nancy T. Lu, a journalist who spent the last 25 years covering the arts scene in Taiwan, will share insights on “Tradition and Innovation in Chinese New Year Prints” during the exhibit opening on Jan. 21.

Since 1985, Taiwan’s Council for Cultural Affairs annually commissions two or three famous Taiwanese artists to come up with refined and elegant examples of New Year prints to teach, guide and encourage young talents to improve their skills in creating innovative designs for the Lunar New Year. It seeks to keep alive the folk culture of nian hua or Chinese New Year prints through a yearly design competition.

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