To celebrate the Lunar New Year, the Irkutsk Regional Art Museum in eastern Russia will showcase festive prints provided by the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts (NTMoFA) from Feb. 15 through March 11.
Under the theme “Eastern Calendar — Print Art from Taiwan,” the museum will illustrate the significance and meaning of the Year of the Dog in Chinese culture to the Russian public through some sixty-plus prints.
The featured prints, which include the six winning pieces of the Dog Zodiac competition held by NTMoFA last month, will present the folk culture of Taiwan and the creativity of Taiwanese artists.
Curator Andrei Martynov shared his experience of visiting Taiwan eight years ago to serve as a judge at the museum’s annual print competition, where he was deeply impressed by how Taiwanese artists portrayed landscapes and folk culture by utilizing different materials.
In fact, such festive prints are traditionally pasted on the front door to keep evil spirits away and safeguard the household, added Martynov.
Juliya Solomatina, a Russian teacher who teaches the Chinese language, will be at the Feb. 15 opening ceremony to write spring couplets such as “Spring (春)” and “Blessing (福)” in calligraphy for the public to take home as a token of fortune and blessings.
Nicholas Hsu (許德明), cultural director at the Representative Office in Moscow for the Taipei-Moscow Economic and Cultural Coordination Commission, noted that Taiwan prints have been recognized by the international print art scene, and that this exhibition hopes to introduce the artistic achievements of Taiwan to Russian audiences.
Established in 1920, the Irkutsk Regional Art Museum collects rare and valuable Paleolithic art of Siberia from the 15th to 18th century, as well as paintings by European artists from the 17th to 19th century. The Far-East section of the museum also collects significant amount of artworks from China and Japan.