Award-winning Taiwanese prints celebrating the advent of Chinese New Year will be loaned to Novosibirsk State Art Museum in southwest Siberia for a special exhibition running from Dec. 5, 2017 through Feb. 4, 2018.
Over sixty colorful prints from the collection of the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts will travel to Russia for the exhibition. The Taichung-based museum holds an annual competition for printmaking on the Chinese zodiac animal of the coming year, and the Novosibirsk exhibition will display the award winners from each year.
The 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Hare, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Ram, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig, and each creature embodies different characteristics. For example, the monkey is widely regarded as smart, playful, and agile. Moreover, ancient lore tells of the simian gift for exorcism and healing, thereby cementing the monkey's association with longevity.
Exhibition curator Andrei Martynov was a panelist for Taiwan's tiger-themed prints competition in 2010. He fondly recalled his visit to Taiwan, noting that he was not only amazed by the age range of competitors - which was between 10 and 70 years - but delighted also by the diversity of materials employed in Taiwanese printmaking.
Nicolas Hsu (許德明), head of the Ministry of Culture's Moscow division, explained that these award-winning prints will offer a good impression of Taiwan and its diverse contemporary arts to museumgoers of Russia's third largest city, and that he hopes the exhibition will receive more opportunities to tour other parts of Siberia.
Taiwanese prints traditionally combine folk culture with joyful expressions to pray for a bountiful new year. Contemporary prints have become increasingly more diverse in terms of presentation and colors by including new elements from pop culture, comics, and aboriginal lore.
Come by Novosibirsk State Art Museum for a glimpse of yearend fortunes as the Year of the Rooster draws to a close, and for a clue on what the upcoming Year of the Dog has in store.