A glimpse at Chinese New Year paintings

| February 25th, 2010

From Unicornblog:


There are generally two categories in Chinese ancient paintings methodologically, one is hand-drawn Chinese paintings that are mounted into scrolls, the other is New Year paintings and engraved paintings that adopt block printing.

New Year painting was one of the most prevailing arts among Chinese folks. In old times, people stick New Year paintings(年画), door god picture(门神) and New Year scrolls (春联) on the walls, as a way to welcome the up-coming spring and exorcize evils. The paintings would stay till the next year. However, few family stick New Year paintings nowadays, because the paintings do not fit the modern interior style any more, or people has changed perhaps. Door god picture, as a kind of New Year paintings, survives, and New Year scrolls is still popular too.

Thanks to New Year painting exhibition hosted by National Art Museum of China, we could have a glimpse at the traditional custom, as well as appreciate the unique Nian Wei(年味), the atmosphere of Chinese Spring Festival brought by these paintings. Take a look.

The exhibition lasts from Feb 9th till 27th.

Pictures from National Art Museum of China.


Featuring a mother tiger and her child





Door god pictures, they are pasted on the front door to guide the family and drive away evils.



Featuring the Empty Fort Strategy, a story from Romance of the Three Kingdoms, one of Chinese Four Classic Novels.











8 Comments | Leave a comment | Comment feed

  1. John says:

    Chinese art is beautiful. Thanks.

  2. Really exotic. These would look SO good on paper. You could print them as postcards from http://www.psprint.com/postcards and send them to everyone you know

  3. tantan says:

    If you look up “桃花坞年画” you will find many more examples.

  4. Kem says:

    Like those New Year paintings very much.

    Last year in a small town of Shandong Province, I found a place selling great such paintings. And i would like to visit that place to get some more.

  5. georgeson says:

    Nice traditional art. Unfortunately, people here focus on the thread posted just one day before this one. Just count how many comments follow this one and how many follow that one.

  6. juniper says:

    Lovely folk art.
    IMO, this blog does a better job of “bridging” the gap between China and the outside world – gives a broader insight into the growing pains of a society in transition, its quirks and foibles, etc. Quite unlike others that become sleazoid, more like the Wai-wai column of Asahi Shimbun that upset conservative Japanese people with similar racy stories and eventually had to be shut down.

  7. Beautiful. I love the one about the Romance of the Three Kingdoms.

  8. Direct mail says:

    Great ideas, some possible inspiration for tattoos too!

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