Fork Art Exhibition of Chinese Lunar New Year Paintings and Dough Figurines Held by the Confucius Institute in Brittany, France

[Source]    Confucius Institute in Brittany [Time]    2014-04-18 15:21:14 
 

In order to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France, the Folk Art Exhibition of Chinese Lunar New Year Paintings and Dough Figurines was held by the Confucius Institute in Brittany together with Shandong Museum, which came to its end on February 25, 2014. During the exhibition, in order to help people from local communities better understand these two types of Chinese folk art, the organizers made special efforts to invite to France the experts on Chinese lunar new year paintings from Shandong Museum, Mr. Lu Chaohui and Ms. Sun Fang, and craftsman of dough figurines, Ms. Ma Youmei, to participate in various cultural exchange activities.

A total of sixty-six classic wooden lunar New Year paintings from Yangjiabu in Shandong Province and around 20 dough figurines were on display in this three-week exhibition. The lunar New Year paintings were on three themes: the world of deities, worldly lives and blessings. The series of works on the world of deities were mostly based on gods and spirits, such as door gods, the god of fortune, the kitchen god, the Three Stars (Happiness (Fu), Prosperity (Lu), and Longevity (Shou)). The works on worldly lives not only reflected people’s daily lives, but also presented stories from great classic literature and folklore, like Three Kingdoms, Outlaws of the Marsh, and The Legend of the White Snake. The works on blessings included paintings reflecting wishes of good luck and happiness, such as great abundance, great wealth, and great fertility, which were popular among people in China. The twenty dough figurines prepared by Ms. Ma Youmei were classic historical figures and gods, such as Guan Gong ( a righteous and loyal warrior), Mu Guiying (a female general in history and a well-known national heroine), the god of fortune, the Maitreya, the Three Stars, and the Four Heavenly Kings.


Mr. Lu Chaohui introducing and demonstrating the printing of lunar New Year paintings to the visitors


Visitors practicing printing lunar New Year paintings

In addition, the organizers specially arranged demonstrative and interactive activities of printing lunar New Year paintings and making dough figurines, through which people from local communities could experience these folk arts in person. Local people and students who came to this exhibition not only listened to the elaborate explanations of lunar New Year paintings by Ms. Sun Fang, but also tried to print these paintings by themselves under the guidance of Mr. Lu Chaohui, which furthered their understanding of Chinese traditional culture. At the same time, making dough figurines was also enthusiastically welcomed by the visitors, who were eager to make their favorite human characters and animals under the guidance of Ms. Ma Youmei.


A foreign friend learning to make a dough figurine

This exhibition was one of the series of activities organized by the Confucius Institute in Brittany to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and France. It not only provided the visitors with an opportunity to experience the festivity of Chinese New Year and the charm of Chinese New Year culture, but also amazed them with the unique elegance and artistic ingenuity of traditional Chinese craftsmanship. Playing a highly positive role in promoting Chinese traditional culture, this three-week exhibition was visited by many local citizens and was reported by local newspapers and TV stations.

By Qin Yao