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New Year pictures on display at Shanghai History Museum

(study.edu.sh.gov.cn) | Jan 10, 2020

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A New Year picture depicting Chinese gods believed to bring good fortune is on display at the Shanghai History Museum. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]

An exhibition of Chinese New Year pictures began on Dec 27 at the Shanghai History Museum and will last until Mar 1.

New Year pictures are a form of traditional Chinese folk art which originated in rural farming communities. Sticking them to the walls or doors of a house is a Spring Festival tradition believed to bring good fortune and ward off evil spirits.

Pictures featured at the exhibition are from the collections of the Shanghai History Museum and the Chongqing China Three Gorges Museum.

The exhibits, divided into 87 groups, showcase the development of traditional art in different regions and at different times in Chinese history.

Popular subjects include historical tales, legends, happy children and patterns representing good wishes.

It was only in the 1930s that new images appeared, portraying contemporary issues and modern social life. After 1949, prints depicting urban life and the close ties between Chinese leaders and the people emerged.

The styles of plaiting are also easy to distinguish. Tianjin's Yangliuqing pictures are more realistic, while Taohuawu pictures produced in the region south of the Yangtze River are more fantastical with heavy use of color.

The museum will also host interactive events involving print-making, lantern riddles and other New Year games during the exhibition.

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The exhibition includes recreations of traditional Spring Festival decorations, with New Year pictures sticking to the walls and door. [Photo/jfdaily.com]

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A visitor takes photos of one of the New Year pictures. [Photo/jfdaily.com]

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