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Regular version of the site
Campus inSaint Petersburg

Lunar New Year: Chinese Dream vs Chinese Reality

Event ended

On February 13, 2019, the Lumiere Hall invites everyone to see the Chinese New Year pictures and listen to the thematic lectures about the main Chinese holiday. The collection of the paintings stored at Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (the Kunstkamera) was taken as a basis for creating a special exhibition of animated canvases develoted to the Lunar New Year.

Initially, New Year pictures were sold on the streets of Chinese cities on the eve of the Lunar New Year. Just before the holiday, people started to clean up their houses and put the new pictures on the walls.

The pictures of a benevolent nature became the most popular among the common people. According to the Chinese beliefs, these pictures are supposed to make an atmosphere of joy at a house, provide their owners with wealth, happiness, the birth of sons, career success, harmony and long life.

The paintings often depicted chubby kids with lotus flowers, fruits or goldfishes in their hands, women with children riding fantastic animals, as well as carts and waggons loaded with bars of silver and pearls. These and many other symbols, which are clear to common Chinese people embracing traditional culture, are widely represented in the plots of New Year pictures.

A brief look at these authentic paintings is enough to understand – they encrypted a cultural code, unraveling of which, we are getting closer to understanding the Chinese culture.

The programme of the event includes three thematic lectures on traditional and modern China taught by St Petersburg's sinologists:

  • 'Chinese folk picture: New Year in symbols and good wishes' by Polina Rud (the Kunstkamera).
  • 'Traditional festive culture of China: New Year' by Galina Gultyaeva (HSE University – St Petersburg).
  • 'New Year in modern China: uniting or splitting generations?' by Polina Rysakova (St Petersburg State University).

Сurator of the event is Julia Mylnikova (St Petersburg State University)

Entrance is free of charge.

The lectures will be delivered in Russian.

When: February 13, 2019 at 07.00 p.m.

Where: 74D, Obvodny channel emb., the Lumiere Hall


Adapted from the Lumier Hall.