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Folk Art Adds Festivity
The Shenzhen Museum will stage an exhibition of Yangliuqing New Year paintings from Jan. 21 to Feb. 28 to celebrate the Spring Festival, which falls on Feb. 1.

“Through this exhibition, we’re planning to provide a chance for Shenzheners to experience the festive happiness and joy expressed in the traditional folk art forms,” said Wang Bi, president of the Shenzhen Museum,

According to Wang, the 68 items on display were introduced from the Tianjin Arts Museum with a variety of topics including religious figures, opera figures, characters from novels, customs, landscapes, flowers, birds and animals.

New Year paintings used to be one of the traditional popular art forms among Chinese people, especially those living in small towns and the countryside.

When an almanac of the lunar calendar used by Chinese was worked out in the Western Han Dynasty (206 B.C.-A.D. 24), people began to hang pictures of gods on their walls, doors and items of furniture to usher in good fortune and happiness. Later the practice became a folk custom.

The art of Yangliuqing New Year paintings was named after the village where it was produced in Tianjin. It originated in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) and flourished in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

“As one of the most influential folk art forms, Yangliuqing New Year paintings inherited the traditional Chinese printing crafts and had a very high level of artistic achievements,” said Wang.

(Southcn.com January 22, 2003)

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