2018 Hwajeong Museum special exhibition
Hwajeong Museum’s 2018 Special Exhibition All Good, Emolument, and Longevity looks into Chinese symbols of hope and desire reflected in various genres of ancient Chinese art.
Since the old days people wished for a well-settled life consisting of peace, prosperity, fame, health and longevity for their families.
In order to express those desires through art ancient Chinese likened them to fruits and plants such as peach, grape and peony; to animals such as deer, crab and bat; and through stories of myths, legends as well as through homophones with an auspicious sound. All Good, Emolument, and Longevity has classified the said auspicious symbols into three categories to take a study the manner of expressions and the significance hidden within.
For this exhibition Hwajeong Museum showcases a total of 72 artifacts focused on China’s Qing Dynasty. Let All Good, Emolument, and Longevity be an opportunity to re-encounter these masterpieces.
Cat symbolized longevity in general. This is because Chinese character for a cat (猫) and that of ‘old’ (耄) are both pronounced ‘mao.’ Meanwhile a cat drawn with long, narrow iris would indicate that it’s noon in the picture, the brightest time of the day. Add some tall and long peonies into the scene to show flowers in full bloom and the painting would be interpreted as symbolizing wealth and prosperity in full bloom just those peonies.
The Queen Mother of the West (Xiwangmu, 西王母) who resides in Mount Kunlun (崑崙山) of the west stands as the most prestigious female deity(女仙) in all Chinese mythology and Taoist legends. As the ruler of Taoist deities and the owner of the elixir of life and peaches of immortality, she is also hailed as a goddess of perpetual youth and immortality.
Conceived and organized by
Hwajeong Museum, Republic of Korea