Celebrating the Year of the Rabbit at CUHK Art Museum
To usher in the Year of the Rabbit, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)’s Art Museum will host the exhibition Celebrating the Year of the Rabbit from 25 February to 18 May 2023. Members of the public are welcome, and admission is free. During Chinese New Year, the Art Museum will also roll out a free online tour on the Google Arts and Culture platform.
The exhibition will showcase more than 20 rabbit-related artefacts from the museum’s collection and private collections, including seals, bronze mirrors, inkstones, porcelain and paintings. Through different perspectives, such as iconography and representation, audiences can explore various features of rabbits and the interesting implications behind the myths and legends that revolve around the animal.
The “leporine pharmacist” started appearing in the late Eastern Han period. On the Han seal from the Art Museum’s collection (Image 2), a rabbit is pounding medicine for the Queen Mother of the West, the owner of the elixir of immortality (the figure next to the rabbit). The rabbit and the Queen Mother of the West have been regularly twinned in Chinese art.
The “moon palace” bronze mirrors popular in the Tang Dynasty also feature the leporine pharmacist. Other members of this family of decorative motifs include the toad, the bay tree and the fairy Chang’e. On the back of the Art Museum’s bronze mirror (Image 3), the fairy is missing, but people who use the mirror may consider themselves as lovely as a fairy.
Observing rabbits in everyday life, people have made numerous artistic representations of this familiar, fluffy creature. Artefacts and paintings feature rabbits in various poses and with a wide range of appearances. Rabbits are also depicted in both a realistic and an abstract fashion by different artists. The Art Museum’s exhibits, such as the seals with rabbit knobs, the jade rabbit (Image 4) and the porcelain rabbit, vividly demonstrate the artistic representations of rabbits.
Details of the exhibition
Celebrating the Year of the Rabbit
25 February – 18 May 2023
Gallery I, Art Museum, CUHK
Please visit the museum’s website
For the exhibition poster and images of the exhibit highlights, please download them from https://bit.ly/3jXXrRE