Virtual Exhibition of Chinese Zodiac Design
The Chinese zodiac, also known as “Shengxiao” or “Shuxiang”, is a repeating cycle of twelve years counted by the calendar system of “Dizhi” (Earthly Branches), with each year being represented by an animal. The zodiac animals are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. Ancient Chinese people measured the length of a year with a cycle of twelve full moons, and created ten “Tiangan” (Heavenly Stems) and twelve “Dizhi” (Earthly Branches) to make combinations representing a sexagenary cycle. The number twelve is thus regarded as the governing number of the universe, corresponding to twelve zodiac animals. This has led to an important folk culture of “animal year” with a unique conceptual interpretation system, which is widely present in the life of the Chinese people from ancient times to the present.
Since 2015, the “Global Zodiac Design Competition” sponsored by the city of Beijing has been selecting and displaying the works of many teachers and students of design schools as well as designers from around the world. The competition has promoted the innovative development and transformation of this classic cultural tradition, from which many excellent works have emerged. This exhibition brings together outstanding contemporary zodiac artworks including zodiac-themed bronze mirrors, figurines, murals, paintings, coins, seals, paper cuttings, and stamps. Artworks from 11 countries are also displayed.
As we ring out the old year and ring in the new in this season of vitality, let us bid farewell to the Rat and say hello to the Ox with “Happy New Year of the Ox: Virtual Exhibition of Chinese Zodiac Design”. We wish you all the best in the coming year of the Ox!