The Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts (Moscow) marks the end of 2018 with “Guardians of Time,” an exhibition of ancient Chinese ceramic sculpture. Statuettes of the animal symbols used in the Chinese calendar will be featured, covering a time period from the 2nd century BC to the 17th century AD.
The title refers to the traditional Chinese calendar cycle, popular all over the world. The cycle is divided into five twelve-year periods. Each year is symbolized by an animal: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. Days are also divided into twelve periods, or “guardians” under the protection of the same symbolic animals.
The traditional ritual ceramic sculptures of dogs, pigs and boars, as well as compositions using the 12 symbolic calendar animals, date back to the Han, Tang and Ming dynasties in China. Sacral sculptures of this kind have rarely been displayed in Russia, so they will certainly be of great interest to the Russian audience and expand their knowledge about the art of the Far East.