Cultural sites celebrate Year of the Rabbit with art

Writer: Cao Zhen  |  Editor: Zhang Chanwen  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2023-01-30

Several exhibitions at local cultural sites are showcasing remarkable artifacts or artworks illustrating how rabbits have been a prominent artistic subject since ancient times in China. All the exhibitions are free.

Jewelry Museum of Shenzhen

The earliest depictions of rabbits are featured on jade pendants and ritual bronze vessels dating back thousands of years ago. At a jade exhibition at the Jewelry Museum of Shenzhen, visitors can admire a jade rabbit ornament crafted about 4,000 years ago. The jade rabbit in the posture of running is believed to have been used in praying activities.

A jade rabbit ornament crafted about 4,000 years ago is on display at Jewelry Museum of Shenzhen. Photo from the museum

Guangdong jewelry designer Su Jiefeng is also displaying a jade rabbit ornament and his minimalist work echoes the centuries-old jade rabbit at the exhibition which features jade items excavated from the Shimao Neolithic site in Northwest China’s Shaanxi Province and modern jade accessories.

A modern jade rabbit ornament designed by Su Jiefeng at Jewelry Museum of Shenzhen. Photo from the museum

In the museum’s zodiac exhibition area, visitors can also observe Chinese zodiac animals in gold crafts.

                    A modern gold-plated silver rabbit is displayed at Jewelry Museum of Shenzhen. Photo from the museum

Dates: Through Feb. 26

Booking: WeChat miniprogram “宝博票务预约”

Venue: Jewelry Museum of Shenzhen, 3-4/F, Gold Plaza, Luohu District (金展珠宝广场三四楼深圳珠宝博物馆)

Metro: Line 3 or 7 to Tianbei Station (田贝站), Exit C

Wangye Museum

A popular figure in literature and folklore, the rabbit is believed to inhabit the moon and assist the goddess Chang’e by preparing her elixir of immortality. In traditional Chinese culture, rabbits have always been regarded as auspicious animals and in ancient times, white rabbits were a symbol of prosperity.

A colored pottery rabbit crafted between the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220) and the Wei (220-266) and Jin (266-420) dynasties is on display at Wangye Museum. Photo from the museum

The Wangye Museum is hosting an exhibition of rabbit-themed pottery, jade items, porcelain and bronzeware from the Eastern Han Dynasty (25-220) to the Song Dynasty (960-1279).

A Song-Dynasty jade rabbit is displayed at Wangye Museum. Photo from the muesum

The closing date of the exhibition has not been announced.

Venue: Wangye Museum, 3/F, Longhua Culture and Art Center, Longhua District (龙华文化艺术中心三楼望野博物馆)

Metro: Line 4 to Qinghu Station (清湖站), Exit D

Shenzhen Museum

In the Shenzhen Museum’s History and Folk Culture Division, a selection of Chinese zodiac-themed cultural relics, modern folk items and animal specimens are on display. The exhibition illustrates some possible origins of the Chinese zodiac, from animal worship to astrology.

A Lord Rabbit toy is on display at Shenzhen Museum. Cao Zhen

A modern Lord Rabbit toy at the exhibition provides visitors with insight about traditional Beijing culture. The earliest records of the Lord Rabbit date back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), once used for worship in Mid-Autumn Festival. Later, the Lord Rabbit served as both a shrine and a toy. A Lord Rabbit figurine often appears in warrior’s armor, with banners on its back and holding a pestle, a tool for pounding herbals.

Dates: Through May 7

Booking: WeChat account “iszbwg”

Venue: Shenzhen Museum’s History and Folk Culture Division, Futian District (深圳博物馆历史民俗馆)

Metro: Line 2 or 4 to Civic Center Station (市民中心站), Exit B

Huajun Art Hall

Rabbits not only tend to be gentle, peaceful and meticulous but also hold the implications of health and agility. Illustrators from the Shenzhen Illustration Association are exhibiting their works to celebrate the Year of the Rabbit and express their wish for a progressive new year.

Rabbit-themed illustrations are on display at Huajun Art Hall. Photo from the organizer

Dates: Through Feb. 22

Venue: Huajun Art Hall, -1/F, AVIC City Dreams-On Mall, Futian District (中航城君尚购物中心负一楼华君艺术馆)

Metro: Line 1 to Huaqiang Road Station (华强路站), Exit B