To usher in the Year of the Monkey, the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts will host an exhibition displaying award-winning Chinese zodiac prints from its annual printmaking competition.
The year 2016 falls on the Chinese zodiac year of the monkey, an auspicious creature widely regarded as smart, playful, and agile. Moreover, ancient lore tells of the simian gift for exorcism and healing, thereby cementing the monkey's association with longevity.
It is traditionally associated with joyful expressions in Chinese culture, and the Chinese character for "monkey” is homonymic with the words for "lordship” and "capable.” The competition's leading print "The Stone Monkey in the Square” also uses word play, in which the Chinese phrase "Stone Monkey” sounds similar to the term that signifies a fortunate twist of fate.
The 31st edition of the New Year prints exhibition will feature 256 submissions, in which 82 were selected for honors. The talented participants, whose ages range from 10 to 70, offer intaglio prints, relief prints, planographic prints, screen prints, digital prints, and mixed-media prints in styles ranging from traditional to pop culture.
The three-month exhibition will also include two commissioned pieces by veteran printmakers Tsai Yi-hsiung (蔡義雄) and Kuo Po-chou (郭博州). Tsai's "Warm Flows of the Spring” is full of spring's bountiful energy while Kuo's "A Complete Success for the Year of the Monkey” offers hope of a bountiful harvest.
'The 31st Annual Exhibition of New Year Prints, ROC'