Detail of porcelain dish decorated in overglaze red enamel, unknown artist, Qing dynasty (1644-1911), China, gift of Mr JH Myrtle 1983
Evolved from a pre-historic totemic animal, the dragon has become a symbol of China to the world. Chinese people everywhere take pride in considering themselves descendants of this mythical creature.
Celebrating 2012 as the Year of the Dragon in the Chinese zodiac, this exhibition showcases artworks that carry the dragon motif, either from the Gallery’s collection or on loan.
Encompassing bronzes, porcelains, textiles, paintings and calligraphy, it examines the creature’s diverse meanings and manifestations in Chinese art, ritual and politics, while pieces from Japan and Chinese exportware demonstrate how the dragon has been adopted by cultures outside China.
18 Jan – 6 May 2012
Lower Asian gallery