Roaring Tigers, Leaping Carp: Decoding the Symbolic Language of Chinese Animal Painting is a ground-breaking exhibition of approximately one hundred Chinese paintings and objects depicting birds, fish, tigers, and horses.
Organized by the Cincinnati Art Museum, the exhibition features works selected from major museums in both the United States and Asia, including the National Palace Museum, Taipei, The Palace Museum, Beijing, and the Shanghai Museum.
Based on a recently completed research project by Curator of Asian Art, Prints, and Drawings Hou-mei Sung, the exhibition shows the evolution of the sophisticated symbolic language of Chinese animal paintings and reveals why Chinese animal images represent distinct symbolic values and narratives. Throughout the exhibition, viewers will see how a complex visual language evolved out of each animal symbol, and how this language can be decoded to reveal rich stories about Chinese history, cultural traditions, and philosophical systems.
Roaring Tigers, Leaping Carp: Decoding the Symbolic Language of Chinese Animal Painting is accompanied by a full color catalogue published by Yale University Press. Authored by Curator of Asian Art, Hou-mei Sung, each chapter discusses in-depth the evolving symbolic language of different animals, including the eagle, crane, wild goose, pheasant, dove, phoenix, dragon, tiger, horse and fish. The catalogue is available both in hardcover ($75) and soft cover ($55) and can be purchased at the Cincinnati Art Museum Shop or by calling (513) 639-2959.
Elizabeth and Rowe Hoffman
The Blakemore Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts
GE Aviation Group
The Cincinnati Art Museum gratefully acknowledges the support of PNC Bank for their generous support of Roaring Tigers, Leaping Carp: Decoding the Symbolic Language of Chinese Animal Painting.
Image: Xu Gui (Chinese), Tiger with Cubs, 1465-1473, hanging scroll, ink and colors on silk, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. John J. Emery, 1964.703