24 October 2019 – 30 August 2020
The world of mythical creatures belongs to the most fascinating themes within China`s visual culture. The depiction of nature, especially animals, became an important form of expression in the Chinese empire more than 2,500 years ago, while fictional creatures appear even more frequently than actually existing fauna.
The earliest encyclopaedic collection depicting hundreds of mythic animals and odd creatures is known as Shanhaijing 山海經 („Classics of the Mountains and Seas“). The book first appeared sometime between the second and fourth century B.C. and was based on oral storytelling.
This exhibition presents selected objects from the Museum’s vast Asian Collection that are crafted in a wide range of materials and encompass more than 2,000 years of Chinese cultural and intellectual history.
Curator: Dr Stephan von der Schulenburg