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Asian Art and History

The Twelve Animals of the Lunar Calendar

Signature Event Space

Image detail of artwork representing the lecture
Image of the lecturer in a promotional photo
Jan 9, 10:30am
Signature Event Space 10:30am
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Asian Art and History
The Twelve Animals of the Lunar Calendar

Artis—Naples Lifelong Learning

Jason Sun, Ph.D., Brooke Russell Astor Curator of Chinese Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art

The 12 animals of the lunar calendar, also known as animals of the Chinese zodiac, have been closely associated with human life since ancient times. They have been popular themes in art and folklore and depicted in various art media, with their images permeating every aspect of Chinese culture. This presentation examines the evolution of the 12 animals, their significant roles throughout China’s long history and their influence on neighboring cultures.

This presentation is part of the Asian Art and History series.

Image: Chinese Zodiac carvings on ceiling of Kushida Shrine, c. 1587. Fukuoka City, Fukuoka Prefecture, Kyushu Region, Japan. Public Domain.

Jason Sun

Jason Sun

Jason Sun, Brook Russell Astor curator of Chinese art at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, acquired his Ph.D. at Princeton University. Before he came to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, he was E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter curator of East Asian art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, where he reinstalled the permanent collection of Chinese art and curated the exhibition The Actor’s Image: the Japan - Virginia Society's C. Coleman McGehee Collection of Ukiyoe Prints. He joined the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1999 and is now Curator of Chinese art. Sun is a member of the board of trustees of the Museum of Chinese in America, in New York and a fellow of China National Academy of Painting, Beijing. He has published and lectured widely on Chinese art, especially in the areas of jade carving, metalwork, calligraphy and archaeology.


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