Exhibition highlights origins and uniqueness of Chinese zodiac

2020-12-21    Shanghai Daily (SHINE)

An exhibition featuring the 12 shengxiao, or Chinese zodiac's 12 animal signs, has opened at the Shanghai Science and Technology Museum.

Shengxiao consists of 12 animal signs related to each year according to a 12-year cycle, a popular system widely used in China. The 12 animals are: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.

The exhibition illustrates some possible origins of shengxiao, such as totem theory, constellation theory and year star theory, as well as its relation with traditional Chinese medicine and an ancient device for measuring time.

One highlight of the exhibition is 12 fancy traditional paper-cutting-style displays of shengxiao. Each animal has their special piece of music. On the other side, animal knowledge such as how snakes move and how ox digest is demonstrated in texts and interactive games.

Also, different works of shengxiao, such as jade, stamps and clay sculptures, are displayed. At the end of exhibition, visitors can experience hand shadow puppetry shengxiao.

The exhibition will run through to March 28, 2021, on the B1 floor, free of charge.