Chrysanthemums and Bamboo
Symbolism, Legends, Polymorphism

25.10.2011 to 25.03.2012
Museum für Asiatische Kunst

Chrysanthemums and bamboo are two of the most popular motifs in Chinese painting, even today, and are imbued with rich symbolism. They are attributed with certain 'masculine' virtues, which the artist by inference ascribes to himself to reveal facets of his personality. Both plants especially lend themselves to demonstrating the painter's skill in handling the brush and ink.

Today's exhibition presents 16 works, in which chrysanthemums or bamboo are combined with depictions of various animals, jagged ornamental rocks and autumnal motifs. In some pictures, chrysanthemums and bamboo also appear on their own, for instance 'dancing' in the rain. The images are imbued with their own symbolism, depending on how they are combined with other motifs, and often also refer to stories from long ago. The manner in which they are executed is just as diverse as the motifs themselves. In style, they range from traditional monochrome paintings up to depictions in vibrant colours that border on the abstract. This range of styles lends the works their tender lyricism or gives them their lively, expressive force.

The exhibition presents the diverse range of forms evident in the motifs of chrysanthemums and bamboo, in the process highlighting the fresh creative impulses with which artists of the 20th century have infused traditional Chinese painting.

Visitor entrance

Lansstraße 8 / Arnimallee 25
14195 Berlin


Sun 11:00 - 18:00
Mon closed
Tue 10:00 - 17:00
Wed 10:00 - 17:00
Thu 10:00 - 17:00
Fri 10:00 - 17:00
Sat 11:00 - 18:00

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Last admission and ticket sales 30 minutes before closing time.

Please note that due to preparations for the transfer to the Humboldt Forum the Collection of South, Southeast, and Central Asian Art on the ground floor, that contains, amongst others, the famous 'Turfan' collection as well as art from India, have been closed since 11 January 2016.

Extended opening time Fri 6 to Sun 8 January 2017
Over the weekend of 7–8 January, the Ethnologisches Museum and the Museum für Asiatische Kunst will open their doors for the last time at their current location, before preparing in readiness for the move to Humboldt Forum. For this reason, the opening hours on this weekend will be extended and special events will be on offer.
Fri 6 January 2017: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Sat 7 January 2017: 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.
Sun 8 January 2017 : 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.

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