Chinese New Year in Zurich

According to the Chinese lunar calendar, the New Year begins this year on 16 February. Colourful prints featuring tutelary deities and divinities of good fortune play an important part in the festivities. Printed on ordinary paper, these prints were essentially religious supplies, some were pinned up on doors to ward off evil spirits and left there for the remainder of the year, while others were set up on an altar and later ceremoniously burned. The more than ninety prints, the majority of them collected around 1926, originated from different print shops in northern and southern China. They reflect the diversity of Chinese folk art, granting viewers a charming glimpse of the lives and beliefs among China’s general population. The German photographer Michael Wolf created a fascinating series of photographs showing small, humble shrines devoted to the earth god, which stand on nearly every street corner in Hong Kong. A selection of photographs bearing witness to this living tradition is also on show in the exhibition.