Rodent theme at museum celebrating Year of the Rat

Wang Jie
The exhibition encourages visitors to find rat images scattered in different corners of the exhibition galleries.
Wang Jie

In Chinese tradition, a rat is ranked first in the zodiac, and the Year of the Rat indicates another round of the 12 zodiac animals.

Named “Rat Inspired Relics: An Exhibition in Celebration of the Year of the Rat 2020,” the exhibition encourages visitors to find rat images scattered in different corners of the exhibition galleries.

There are several well-known rodent images and artworks throughout Chinese culture. For example, the image of a rat is related to oil lamps and melons, rendering the message of fertility and fortune.

There is also a famous folk tale “A Wedding Parade of Rats,” telling the story of a rat father who wanted to marry his daughter to the greatest person in the world. After talking with the sun, cloud, wind and wall, the rat father realized that a rat is the greatest person in the world and married his daughter to the rat next door.

Among so many items on exhibit at the museum, it may not be easy for you to find the rat-inspired relics.

Here are some clues that you can follow: a longquan kiln pot with a rat resting on the lip of the jar; a white glaze porcelain water-dropper in the shape of rat; a jade rat figurine; an ink-wash painting featuring three rats.

If you can find five rat-inspired relics at the museum, then you might have a special blessing for the Year of the Rat.

Please be aware that Shanghai Museum has a limit of 2,000 visitors every day. You can book three days in advance via the museum’s official website or the WeChat account: SH-Museum.

Rodent theme at museum celebrating Year of the Rat

Jade rat figurine

Exhibition info

Date: Through March 29, 9am-4pm
Address: 201 People‘s Ave

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