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Yale University Art Museum’s New Exhibit Year of the Dragon


Attributed to Kaihō Yūshō, Pair of Screens with Dragons and Waves, Japan, Momoyama period (1573–1615), ca. 1600–1615., ink on paper; Yale University Art Gallery, Gift of Rosemarie and Leighton R. Longhi, B.A. 1967

Year of the Dragon
March 15 – November 10, 2024

Related Gallery Talk:
Dragon, God of Water: Screens in Ink on Washi Paper

April 24, 2024, 12:30–1:30pm

Yale University Art Museum celebrates 2024, the Year of the Dragon, with a presentation of nearly 30 artworks spanning from the 17th century to the present day. In the West, the dragon has historically been characterized as an evil creature, flying through the air while breathing fire from its mouth, but in the East, the dragon is believed to possess power in the celestial realm and to pour out blessings in the form of rainwater over swirling wind. The dragon also has a place in the Eastern zodiac calendar—alongside 11 other animals, such as the rabbit, snake, and tiger—in which each year is associated with an animal and its reputed attributes. The objects on view, which are largely drawn from the collection of the Yale University Art Gallery, feature dragons on folding screens, other paintings, textiles, ceramics, ivory, and woodblock prints. Taking inspiration from East Asian history, folklore, and myth, these works demonstrate a long, complex, and continuing artistic tradition around this fantastical creature.

There will also be a gallery talk held on April 24th by the curator of the exhibit, Sadaki Ohki who will examine two works in the show –  Pair of Screens with Dragons and Waves, attributed to the Japanese artist Kaihō Yūshō (1533–1615) and Civilization Landscape No. 073 by the Chinese artist Qin Feng (b. 1961). Though the two works were made centuries apart, they share a common medium: ink on washi paper. This object-based discussion will explore how artists engage with the dragon’s celebrated role as the god of water as well as how this theme takes on a sorrowful quality with regard to today’s environmental crisis.  Space is limited. Meet at Public Programs sign in Gallery lobby.

To learn more, click here.