Animal Symbolism in Chinese Art

Animal Symbolism in Chinese Art

Join Dr Minna Törmä (Lecturer, History of Art, University of Glasgow) for a talk discussing animal symbolism in Chinese art.

In this talk we'll discuss the animal symbolism in Chinese art. We'll investigate animals on bronzes, paintings and decorative objects from different dynasties of the Imperial period.

Some of the animals are mythological and some inhabitants of the human world.

Traditional Chinese thought believed that all things should conform to groups of five. The so-called Five Phases system covered from colours to cardinal points.

This system categorised animals into five classes:

  • animals with feathers
  • animals with hair
  • animals with shells
  • animals with scales
  • and naked animals (which included man).
Hosted by
University of Aberdeen Museums and Special Collections
The Sir Duncan Rice Library
University of Aberdeen Museums
Tel: 01224 274354
Online booking available