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Metropolitan Museum’s Lunar New Year Festival to Celebrate Year of the Horse

Event Date: February 8, 2014, noon–5:00 p.m.
Location: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street, Manhattan

The Metropolitan Museum of Art will hold its annual Lunar New Year Festival on Saturday, February 8 from noon to 5 p.m., marking the beginning of the Year of the Horse. Organized by the Museum’s Multicultural Audience Development Initiative and Education department, the celebration will reflect traditions from across Asia and will include dance and music performances, art-making activities, and special tours inspired by works of art in the Museum’s permanent collection and the special exhibitions Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary ChinaSilla: Korea’s Golden Kingdom, and Celestial Steeds: A Celebration of the Year of the Horse. All Lunar New Year events are free with Museum admission.

The Lunar New Year Festival is made possible by the Great Circle Foundation and
Tiger Baron Foundation.

Performances will take place in several areas of the Museum during the celebration. The festivities begin at noon with a puppet show performed by puppeteers from Sesame Street, featuring Alan Muraoka, in the Ruth and Harold D. Uris Center for Education. The performance will illuminate the traditions of the Lunar New Year. Then at 1 p.m., opening festivities will commence in the Great Hall as the Chinese Center on Long Island Lion Troupe leads a colorful parade that will wind into adjacent galleries. At 1:30 and 2:30 p.m., the China Youth Orchestra will perform regional Chinese music with traditional instruments in the Medieval Sculpture Hall. Also at 1:30 and 2:30 p.m., a  
dance duo from Lotus Music & Dance will demonstrate traditional Tibetan dance in the Florence and Herbert Irving Galleries for South and Southeast Asian art. At 1:30 and 3:30 p.m., visitors can participate in interactive demonstrations of Korean pop dance led by I LOVE DANCE in the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. In the same location, New York Chinese Cultural Center dancers will perform traditional Chinese fan and handkerchief dances at 2:00 and 3:00 p.m. Also at 2:00 and 3:00 p.m., Rami Seo will play traditional Korean music on the kayagum, an ancient Korean instrument, in the exhibition galleries of Silla: Korea’s Golden Kingdom. And at 2:00 and 3:30 p.m., Lotus Music & Dance’s Gamelan Kusama Laras will perform Indonesian music in the Florence and Herbert Irving Galleries for South and Southeast Asian art. 

Art Activities and Demonstrations
Hands-on art activities and demonstrations will occur throughout the afternoon. From 1:00 to 3:30 p.m., visitors can join artist Mingmei Yip in the forecourt of The Astor Court for a demonstration of classical ink-painting techniques, presented by the Museum of Chinese in America and inspired by the Metropolitan Museum’s exhibition Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China. From 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., visitors can help craft a scroll to celebrate the horse, the Chinese zodiac animal for this year, in The Astor Court.  Between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m. on the Great Hall Balcony, visitors are invited to draw inspiration from the exhibition Silla: Korea’s Golden Kingdom to create custom crowns of their own. Also on the Balcony from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., the Museum of Chinese in America will present a paper-folding activity with artist Shu-Shia Sanborn.

Sensory Stations
During a unique self-guided Sensory Stations tour and gallery hunt, visitors will be invited to smell, hear, see, and draw selected works of art throughout the Museum’s Asian Art galleries. At one station, floral motifs in Korean ceramics will be enhanced by scents of lotus and peony. Visitors can pick up Sensory Stations maps on the Great Hall Balcony between 1:00 and 5:00 p.m.  Guided, translated Sensory Stations tours will meet in the Great Hall at scheduled times, beginning at 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. in Mandarin, 2:00 p.m. in Korean, and 2:30 p.m. in Spanish.  


This year’s Lunar New Year Festival coincides with two major exhibitions of Asian art at the Museum and a small exhibition drawn from the Museum’s permanent collection. Ink Art: Past as Present in Contemporary China, on view through April 6, 2014, is a major loan exhibition featuring 70 works in various media—paintings, calligraphy, photographs, woodblock prints, video, and sculpture—created by contemporary Chinese artists over the last three decades. Visitors will recognize thematic, aesthetic, and technical attributes in their creations that have meaningful links to China’s artistic past.  

The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  The catalogue is made possible by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Richard and Geneva Hofheimer Memorial Fund, and Marie-Hélène Weill.

Silla: Korea’s Golden Kingdom, on view through February 23, 2014, traces the rise of the Silla kingdom through magnificent art created ca. 400-800. The works of art on view are drawn from the collections of the National Museums of Korea in Seoul and Gyeongju and include many designated National Treasures.

Visitors are invited to participate in a tour of Silla: Korea’s Golden Kingdom in Korean with exhibition co-curator Soyoung Lee at 2:30 p.m.

The exhibition and related education programs are made possible by Samsung.  Additional support is provided by the Korea Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. 

The exhibition was organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the National Museum of Korea, and Gyeongju National Museum, Korea.  Its accompanying catalogue is made possible by the Korea Foundation, The Kun-Hee Lee Fund for Korean Art, and Grace I. Kim and Family.

A small exhibition will honor the Year of the Horse in the Museum’s Charlotte C. Weber Galleries for the Arts of Ancient China through August 10. Celestial Steeds: A Celebration of the Year of the Horse features depictions of horses in various media, from sculpture to painting, selected from the Museum’s permanent collection. It includes masterpieces such as the legendary painter Han Gan’s Night-Shining White.

Closing Performances
Visitors and performers will converge at 4:00 p.m. in The Grace Rainey Rogers Auditorium for closing performances by the Chinese Center on Long Island Lion Troupe, dancers from the New York Chinese Cultural Center, and drummers from the Korean Performing Arts Center.  The celebration will conclude in the Great Hall with closing remarks and a ribbon dance performance presented by the New York Chinese Cultural Center and a fan dance performance presented by the Korean Performing Arts Center.

General Event Information
Lunar New Year program information and directions to events throughout the Museum will be available at the Information Desk inside the main entrance at Fifth Avenue and 82nd Street, and in the Uris Center for Education, which is located near the ground-floor entrance at Fifth Avenue and 81st Street. All Lunar New Year programs are free with Museum admission. Recommended Museum admission is $25 for adults, $17 for seniors (65 and over), and $12 for students. Children under 12 accompanied by an adult are free.
About the Multicultural Audience Development Initiative
The Multicultural Audience Development Initiative began more than 15 years ago at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  It reflects the Museum’s founding mission to educate and inspire by reaching out to all of its constituencies, including the many diverse communities of the New York Tristate area. Its objectives are to increase awareness of the Museum’s global collections and programs, to diversify its visitorship and Membership, and to increase participation in its programs.

For more information about the related special exhibitions, including sponsorship credits, please visit the online exhibition previews at http://www.metmuseum.org/exhibitions.

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January 31, 2014

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