Chicago's art institute prepares monkey-themed celebration for Chinese New Year

( Xinhua ) Updated: 2016-01-15 16:15:43

The Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) announces Chinese New Year celebration with the "Monkeying Around" theme for the Year of the Monkey.

The museum's Chinese New Year program includes showcasing monkey-themed artworks, offering Chinese language tour, and providing Chinese food at the museum's cafe, David Thurm, chief operating officer of AIC, told Xinhua Thursday.

"In celebration of the Chinese New Year and the Year of Monkey, AIC is calling on its troupe of museum monkeys to lead the festivities," Thurm said.

Among the artworks that feature monkeys in the museum will be a special installation of a 19th century textile from China that presents playful monkeys meddling with a wasps' nest.

"The Chinese words 'feng' (wasp) and 'hou' (monkey) mean 'rising above the ranks,'" said Tao Wang, Pritzker Chair of Asian Art. "Therefore, it's quite auspicious."

A new Mandarin pocket guide book will be available during the Chinese New Year, and 25 new stops will be added to the Mandarin Audio Guide, making the total highlights to 50.

Drop-in art activity for family will also be offered on Feb 8-22, and the Thorne miniature rooms will feature traditional Chinese interior specially decorated to ring in the Chinese New Year.

A major exhibition on Vincent van Gogh's works, featuring 36 pieces of the artist's paintings, drawings, and illustrated letters, will also open during the Chinese New Year celebration starting on Feb 14.

Three original paintings of the artist's bedroom in Arles will be shown in the same room for the first time in history.

AIC receives over a million visitors each year, and among them, more than 100,000 are Chinese.

"Chinese visitors to the museum increased about 30 percent last year," said Nora Gainer, director of Tourism Marketing, adding "We'd like to welcome more of them to our museum."


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