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Celebrate the Lunar New Year with SINGULART

Lunar New Year, also known in Chinese as Chunjie, in Vietnamese as Tet, Korean as Solnal, or Spring Festival, takes place every year on the first new moon of the lunar calendar, marking the beginning of a new year. Traditionally, each year is associated with one of the twelve animal zodiac signs. 2022 is the Year of the Tiger!

In the days leading up to the New Year, people who observe this holiday will clean their houses in order to break with the past and welcome in good fortune, they will prepare elaborate banquet dishes to share with family members on New Year’s Eve, and hold ceremonies to pay respects to the ancestors. For these occasions, red and gold are undoubtedly the most suitable colors, because they are regarded as symbols of joy and auspiciousness. Other common motifs associated with this holiday include fish (prosperity), orchids and kumquat trees (good luck), as well as the animal sign of the year, which as tiger, symbolizes strength, courage and growth.

To find out how some of our colleagues celebrate the Lunar New Year, we spoke to Vanessa Gao, Shirley Chen and Wei-Hao Ho…

Can You Introduce Yourselves to Our Readers?

Shirley: I was born and raised in Shenzhen, China. I moved to Toronto for my high school education, and after that, I did my bachelor’s in Paris in Business administration. I’m currently working at SINGULART as an Artist Liaison in the Sourcing team and I’m super excited about the coming Chinese New Year! 

Vanessa: I grew up in Beijing, China, and lived in the US for 8 years before settling in Paris, France. I am an art advisor at SINGULART specialized in Asian markets.

Wei-Hao:  I’m originally from Taipei, but I came to France to pursue my Master’s degree. I’m currently working at SINGULART as an Art Sales Advisor, responsible for the Asian market and dedicated to promoting artworks on SINGULART to our collectors in Asia.

What’s your favorite thing about the Lunar New Year? What does this time of year mean to you?

Vanessa: “My favorite thing about the Lunar New Year, and what I miss the most now that I live abroad, is the New Year’s Eve festivities. My grandparents would start preparing the various dishes days ahead, and they would always recruit me as their little helper in the kitchen. On the day of the New Year’s Eve, the whole family would gather around the table and dine on multiple delicacies until midnight, rounding out the night with homemade dumplings. Afterwards, we would all go out into the street to join other families to welcome in the new year with firecrackers and fireworks. Going to bed in the small hours of the morning with the sound of the firecrackers was so magical.”

Wei-Hao:   “My favorite thing about the Lunar new year is this is the only time of the year when the whole big family gathers, for me, this time of the year means “Reunion”.”

by Andrés Rueda

What traditions do you and you family participate in during the Lunar New Year?

Shirley: “We usually prepare dumplings and red pockets, we wear the color red for luck and prosperity, we also cook lots of different dishes. According to the tradition, there is a monster called “Year” who enter people’s houses during Chinese New year. But the monster is afraid of the color red and liveliness, so our family always throw big New Year gathering parties during the Chinese New Year!”

Vanessa: Besides the New Year’s Eve feast mentioned above, the whole family, including aunts and uncles and cousins, would visit my maternal grandparents on the first day of the New Year. Everyone will be dressed in shiny new clothes specifically bought for this occasion, and we would spend the whole day playing cards, chatting, and drinking tea. The following days, we would often go as a family to temple fairs, where you offer incense, and shop around for random festive knick-knacks. 

Chinese Opera II (2012)
by Claudia Bläsi

What is your favorite artwork in SINGULART’s Year of the Tiger Collection?

Wei-Hao: My favorite artwork in the Year of the Tiger Collection is Mahdhav Sarna‘s Captivate.

Shirley: My favorite piece in the collection is Amur Tiger by Tomaz Rut, it is really cool and I love the color effect used in the artwork.

Vanessa: Oddly enough I really love Vittoria by AirDaryal. It’s not “traditionally Chinese” at all but I love the clash of, what seems to me, two different realms: the wild and untamed vs. the manmade and manicured, the East and the West, the past and the present…

Discover other artworks inspired by the Lunar New Year in our latest Auction!