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Varley Art Gallery | LunarFest



Feb 16th – 17th / 11:00 am – 4:00 pm

2019 LunarFest Header - Exhibitions
2019 LunarFest Exhibition - The Galleria of Imperial Inspiration
2019 LunarFest - The Galleria of Imperial Inspirations
2019 LunarFest - The Galleria of Imperial Inspirations
2019 LunarFest - Lantern Arch
Influences of Emperor Qianlong’s Italian Painter – Giuseppe Castiglione

What impact did a missionary who travelled from Italy to China during the Qing Dynasty bring to Eastern art? How do you view Castiglione’s classic art piece through history, character portrayals, and painting techniques?

A collaboration between 2019 LunarFest and National Palace Museum in Taiwan with selections from Castiglione’s works. Let’s get into the world of the paintings, and relive the Qing Dynasty era China, experience the life as an imperial painter, and study the paintings and the stories behind them in details. This Lunar New Year, let’s follow Castiglione’s journey to the East, explore the his life in the Qing Imperial Palace, see how his art pieces reflect the fusional spirit, and see how it is related to the diversity in Canada.

One Hundred Horses is a large handscroll spanning eight metres wide, and one metre high.  It features the vast landscape of the Royal Ranch, and one hundred horses from Emperor Yongzheng’s stables that decorate the scenery. One Hundred Horses is Castiglione’s most well known painting, and demonstrates the immense talent he had for blending Eastern and Western techniques.

Silk farming or sericulture is the practice of using silkworms to produce and farm silk.  In the spring, the Empress would lead the princesses and their consorts in collecting mulberry leaves to feed the worms, and to pray for a bountiful harvest.

Emperor Qianlong commissioned ten painters to produce in this series of four handscrolls dedicated to Empress Xiaoxian.  Castiglione only painted the faces of the Empress and four other princesses and their consorts. Despite nine other artists working on the rest of the handscrolls, Castiglione’s name is the only name listed on this collaboration showing how much the Emperor adored him.

The lantern release ceremony is the most popular activity at the Pingxi Lantern Festival. In recent years, its popularity has grown, and it has attracted more and more visitors every year. As the lanterns slowly rise into the sky, people’s wishes will be fulfilled.

LunarFest was inspired by the lantern culture from Pingxi, Taiwan to create the “Blessings of Lantern Arch”. The traditional Xuan rice paper lanterns have been replaced with craft paper lanterns. We hang the lanterns on the specially designed arch as if they were carrying the wishes to the sky. LunarFest invites everyone to come and take a look at the Lantern Arch and share their dreams and hopes, wishing their family, friends and loved ones, a safe, happy year full of fortune.

2019 LunarFest Header - Activities
2019 LunarFest - The Big Money Bath
2019 LunarFest - Lunar Robot

Doesn’t everyone wish for great wealth every new year? Come participate in our lucky money bath! All you need to do is throw some change into our red piggy bank, and make a wish for the new year! It’s not only a way to wish for some luck in the new year, but you can also come admire the artistic design of our piggy bank, which can be seen only at the LunarFest!

This Lunar New Year let the unique robots celebrate with you! A sea of Sky Lanterns is a  beautiful sight, but cleaning up after they are launched is also important. Come check out our Lunar Robots all the way from Taiwan as they are being trained to pick up these lanterns! Help us train these robots to make sure we keep our earth beautiful.

2019 LunarFest Header - Lunar Crafts
2019 LunarFest -Pig Heroes
2019 LunarFest -
2019 LunarFest Paper Flower
2019 LunarFest - String Pig
2019 LunarFest - Trifold Spring
2019 LunarFest - Pig Mask

Lunar New Year is a time for friends and family to spend good times together. LunarFest tries to design unique and fun crafts that tie in with the theme of Lunar New Year. By participating in the DIY process it will definitely be a shared moment of happiness for both adults and children! This year’s Lunar Crafts include the Pig Hero Lanterns, Sky Lanterns, fish made from shell ginger leaves, pigs made from cotton thread, Chinese character good luck charms, origami flowers and more, come and try for yourself!

*** All crafts are free of charge.

2019 LunarFest Header - Lunar Movie
2019 LunarFest - Lunar Movie

Giuseppe Castiglione, an 18th century missionary, travelled from Italy to China during the Qing Dynasty and started a brand new era in Eastern art history. Castiglione brought European painting techniques such as perspective, highlights and shadows to the Qing Dynasty, blending them with traditional ink wash painting, colouring, silk and brush Eastern techniques. He even introduced European style architectural design into the imperial palace. Castiglione is considered to be one of the most influential artists for the cultural exchange between the West and the East. Even though Castiglione had never been to Taiwan, the National Palace Museum in Taiwan is considered to have one of the premier collections of Castiglione’s work. Lunar Movie presents “Giuseppe Castiglione in China: Imperial Painter, Humble Servant”, a documentary that tells Castiglione’s life story and also reflects on the relationship between life in the palace and artistic creativity.



For our sister festival in Vancouver, please email info@acsea.ca.

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©2018 Taiwanese-Canadian Association of Toronto