Nian Hua: Changing Times, Unchanging Aspirations At The River Hongbao 2022 Exhibition

Nian Hua: Changing Times, Unchanging Aspirations At The River Hongbao 2022 Exhibition
Sharing is caring!

Nian Hua (年画) or “new year prints” are the star of this year’s River Hongbao 2022 Exhibition. Traditionally used to decorate homes and changed yearly during the Lunar New Year, these colourful woodblock-printed images feature scenes images from folktales and deities.


River Hongbao 2022 Exhibition

River Hongbao 2022 Exhibition

More than 60 facsimiles of woodblock prints will be on display at the River Hongbao 2022 exhibition Nian Hua: Changing Times, Unchanging Aspirations. These come from various production centres in China and some date back as far as the late Ming dynasty. The exhibition has been curated by the Sun Yat Sen Nanyang Memorial Hall.

Nian Hua traditionally feature themes such as door deities and guardians used for protection, common household deities and auspicious motifs that bring blessings to the household.


READ: Brand New Kids Space at HarbourFront Centre Opening 28 May

READ: Top Picks of June Holiday Camps & Workshops – Including a Space Camp!

READ: Discount Code to Enjoy 10% Off Holiday Camps




Things to Look Out at Nian Hua: Changing Times, Unchanging Aspirations

Family gathering during Lunar New Year (mid 1940s – mid 1960s)
Image: National Museum of Singapore

Among the highlights is a facsimile of a print which shows a multi-generational family celebrating the Lunar New Year. It shows activities such as cooking dumpling and a card game in progress. There is also a couple listening to a gramophone in the corner.

River Hongbao 2022 exhibition

Another shows the Three Star Deities, commonly known as fu lu shou. This print dates back to the late Ming dynasty and shows the God of Blessings, the God of Emolument and the God of Longevity surrounded by four attendants with auspicious objects.

Unlike most previous years, due to the current pandemic, this year’s exhibition will not have student guides onsite. Instead, there are QR codes around the exhibition which can be scanned to bring up pre-recorded videos of student volunteer guides introducing the exhibition content.

Student guides
Student guides at the media preview for the River Hongbao 2022 exhibition. During the exhibition, scan a QR code to view videos of them introducing the various prints.

The 12 student guides who appear in the videos are from Chung Cheng High School (Main), Edgefield Secondary School, Hwa Chong Institution, Nan Chiau High School, Singapore Chinese Girls’ School and Xinmin Secondary School.

QR Codes

Visitors can also participate in a fun interactive game related to the exhibition both onsite and online. A 360-degree virtual version of exhibition will also be hosted on the River Hongbao 2022 website.

Find out more about what to expect at River Hongbao 2022.


READ: Brand New Kids Space at HarbourFront Centre Opening 28 May

READ: Top Picks of June Holiday Camps & Workshops – Including a Space Camp!

READ: Discount Code to Enjoy 10% Off Holiday Camps