"At the Moment" 正在時中 - ROM2018_16231_21


"At the Moment" 正在時中

Medium:Woodblock print, ink and colour on paper
Geography: Jiajiang, Sichuan, China
Period: Nineteenth to mid-twentieth century
Ht 24.8 x Wt 43.4 cm
Object number: 969.168.19
On view
Gallery Location:The Patricia Harris Gallery of Textiles & Costume

These two pieces consist of auspicious texts in wooden window frames with decorative patterns. They look like calligraphy written on window frames. The characters are neatly written in powerful strokes. The frame patterns look gorgeous, richly decorated with bright colours. As a whole, the pictures exude people’s good wishes for the New Year.

“Money and treasures will flow in” expresses the wish for the influx of treasures like the inflow of water. “At the moment” means that the timing is now. There are many other similar auspicious phrases, such as welcoming spring and receiving blessings (yingchun jiefu 迎春接福), making a fortune every year (niannian facai 年年發財), and may you have splendor, wealth, and honour (ronghua fugui 榮華富貴).1 In addition to Jiajiang, Sichuan, such works were also printed in Tantou 灘頭, Hunan. It is generally believed that they were pasted together with other types of New Year pictures or with spring couplets (chunlian 春聯)pairs of phrases written on strips of red paper.

1 See Jiang Yanwen, Zhongguo guban nianhua zhenben: Sichuan, Chongqing juan, 245–8.

Publication: Wen-Chien Cheng, and Yanwen Jiang. Gods in my home: Chinese ancestor portraits and popular prints (Toronto: Royal Ontario Museum, 2019), 106-107.

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