Exhibitions and Seminars

The Dragon’s Fifth Claw: Signs, Puns, and Hidden Meanings in Chinese Ceramics

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November 22, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
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Nothing in Chinese art is just what it appears to be: five bats are not just bats; bamboo not just bamboo; a peach not merely a peach, nor a vase just a vase. Chinese language allows the same word, or rather, sound (homophones), to several possible meanings, giving rise to verbal-visual puns which elude the non-Chinese speaker. Of China’s many symbols, the most potent is The Dragon. Lars Broholm Tharp will unravel hidden meanings and finish with a one of his most exciting discoveries: a clutch of imperial dragons taken down a peg – how, why and when?

About the speaker

Lars Broholm Tharp was born on 27th March in Copenhagen, Denmark, and is a British historian. Lars is a ceramics as well as a Hogarth specialist and most of his current talks focus on the European and the East-West China trade and the material world of the 17th and 18th century. He is a regular lecturer and broadcaster and leads occasional tours to China. He read Archaeology at Cambridge, was at Sothebys for sixteen years, and is today London’s Foundling Museum’s ‘Hogarth Ambassador’. He holds an Honorary Doctorate in Art, is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and sits on the court of The Company of Weavers, London’s oldest guild. He has served twice on the Art Fund’s Annual Prize to Museums and Galleries. He has presented numerous programmes on TV and radio, he writes on many subjects, is passionate about music and shares Archie (a black Labrador) with his wife and their two grown-up daughters.

The event is priced at RM70 for members and RM120 for non-members. This includes a glass of wine per person and some tapas.

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November 22, 2018
6:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Event Category:


The Arts and Cultural Society Penang
+6014 258 6318


Peranakan Mansion
29, Church St, Georgetown
George Town, Penang 10200 Malaysia
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+604 264 2929
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