Mathildehk at Bat Cave- Asia Society

You like Chinese Art?

You are curious about symbols?

You enjoy Decorative Arts?



Asia Society, exhibition poster,

Bats are quite unpopular in Western culture, being considered as terrifying beasts, half – primitive, half-monstrous, a mystery quite well depicted by the famous marvel character Bat Man, but their symbolic meaning is quite the opposite in Chinese culture.

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 6.51.15 PM

Gao Qianfu, bat, 1904, ink on silk, fan, picture@asiasociety

Until January 3rd, the exhibition “Bat Cave, Treasures of the day and creatures of the night”, showcases about 70 artefacts from the Ming and Qing dynasties, such as: Ceramics, snuff boxes, lacquers, jades, jewels or silks, all decorated with bats. Far from being dark or negative, bats are linked to eternity and virtues, while the Chinese phonetic word for bats is similar to the word blessing.

Screen Shot 2015-12-28 at 6.54.46 PM

Dish, peaches in famille – rose enamels, Yongzheng period, 1723-1735,

In addition to Chinese antics, the exhibition provides a magnificent fresco signed by the Beijing based artist Sun Xun, specialist in prints and Chinese  animated films.


Sun Xun working on his wall mural for the exhibition, picture@asiasociety


From the British Museum – Chinese -symbols dictionary

Bat (fu 蝠)
The bat is a symbol of happiness and joy. The Chinese for bat (fu 蝠) sounds identical to the word for good fortune(fu 福) making bats a popular Chinese rebuses. Five bats together represent the ‘Five Blessings’ (wufu 五福): long life, wealth, health, love of virtue and a peaceful


Don’t miss it! The exhibition runs until January 3rd and admission is free!



9 Justice Drive
Hong Kong



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