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Catching Insects in the National Palace Museum during Summer Holidays
The Special Exhibition "Hide-and-Seek Insects" and the "NPM Children's Festival" Launch the Playful Debut

Release date:2022-07-06
News Room

There are insects in the NPM! The National Palace Museum is honoured to present the special exhibition "Hide-and-Seek Insects" this summer, showing collected caochong paintings from generations which portrayed butterflies, dragonflies, white moths, and even 'roaches' often seen in families! The exhibition hosts not only exquisite paintings in all insects'  glory through history, and also collaborates with entomologists to allow the echoes between virtual and actual reality; all efforts give you the most enriching journey of art and natural science. Concurrently, the NPM also launches the most anticipated 'NPM Children's Festival' every summer, with continuing events of parent-child exploration, interactive experience, and story theatre to ensure a satisfying trip from the NPM.

The 'caochong paintings' centred around insects and small creatures among flowers and meadows, and developed into a specific category proximately nine hundred years ago. The special exhibition "Hide-and-Seek Insects" focuses on caochong paintings through the ages. The seven sections of 'How to Paint Caochong?', 'The Meaning of Caochong', 'The Sounds of Caochong', 'The Beetles that Are Not Favoured by Caochong Paintings', ''Caochong' vs. 'Insects' - the Different Concepts of Bugs', 'Hid-and-Seek Insects', and 'The Star of Caochong - Butterflies' aim to guide you into this enchanting tiny universe.

The exhibition departs from the painting analysis of each artwork, followed by revealing the hidden blessings and exhortations of caochong paintings. Further, the concept of insects in the past is different from modern biology, which resulted in spiders, toads and snails entering the caochong category; the admired stag beetles nowadays were not favoured by the caochong paintings and rarely appeared on paper. We encourage you to look for their presence! The pronunciation of 'die (butterfly)' and the '耋' character that means elders over seventy or eighty years old are homonyms, so it also represents the blessing of longevity. The attractive appearance and the favourable metaphor make the butterfly the most popular star of caochong paintings.

The NPM has been devoted to participatory exhibitions, introducing external expertise to spark dialogues between artefacts and contemporary trends. This special exhibition cooperates with the Entomology department of universities and insect museums in the nation, demonstrating not only paintings, and selected works of literature, insect images from pharmaceutical publications, educational illustrations, teaching charts of insects, and taxidermy pieces. The incorporation of modern natural science unveils more secrets of the artworks. The depictions of insects' natural habitats evoke the acknowledgement of various dramatic episodes of life and death performed by all creatures are on display. Furthermore, with the assistance of entomologists in identifying the butterflies on the paintings, we discover that some depictions are realistic, while some are 'imaginary' butterflies combining characteristics of several species. The imaginations of ancient painters are incredibly fascinating.

In cooperation with the summer exhibition, the "Travel of Art through the Time and Space- the NPM Children's Festival in 2022" has launched the entertaining yet educational exploration package 'Kiddo Art Journal' for children's possession. The open questions and thematic learnings combine with stages of mission and props to build the three routes of 'Interaction of Cultures', 'Caochong in Nature', and 'Spiritual Gems and Jades' that encourage everyone to explore artefacts in the galleries autonomously. The 2022 Children's Festival enthusiastically embraces the theatrical elements, generating fantastic events of innovative and original performances collaborating with the Godot Theatre Company, gallery theatre presented by the Kaleidoscope Theatre, and parent-child musical played by the Lim Theatre Company. Together, the holiday event of "Memory of Caochong shared by Grandparents and Grandchildren" will launch in August to celebrate Grandparent' Day, and the Mid-Autumn Festival in September will have the event of "Glamourous Magic of Autumn Days". There are three registration periods, and for all information required, please refer to the official website of the "NPM Children's Festival in 2022".

Summer is the season filled with all sounds of insects. We welcome your visit to the forest of arts in the NPM and join the exciting game of hide-and-seek with these tiny and exquisite creatures in the paintings.

"Hide-and-Seek Insects" special exhibition
Location:National Palace Museum Northern Branch, Galleries 202、210、212

"Travel of Art through the Time and Space- the NPM Children's Festival in 2022"

Last Updated:2022-07-07