The exhibition ‘The Magic of Characters’ presents, for the first time, works of Chinese calligraphic art from three millennia, examining the many planes of significance of calligraphy and writing generally. It extends from the earliest witnesses, dating from the 3rd millennium BCE, all the way to contemporary art. lly.
More than 100 works from acclaimed lenders, e.g. the Bibliothèque Nationale de France, the Museum Rietberg in Zürich and the M+ Sigg Collection in Hong Kong are presented in six thematic groups. The items tell of messages to Heaven and of demonstrations of pwer on earth, of religious devotion and individual expressive power. Mythical heroes and historical personalities, virtuous officials and rebellious eccentrics all appear – as calligraphers. The talk is of bibulous poets’ meetings and poetical natural experiences, and also of the role of calligraphy for moral cultivation and political propaganda in China.
The exhibition brings out the unique importance still enjoyed to this day by Chinese writing culture in China. But it also gives an idea of its current reception in the West and in the international art scene.
The show was conceived by the Museum Rietberg in Zürich. With small changes and including a few important works from our museum’s own holdings, it can be seen in Cologne from 23 April.
In co-operation with
With the kind support of
Tuesday to Sunday
11am – 5pm
Every third Thursday in the month
11am – 10pm
€ 3.50 / € 2
Free admission to the Permanent Collection with special exhibition for Cologne under-18s, all schoolchildren (incl. 2 accompanying adults per class), holders of the KölnPass, children resident in Cologne on their birthday.
KölnTag on the first Thursday of the month (except public holidays): free admission to the Permanent Collection for all Cologne residents.
How to get here
Public transport: Tram routes 1 and 7 and bus route 142, alight at ‘Universitätsstrasse’
There is a car park at the museum
The museum is barrier-free. Disabled toilet available.