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‘Monkey King’ hits Beijing Capital Museum

In this Year of the Monkey, it’s the turn of the Monkey King to shine with even more luster than usual. Beijing’s Capital Museum is contributing to the fame of this mythical being with its annual exhibition dedicated to successive animals of the Chinese zodiac.

Many generations of Chinese children have grown up with the Monkey King - the young, mischievous character born from stone and endowed with supernatural powers.

The Capital Museum’s exhibition attempts to decode the cultural roots of the monkey, as it has done with the other zodiac animals for nine consecutive years.

On display are paintings, calligraphy, stamps, utensils, and artwork, along with 12 classic Monkey King pictures based on the great Chinese classic novel “Journey to the West.”

“Thanks to ‘Journey to the West’ and its leading character the Monkey King, the monkey has become an animal combining deity and humanity, and it has inspired a wealth of related art in China. Each year, we present the public with a special show featuring one particular zodiac creature, and this time it’s the monkey. Cultural heritage and traditions encoded in the Year of the Monkey will be interpreted and highlighted,” said Mu Hongli, press officer at Beijing Capital Museum.

The exhibition is arranged in three sections that represent the monkey’s nature, divinity, and humanity. It also includes multimedia presentations with animation and music, as well as interactive elements that get visitors up close with monkey culture.

“My son says he has never seen a monkey statue like this before, so he wants to sketch it. We really like this exhibition; it’s very entertaining and educational,” a visitor said.

Visitors have until March 13 to find out more about the history and stories behind the Monkey King.