Kentucky students are embracing the Year of the Horse with an art project on show at the Kentucky Horse Park.
The exhibition, “Shodo: The Art of Japanese Brush Painting”, started on Wednesday and features calligraphy created by Lexington’s Wellington Elementary School’s third, fourth, and fifth grade students.
Each student used black Japanese ink (sumi) and bamboo brushes (fude) to paint the character for the word “horse” (uma) and their names on rice paper. Calligraphy is considered high art in the Far East, and there is a specific stroke order and ink weight for each character.
Until its adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1912, China used the lunar calendar. The Chinese calendar works in a cyclical pattern in which each cycle is 12 years long and begins on the second new moon after the winter solstice. Within this calendar, each year is represented by an animal whose characteristics symbolize the mood of the year and those born within it.
Those born in 2014 – and every 12 years prior, each Year of the Horse – are considered to be adventurous, carefree and fun with a sense of humor. Culturally, the celebration of the Lunar New Year is still very popular in China and Japan as well as Vietnam, Korea, and Taiwan.
The art will be on display at the International Museum of the Horse until April 18.