Year of the Monkey
OK, it officially starts on Monday, February 8, but that’s “Draw-a-Bird-Day” (and I know everyone is busy preparing their bird art!) So I thought I’d celebrate Chinese New Year a bit early. The above collage is a combination of a bunch of King of the Monkey masks I found online.
My original collage was done from a photo of a wooden monkey mask I had in my files. I didn’t make any notes as to it’s origin, but I liked its goofy face. When I finished though, I thought the New Year needed something a bit more celebratory, which is why I did the more colorful one above as well.
The Year of the Monkey is the 9th of the 12-year cycle. It’s a year when “anything can happen”, and a year when you are supposed to be as daring and inventive as Monkey people are. They are the tricksters of Chinese astrology.
I also managed to make it back for one more look at the Rubin Museum’s mask exhibit, and they had quite a few monkey masks from various cultures. The pencil drawing above is a festival mask from Bhutan.
I switched to ink both because it was dark in the exhibit, and because I didn’t want to stand too long in front of each mask as the passage was narrow and there were other people wanting to see each mask. Above, on the left, a wooden mask from Nepal, and on the right, from India, Valin the Black Monkey, a helper of Rama.
From Japan, on the left, a solemn monkey, and from the Northwest Coast, on the right, one that looked fierce but friendly. Evidently Native American sailors occasionally brought monkeys back from their travels.
Happy Year of the Monkey!
(and don’t forget your birds for Monday)