After “The Chinese Zodiac”, we’re bringing back another one of our Chinese New Year’s exhibition from two years ago. This one is all about hot-water warmers.
Most parts of China endure the coldest time of winter around the Lunar New Year. Northern China is covered with snow, while rain engulfs southern China. Hot-water bottles, tangpozi in Chinese, quickly became a beloved item to keep warm because it could be tucked into bed. According to historical records, they were used as early as the Song dynasty. Being the perfect companion in wintertime, tangpozi have become emblematic of the Chinese New Year.
Tangpozi are made of myriad materials, such as metal, ceramics, leather, rubber and plastic. With great craftsmanship, they turn into more than a mere warm-keeping device. An exquisite tangpozi, both functional and aesthetic, can also be a piece of art. The tangpozi on display here in the “Keeping Warm” exhibition bring back warm memories of Chinese folk life!