Galerie Anna ignites the Chinese New Year with its first exhibit for Year 2013 entitled “NI HAO” starting January 29 to February 12.
“NI HAO” literally means “hi” or “hello” in Chinese. Greeting someone “hello” is a form of courtesy based from the social norm that generic phrases promote equality and politeness in a society centered on hierarchical relationships. Here in Southeast Asia particularly in the Philippines, the group of Chinese-Filipinos (“Tsinoys”) or Filipino-Chinese is one of the largest Overseas Chinese communities that constitute Overseas Chinese around the world. Originally, the Philippines is blessed with its rich native culture and natural resources, and over a period of time the country has evolved into a trans-cultural mixture of a full-blooded Filipino, Spanish-Filipino (“Mestizo”), Chinese-Filipino (“Tsinoy”) and Chinese-Mestizo that needed to develop communication with one another. This has been changing along with the evolution of China, wherein some phrases have become a sign of much larger transition in society. In a changing China, it’s the little words that count. The courtesy greeting “ni hao” that was once reserved for strangers and foreigners has now become part of today’s social currency among Chinese.
Seemingly simple choice of words has been undergoing major changes just the same way as the richness of cultural arts has evolved into a much edgier form in a contemporary setting. Amidst territorial undercurrent, both the Philippines and China look forward to better bilateral relations for this New Year. Especially at this time while China is currently on a period of leadership transition. Lucky Charms spark renewed spirits and positivism such as Red Chinese Knots which are symbols of luck, harmony, love or tying the knot through marriage; Chinese Lanterns which are not only lighting devices but are also symbols of brightness, happiness and reunion for a warm and happy atmosphere; and for several years the Chinese Zodiac represented by animals are symbolical elements of one’s character strengths, weaknesses, best matches and fortune. The interweaving of this cultural mix brings Contemporary Philippine-Chinese Art to a higher level.