Shaking the Money Tree Brings Fortune
In Lunar New Year, people give blessings to one another. As the most common greeting, “Gong-Xi-Fa-Cai (Congratulations and wish you wealth)” reveals the close relationship between wealth and human life, in which money is linked with great life.
Originally a grave good in the Eastern Han dynasty, the money tree, also known as Shengxian (ascending to godhood) tree or sky tree, represented the wish for a carefree next life of people at that time. Today, the money tree has turned to symbolize a person, event, or object that brings wealth. Despite the minor difference between symbols of the money tree in ancient and modern times, the human desire for life enjoyment remains unchanged.
People pursue wealth to firstly fulfill their basic needs. After basic needs are met, people turn to satisfy their individual desires. This exhibition, themed as “The Money Tree”, explores how people pursue a better material life and satisfy their desires, allowing viewers to understand how humans, from ancient times to the present, seek wealth through various behaviors.