Year of the Dog. A Talk by Patricia Bjaaland Welch


[Mural from Dunhuang]


As each Chinese New Year approaches, we begin to think of the animal that will dominate the coming year. The Year of the Dog is special because unlike several of the other animals represented in China’s 12-year zodiac cycle, we don’t think of the dog as particularly ‘Chinese’ as compared to the dragon, pig or even roosters. But dogs have a long history and China is even credited by many scholars as being the original ancestral home of all dogs, who are in turn, descended from the gray wolf (Canis lupus).

Dogs have appeared in Chinese art and lore for thousands of years and have played many important roles in Chinese culture. We find them represented on ancient rock carvings, in tombs as tomb figurines (mingqi) and bit players in tomb murals, in Tang paintings, carved in precious materials such as jade and ivory, utilised as guard and hunting dogs and even bred and pampered as imperial pets.

Join author Patricia Bjaaland Welch (author of Oxford University Press’ Chinese New Year and Tuttle’s Chinese Art: A Guide to Motifs and Visual Imagery) as she follows up last year’s popular talk on the Year of the Rooster with this year's incoming zodiac star—the dog, and its roles and symbolism in Chinese art and history.  You’ll even learn the origin of the expression “straw dogs”.

Date: Thursday, 18 January 2018
Time: 7.30 p.m.
Place: The Siam Society, 131 Asoke Montri Rd, Sukhumvit 21

Non-members donation: B200. Siam Society members, members’ spouses and children, and all students showing valid student ID cards are admitted free of charge. For more information, please contact Khun Arunsri or

Office Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 9:00am. – 5:00pm.

The Siam Society is deeply grateful to the James H.W. Thompson Foundation for its generous support of the 2016-2017 Lecture Series.