In January 2021, China's Shaanxi Provincial Department of Culture and Tourism and China Cultural Center in Sydney jointly held an exhibition titled "五牛更象—陕西非遗印象展"at the China Cultural Center in Sydney. I haven't found any explanation for this phrase 五牛更象 online or in a dictionary. Does it possibly mean that five oxes are as good as an elephant (in power)?

2 Answers 2



Guided by the image of the "ox" in the traditional Chinese zodiac, the exhibition is divided into five major sections, namely:

  1. "Ingenious Craftsmanship"

  2. "Qin's Sound and Music"

  3. "Qin People's Ingenuity"

  4. "Guanzhong Memory"

  5. "Charming Experience"

五牛 refers to the five sections of the exhibition, each of the section is represented by an image of an ox (something like a mascot)

The exhibition was held in January 2021, near the end of the year of the rat in the Chinese Zodiac. The upcoming Lunar new year would be the year of the ox in February next month.

"五牛更象" was the title of the exhibition. It should literally mean "Five oxen (five sections of the exhibition) replacing the current symbol of Zodiac year. However, the subtitle of the exhibition is 陕西非遗印象展, therefore, 更象 strongly implies 更新印象 (renew impression)

It is not a common phrase but a once-off title of an exhibition. "五牛更象 -- 陕西非遗印象展" can be translated as "Five Oxen Renew Impression -- Shaanxi Intangible Cultural Heritage Impression Exhibition"

  • Thanks, so you mean the five oxen are the five sections provided in the exhibition? I need a little time to digest this.In 万象更新, it is the outlook that is changed, but here it is 五牛 to be changed, a little confusing. Jun 11, 2021 at 2:00

五牛更象 is the name of the exhibition of the ancient artworks that took place in Sydney to promote understanding and induce the interest of Austrians about the Chinese calture.

The central topic of the artworks was "牛", and the exhibition included five representative types of artworks of Qin Dynasty - 泥塑,皮影,刺绣,陶瓷,字畫等, to demonstrate the phenomenon (象/現象) of delicate changes (更/變化/變換) in expression between different artworks in delivering/expressing the same subject of the ancient Chinese Arts.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.