Food for the Soul: A Year of the Dragon

Ai Weiwei. Dragon. Circle of Animal/ Zodiac Heads (detail), 2012. Bronze. Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles. Photo: © Nina Heyn, 2024

By Nina Heyn

In Asia, being born in a Year of the Dragon means to arrive in an auspicious year; dragons, in Chinese astrology, are symbols of power, good luck, and success. Western culture—the modern take from Game of Thrones notwithstanding—treats dragons as monsters to be vanquished. These two radically different views of the mythical creature are, of course, reflected in art.

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