14 December 2023 ·

Christmas banners

Hong Kong (BC.it) - To celebrate Christmas and to spread the Good news of the birth of Christ, this year, at St Teresa’s church we have decided to hang two big banners (3,04 m x 7,5 m each) on the South side (facing Waterloo Road) and the East side (facing Prince Edward Road W) of the bell tower. The two banners can be seen and admired from many angles, especially for people who walk or drive along the two big roads, although the flyover of Waterloo Road makes impossible to look at one of them from some positions.
The style of the banners (character types, color, background) are chosen according to the latest art design technique to give emphasis to the message and to the image.
The south side image is taken from an Italian Renaissance painting by Cesare da Sesto (1477-1523), a disciple of Leonardo da Vinci. The Tempera painting, completed in 1515, is titled “Madonna with Child and Lamb”. The Poldi Pezzoli Museum in Milan (Italy) gave us the permission to use the image.
The image shows the Mother who let the Child Jesus to play with a lamb. The gaze of the Mother – and the atmosphere of the surrounding is full of sweetness and melancholy. As the lamb is a symbol of Jesus’ death (Isaiah 53,7: “as a lamb led to the slaughter”), the gesture of the Mother is very dramatic: she delivers Her Son to His destiny of death, for the salvation of the world. The joy for this aim is mixed with the foreseen sufferings. Her gesture does not have hesitation: in Her smile there is the acceptance of the will of God for Her Child and Herself.
While we celebrate Christmas, we also look forward to Easter, when the gift of Christ’s life will be fulfilled, and to the Annunciation, in which the total obedience of Mary made possible for God to be made flesh.
The East side image is a Tempera painting on paper by Huang Ruilong, a painter that with other Catholic and Protestant artists belonged to the Chinese Christian School of Art at Fu Ren University, Beijing, before 1949.
The painting (done in 1941) shows the Mother and the Child Jesus surrounded by a group of children. Their dresses show that some are rich and some poor. The landscape is painted using traditional Chinese themes: pine trees, rocks, peonies, clouds, …
The message is clear: the Child Jesus gives Himself to those who have a childlike heart. In the meantime, we can admire that the Catholic faith has penetrated so much into the Chinese culture.
According to various witnesses, the Chinese Christian School of Art was nationalized in 1949 and some artists suffered persecutions during the Cultural Revolution. At present the art-work is exposed in Milan, at the PIME Center, Museum of Peoples and Cultures.
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