The lotus symbolises goodness and embodies truth, virtue and beauty in traditional Chinese culture. In On the Love of the Lotus, writer Zhou Dunyi of the Song dynasty praised the flower for its humanistic spirit of uprightness and purity. He described the lotus as ‘rising from the mud yet unsullied and washed in clear water but not vain. Its stem is straight and upright, and hollow within, without climbing or sprouting branches. Its fragrance spreads far and strong, yet it stands still and firm, and people may admire it from afar but not go close and taint it.’ The purity of the lotus is widely recognised and respected among traditional literati. Thus, a lotus – a metaphor for a noble person – is a symbol and characteristic of Chinese literati.
The Macao Special Administrative Region is represented by a lotus flower in full bloom, suggesting the city is a land of cleanliness, purity and fortune. The exhibition Lotus-Themed Exhibition of the MAM Collection takes place at the Kun Iam Ecumenical Centre, symbolising the stability, peace and prosperity of the Macao SAR as a lotus in full bloom.
The exhibition displays lotus-themed calligraphy and paintings of the Macao Museum of Art collection, featuring works by Macao veteran artists, painters of the Lingnan school, masters of Sinology and national and overseas painters. The show blends diverse styles, allowing the audience to admire different styles of representing the lotus and its spiritual qualities of peace and purity.