A Chinese zodiac art exhibition has opened at the Palace Museum in Beijing, featuring works by traditional art master Han Meilin on the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac calendar. On display are paintings, calligraphy, sculptures, wood-carvings, furniture and folk handicrafts. The exhibition will last until Feb 20, running through the Chinese New Year holiday. During the new year, it is very common for the Chinese to buy all sorts of zodiac art pieces to decorate their homes. The Chinese zodiac calendar is based on a 12-year cycle, with each year being assigned one of the 12 animals: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. The year 2019 is the Year of the Pig, starting on Feb 5. During the Chinese New Year holiday, the Palace Museum will hold cultural events on the sidelines of the exhibition to spice up the festive atmosphere. Han, 83, is best known for his design of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games mascot Fuwa. He donated 10 pieces of his artwork to the Palace Museum last Saturday. Stamps, with adorable pig images symbolising the Year of the Pig, were also issued at the museum.