This is a figurine of Bei Di, who is the Prince of Shang dynasty. In a dream, the Queen swallowed the sun and felt pregnant after 14 months Bei Di was born. Though being the heir of the kingdom, he was more interested in meditation than in the power he was born into. Finally, he left his parents and went to Wu Dung to study Taoism. After 42 years, he was sainted by the Jade Emperor. It is also believed that he is the 82 reincarnation of the Tai Shang Lao Jun.
This is a miniature Shou Shan stone vase which has intricate carving of a chrysanthemum flower. The Shou Shan stone is wonderful stone for carving, particularly for seals, its also a good material for other ornamental works. This antique piece of work with its chipping has a sense of rustic, of the untended nature.
Some point in every boy’s childhood came the grand project of making a toy boat.
This keel is part of my father’s.
Carved out from a single piece of wood, its almost sculpture like.
The smoothness of the surface, the textured interior reminded me of the coco de mer.
Boys today are more sensitive in digital nature, perceiving the world through the screen and the input device.
This is a figurine of the Buddha with an alms bowl standing on a lotus flower.
In Theravada Buddhism, “pindacara” a daily alms collection of food “pindapata” is practiced by the monks (and nuns). The word for monk “bhikkhu” means one who lives on alms, while “pindapata” means dropping a lump. The monks would leave their monastery, in a group they walk barefooted in single file according to seniority, their robe formally arranged covering both shoulders. The route will go through the village house by house, accepting but never requesting food that is dropped into the bowls. This figurine, the Buddha, is leading figurine of a group which consists of monks of different heights which unfortunately is not with us.
Monks in Burma
the second film has a more in depth view of a monk’ life.
This cute little wood carving is in fact a tool, a wood block stencil for fabric printing in India, bunta. The stencil is painstakingly carved out from a solid piece of wood guiding only by a rough piece of paper template. Here is how they are made.
Check out our other bunta.
A mythical character in the epic “Feng Shen Yan Yi” which described all the saintly figures, his name is Zhun Ti Dao Ren. Zhun Ti was said to have come from the West, the land of Buddhism, bringing with him the wisdom and teaching of the Buddha.
The carriage of Zhun Ti Dao Ren is the famous Wisdom Peacock, Mahamayuri, the son of the Phoenix.
A curious blue object.
This is no modern art but a carving of the Shou Shan stone. The blue, without the artistic symbolism of Western art of the sacred, the heaven, the ideal, the escape etc etc was a mean of disguise. During the cultural revolution, all objects of art and decoration were target to be destroy and its owner punished. The owner must have treasured this object, instead of destroying it like many art object at the time, a layer of blue paint was applied to escape the prying eyes of the red guards.
Odd at it is, we have kept the blue paint on, as it is part of the history of this object.