This lion riding figue is Wei Chi Gong, a general of the Tang dynasty. Stories of his loyalty and bravery made it to the hearts of the people that he became a protector for the home, prints and figurines were made of him and his partner Qin Qiong.
Legends has it that in the Tang dynasty, the Dragon King had a bet with a fortune teller, this act violated the rules of the heaven and Jade Emperor ordered for the dragon’s execution. The Dragon King pledged with the Tang Emperor and the Emperor agreed to summon the executioner back to court so the dragon could be spare. Unfortunately, the Emperor doses off and missed the hour, the dragon was cut in half and died. The dragon was extremely upset that the promise was broken and its ghost haunted the imperial palace day and night. Wei Chi Gong and Qin Qiong, the two brave generals offered to stand guard at the door of the palace, the dragon ghost was kept at bay. The emperor felt guilty that the pair has to be on guard days and nights because of his own negligence and ordered prints and figurines to be made of the two so to spare them from their task. The fame of the two generals is so powerful that their imagery would be enough to scare away the haunted dragon, since then they were used to guard doors, gateways, bed in the household.
This is a glove puppet head for the character Guan Yu.
One of the heros in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Guan Yu was the loyal general of the warlord Lui Bei. With the help of Guan, Lui Bei later formed the Han Dynasty and unified China.
Guan Yu is portrayed with having a red face, 9 feet tall with a 2 feet long beard and eyes of a pheonix. A powerful and masculine figure. Aside from his bravery, Guan Yu is known for his loyalty.
This puppet head is the General Deng Ai of the 3 Kingdom period (197-264 AD). The story “Tan Shan Gu” has been made into opera and puppet theater. At the time, China was divided into 3 kingdoms, General Deng was defending the Wei kingdom against the attack of the General Jiang Wei of the Shu kingdom.
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.
There are several Bei Di temples in Hong Kong which is well worth visiting.
There is one in Wanchai, Sham Shui Po and Cheung Chau.
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.
Before the appearance of the iphone, a treaured object that would be kept in the pocket, hang by the waist. An object that one would take out in idle moments to gaze upon, to touch and to cherish.
W120xL490xH90mm, Hong Kong (NOT FOR SELL)
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.