W220xL300mm, China

The character on this wood block print is not a Chinese version of Avatar but the hero Guang Hui Wang who was attributed the title of the country’s protector.  The name Guang Hui Wai is itself a title given to him by general Chen when his effigy was worshiped during Chen’s battle to pacified Ziang Ziu some 300 odd years later.  Guang Hui Wang became an idol god in Ziang Ziu and the legacy spread to Taiwan and South East Asia through the immigration of the Ziang Ziu people.  Now back to Guang Hui Wang, his real name is Xie An, he lived in East Jin dynasty (320-385 AD).  Xie An was a great scholar as well as a politician and a military leader.  Apart from winning numerous battles, reclaiming lost territories and resolving disputes between nobles within his country; he is much admired for speaking and acting with morality and justices, not taking sides in the court and lastly being able to step away from power after battles were won.  Xie An was borned  in a established family, he was well known for his intellect, charm and good looks (this being reconfirmed by his poem with the famous Wang Xi Zhi and his portraits) … who someone please explain why he has turned into Avatar in all the new year prints?

Here is a clip from the procession in Southern Taiwan for Guang Hui Wang and the Xie family.