W280xL320mm, China

To celebrate Halloween we have a new year print of the god of Feng Du, Feng Du is a physical province in China where it is believed to be occupied by ghosts and spirits, a city where the dead goes to live.  (unfortunately since the Three Gorges Dam project, the ghost town is now submerged in water with only a small island remaining, so there is little chance of visiting it before death.  well, it will be rather cramp as well … o dear)  For Taoist, the god of Feng Du is the controller of all spirits and is in charge of the Hell god, Yan Luo Wanɡ (Yamaraja), he also has 72 helpers who monitor on people during their life time.  At death everyone would be led by officials with the head of a cow and a horse to Diyu where one’s deed will be judged, life long sins will be punished.  At the end of the punishment (the length of time will depend on the sins) one’s spirit will be renewed and reincarnated into the next life.

Diyu is divided into 10 courts each headed by a Yama king (their portraits are shown on the 2 sides of the print) who reports back to Yan Luo Wang.

Court 1: Jiang, King Qinguang – in charge of life and death
Court 2: Li, King Chujiang – in charge of the Frozen Hell
Court 3: Yu, King Songdi – in charge of Black Rope Hell under the sea
Court 4: Lü, King Wuguan – in charge of the Blood Pond Hell
Court 5: Bao, King Yanluo – in charge of the Screaming Hell under the sea
Court 6: Bi, King Biancheng – in charge of those who died before their time
Court 7: Dong, King Taishan – in charge of the Minced Meat Hell
Court 8: Huang, King Dushi – in charge of the Stewing Hell
Court 9: Lu, King Pingdeng – in charge of Avici, the darkest hell of all
Court 10: Xue, King Zhuanlun – in charge of reincarnation