bowl

bowlDIA120xH50mm, China

This pair of octagonal bowls are decorated with goldfish, a traditional blessing symbol.  Gold 金 (Jin) Fish 魚 (Yu), the word “fish” shares the same pronunciation with the word surplus 餘 (Yu).  A lot of chinese decoration symbols follow the play of homophone, these might all be a bit superstitious and arbitrary but in the days of old rural China when  life is hard, these kind of blessing is an expression hope for a better life.  Even in today’s world, these kind of subtle tradition carries on e.g. in Hong Kong, an Empty 空(Hung) Residence 宅 (Zaak) would be call a Blessed 吉(Ji) Residence, as the word “emtpy” 空(Hung) has the same pronunciation as 兇 (Hung) – a murder house.  Changing a word that make no sense to the original meaning just for the sake of avoiding a bad homophone.

Anyway, ain’t these goldfish the cutest?!

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