W600 X H170mm, China

A opera theme wood block print – Votive Offering in Xianshang.

The story is about princess Miao Shang, the youngest daughter of ruler of the Miao kingdom.  Miao Shang had an unhappy marriage and decided to become a nun.  The ruler hated this idea of his own daughter, the royal princess, becoming a nun. He struck a deal with her, if the flowers she planted on a rocky cliff in chilly October could blossom she would be allowed to start her training.  Miraculously the cliff was blooming with flowers that October, Miao Shang departed for her journey of Buddhism.  The ruler was not at all happy and summoned for her returned, she ignored all his requests.  Years later, the ruler got very sick, the doctors prescribed a odd dose of medicine which required a close relative’s eye and hand to be added the mixture.  The two elder sisters refused, when Miao Shang heard about the news she rushed back and sacrificed an eye and a hand for her father.  Soon after the ruler recovered she left for her training again.  Unable to see his beloved daughter, the ruler ordered for the monastery to be burnt.  On her escape, Miao Shang’s route was blocked by a tiger while the army was just behind her, unwilling to abandon her training she gave herself up to the tiger which swallowed her in one gulp.  Miao Shang woke up inside a cave in Xianshang, there she started meditating.  When the ruler finally found her in the cave she has already turned into the Avalokitsevara (the bodhisattva with a thousand hands and a thousand eye).  Since then, the ruler would bring votive offering to Xianshang every year.

Come to see the actual print and many others at the
New Year Print Exhibition