Search results for: ""Wei Chi Gong""

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAW40xL80xH110mm, China

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.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

W460 X H420mm, China

This pair of Door Gods are Qin Qiong (left) and Wei Chi Gong (right).

Do you know how this famous pair got to become the Door Gods?
Here is how the story goes; one fine day during the Tang dynasty an old dragon made a bet with a fortune teller and for this he violated the law of the heaven.  As a punishment ,the supreme god Jade Emperor ordered Wei Zheng to have it killed at noon the next day.   Hearing the news, the old dragon went to see the Tang Emperor and begged him to help him, the Tang Emperor agreed.  The next day the Tang Emperor summon Wei Zheng to court and asked him to play a game of Chinese chess with him, hoping that if the game is long enough he will miss the noon execution.  During the long game Wei Zheng dosed off and in his dream he went to kill the dragon.  Not knowing the whole story,  the ghost of the dragon felt bitter that the Tang Emperor did not keep his words and came to haunt the court everyday.  Wei Zheng found out and send 2 generals, Qin Qiong and Wei Chi Gong, to guard the gate of the palace and this scared off the dragon.  The Tang Emperor felt bad that the 2 generals do not get a break and asked artists to make a painting of them to be put on the doors, and this seems to have the same effects, the rumor spread and now the door gods are all over China.

This print is from the Tao Hua Wu school which specializes in book illustration since the Sung dynasty, it has very fine lines and spectrum of colour (each colour would require an additional printing block).  Click here to see another print of the same two character by a different print maker, school of Zhuxian, which are characterized by bolder lines, vivid colours and more dramatic composition.

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

MOUNTAIN FOLKCRAFT
CHINESE WOOD BLOCK PRINT COLLECTION

File-7---CSC---06M-中門神W250xH420mm, China

The warriors are Qin Qiong (left) and Wei Chi Gong (right), the pair are posted up on the front doors (traditional Chinese doors are in pair) of the house to protect it from evils.  Click here to see the full story of how they became the door gods.

This pair of door gods are of the category “Cavalry Door Gods with Bian Jian”, they are riding on horses and holding the traditional weapons known as “bian” and “jian”.  Sometimes they are displayed riding on mythical creatures and holding sacred objects.

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

MOUNTAIN FOLKCRAFT
CHINESE WOOD BLOCK PRINT COLLECTION

print2

W220xL300mm, China

There are many door gods, the most famous and the original ones are Qin Qiong and Wei Chi Gong.  The two generals have been keeping the ghosts away from the imperial court. the Tang Emperor felt sorry for their long shifts and ordered portraits to be put up on the doors to give them a well deserved break.  Click here for the full story.  Traditional Chinese doors comes in pairs and a print of the individual door god would be posted on both doors.  This particular prints has two door gods, the one with the white face on the left is Qin Qiong (門丞) and Wei Chi Gong (戶尉) is on the right, this print is made for single door.

The four words on the print “門丞戶尉” refers to the two door gods, but funny enough with the four words mixed up as “門尉戶丞” it became a Taoist spell for healing the sick.  The procedure apparently goes like this (please don’t try this at home);

take a rooster with lush feathers,
hold a knife with your right hand and the rooster on the left,
go to the house of the sick,
inside of the house take 3 steps and on each step say the spell,
“門尉戶丞,某甲病蠱,當令速出,急急如律令”
(門尉戶丞, so and so’s sickness, expel at once, promptly take the order)
then put the head of the rooster in the mouth of the patient 3 times,
take the knife and draw blood from the rooster’s comb,
mixed the blood with 100ml of white spirit for the patient to drink.

… if the patient was not very sick before … he probably would be now …

W700xH1100mm, China

This is a Chinese new year print of the famous yang liu qing school, different from the new year print from other areas / schools, the yang liu qing prints combined the art of printing and painting in one.  Lines for the painting are first carved out from a piece of wood, black water base ink is then applied on the wood block and printed onto the paper by rubbing.  Once there is a sharp outline of the image, water base colour is then applied, giving varies tones of colour to the print.  Then a thick powder colour is used to give all the details to the painting.  The yang liu qing school began at the end of the Ming dynasty; it brought on the tradition of detail painting of the Sung dynasty and combined it with the printing technique popular in the Ming dynasty giving it an unique appearance.

This print is one print of a pair of door gods (traditional doors in China always comes in pairs), Qin Qiong, the other door will be of  Wei Chi Gong.  The legend of the 2 door gods goes like this; during the Tang dynasty an old dragon made a bet with a fortune teller and violated the law of the heaven.  As a punishment the supreme god Jade Emperor ordered Wei Zheng to have it killed at noon the next day.   Hearing the news, the old dragon went to see the Tang Emperor and begged him to help him, the Tang Emperor agreed.  The next day the Tang Emperor summon Wei Zheng to court and asked him to play a game of Chinese chess with him, hoping that if the game is long enough he will miss the noon execution.  During the long game Wei Zheng dosed off and in his dream he went to kill the dragon.  Not knowing the whole story,  the ghost of the dragon felt bitter that the Tang Emperor did not keep his words and came to haunt the court everyday.  Wei Zheng found out and send 2 generals, Qin Qiong and Wei Chi Gong, to guard the gate of the palace and this scared off the dragon.  The Tang Emperor felt bad that the 2 generals do not get a break and asked artists to make a painting of them to be put on the doors, and this seems to have the same effects, the rumor spread and now the door gods are all over China.

L150xW110mm, China

The opera character of this paper cutout is Wei Chi Gong of the Siu dynasty who was persuaded to defect from Siu to join the first Tang empire by the Tang emperor.  The story of the opera begins when Wei was still a general of the Siu empire whom went on war with the Tang, not only did he won, he disarmed a Tang general Yuan.  This general was humiliated and when Wei join the Tang empire, he made up excuses to have Wei killed, luckily the plan failed.  Years later, when the Tang emperor was losing his war, general Yuan left him and ran for his life.  Luckily Wei arrived to save the day.  This is Wei story in the opera but perhaps you know him as the Chinese door god, but that’s another story…