Search results for: "Fu Lu Shou"

golden wood carving

L230xD30xH90mm, China

This golden wood carving makes a perfect birthday present.

The four figurines are full of blessing, Fu Lu Shou and Ma Gu.  They are all Taoist saints, representing blessings and happiness.

Fu (far right) – the planet Jupiter which was also attributed to Yang Cheng of the West Han period.  Yang, after being nominated to be the Daozhou official, abolished the practice of present contribution to the Emperor, relieving the stain for the people and therefore seen as a blessing.

Lu (left of Fu) – god of prosperity.  The stars Ursa Majoris humanized as Zhang Xian of the Shu dynasty, a brave general who was respected by the Emperor and worshiped by the people.

Shou (left of Lu) – god of longevity.  The stars of Canopus, translated as Peng Zu who is believed to have livd to an age of 767!!

Lady (at the far left) is Ma Gu, goddess of longevity – with the appearance still being in her teens, she has witnessed 3 times the sea turned into fields (judging its not from any dramatic climatic changes, she has been around for a long long time).  Her immortality and her yearly birthday tribute to the Queen Mother of the West is seen as a blessing and so Ma Gu is a popular subject for pritns, figurines, embroidery and alike.

Fu Lu SauW180xD80xH360mm, China
(in the order from left to right – Fu Sau, Lu)

In my generation and those before, the blessing trio figurine could be seen at the focal point of all homes.

The three are a combination of all good blessings,
Fu – good fortune,
Lu – prosperity,
Sau – longevity

The three were originally concept of the astrology, stars.
Fu Star – the planet Jupiter
Lu Star – Ursa Majoris
Shu Star – Canopus

In the Ming dynasty the Taoist, attributed the Stars to persons or saintly figures and the three are grouped together to symbolize the idea of a good life ever since.  Perhaps life has become less harsh or simply the flats are much smaller, Fu Lu Sau figurines are seldom seen in homes.

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W370 X H650mm, China

The recent generations of the Chinese are familiar with the Gods – Fu Lu Shou, the trio that stood in the prime location of the living room almost like an alter piece.  Its only recently that I discovered that they are no a trio but a group of five!  Nowadays rarely seen together, the five are made up of Fu, Lu, Shou, Xi and Cai.

Fu – God of Blessing – dressed in red robe holding large “ru yi” scepter
Lu – God of Fortune – holding a decree from the Emperor
Shou – God of Longevity – old man holding cane and peach
Xi – God of Happiness – holding a kid
Cai – God of Wealth – holding golden ingot

In this print, the trio are Fu in the middle with Shou on the right and Xi on the left.

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

MOUNTAIN FOLKCRAFT
CHINESE WOOD BLOCK PRINT COLLECTION

DIA150mm, China

This item selected by Furze for the Something Old Something New exhibition and is available at both Mountain Folkcraft and Soil.

There is something non-Chinese about this plate, I thought.  Looking up exports chinaware, it is no where to be found.  Perhaps its the shape of the plate, I thought.  Then I was surprised to find out, thought not a common form, the shape has been around since the Sung dynasty.  Chinaware, blue and white, a common Chinese theme of flower and bird, a form that goes back 1000 years it seems that there should be nothing none Chinese about it.  On further research, it seems that the form of certain pottery and metal ware were heavily influenced by the import of Persian silverware in the Tang dynasty, the polylobed  shape is one of them.

Ming dynasty pottery polylobed dish

Tang dynasty polylobed silver court wine cup, Nanjing Museum

Persian silver polylobed cup of the 11th Century

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L280xW80xH20mm, China

A cookie mould of – a mushroom, a pomegranate and a fan.

You might find the combination a bit odd;
the mushroom is ganoderma, a type of wood fungi which is believed to give longevity, a saintly plant,
pomegrante, the whole fruit being just seeds is a symbol of fertility,
the fan is a symbol of a scholar, they are often hang on the wall to give a blessing for the family to have a scholar.

So in fact, the three items are a representation of the famous Fu Lu Shou,

Amongst the unique pottery, you will also find Mountain Folkcraft’s collection at the Cobo Ceramic Workshop X’mas Sale.

COBO CERAMIC WORKSHOP
1/F Fortune Court, 33 Morrison Hill Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

5 – 9 Dec 2014 (Fri – Tue)
13:00-20:00

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W140xD160mm, Hong Kong

A small portfolio decorated with a piece of embroidery filled with blessing symbols.

The cow in the middle of the embroidery is known as a Spring Cow, it is part of the Chinese New Year traditional that has been passed down since 800B.C.  The figure of a cow would be made with straws and mud, a day before (Li Chun – the first day of spring in the 24 solar terms) it would be brought to front gate of the town where it would be whipped by all the notable of the town or village.  The ritual is believed to wake up the Spring Cow, the passing of the freezing winter, the start of agriculture and the gone with winter ailmnet.  With us city dwellers who are far away from the farmland and the fields, the only Spring Cow we will see is perhaps the one printed at the back of the Tung Shing which gives us prediction of the year’s weather.  Well, for this year will is suppose to be drought, we seems to be getting a lot of rain so far.
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Around the Spring Cow are blessing objects;

@12 o’clock –  yellow moon, an object of worship,
@2 o’clock – the double trapezium, Fang Sheng, the hairstyle of the Queen Mother of the West, has the ability to pacify,
@5 o’clock – rhino horn, resembling victory,
@7 o’clock – scroll of  books and painting, wisdom
@10 o’clock – the 3 blessed star Fu Lu Shou,
@11 o’clock –  in form of a white cloud shape is Ru Yi, “as you wished”.

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W370 X H390mm, China

This wood block print entitled, “The 8 Immortal’s birthday celebration“.

We are familiar with the phrase
壽比南山, 福如東海
life being as grand as the Mount Nanshan, fortune as deep as the Donghai ocean.

The original version of the couplet is presented on the 2 side of the print and should read as;
壽比南山不老松, 福如東海長流水
life is as long as the immortal pine tree in Mount Nanshan, fortune as fulfilling as ever lasting stream in the Donghai ocean

In the prints are the 8 Immortals; (from 12 o’clock going clockwise are) the God of Longevity, Zhong Li Quan (with the palm leave fan), Royal Uncle Cao Guo Jiu (with castanets), Elder Zhang Guo Lao, Immortal lady He Zian Gu (with magic lotus), Philosopher Han Xiang Zi,  Lan Cai He (with magic basket),  Iron-Crutch Tie Guai Li, Leader Lu Dong Bin (with sword).  Click here to see the symbolism of the magic tools.

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

MOUNTAIN FOLKCRAFT
CHINESE WOOD BLOCK PRINT COLLECTION

W200xL200mm, China

There are 2 lucky symbols on this glass bead mate; the Swastika signs at the corner and the longevity sign in the middle.  The 卐 (Swastika) sign has been passed on to China along with ancient Indian Buddhism religion.  In the 7th century, the Tang Empress Wu Ze Tian, ordered for its inclusion as a Chinese character, selected the right spinning version, to be pronounced as Wan with the meaning “the focal point of blessing from all direction”.  Since then apart from its original Buddhism uses, 卐 was also used as a household blessing symbol from embroidery to pottery and architectural decorations, the symbol also become more graphic and elaborated.  Longevity, has long been a symbol the Chinese adores for decoration.  This symbol on the beaded mate is one generated from the typography of the word Shou (longevity).

W90xL90mm, China

This is paper cutout is from the procession of the mouse’ wedding.  The Chinese believes that mouse are prey and should be kept out of the house.  The cunning plan was to arrange a marriage for daughter mouse on Chinese New Year’s eve so that the house would be cleansed and blessed.  Over New Year paper cutout of the full procession (including varies mouse musician, gift carrier and of course the bride) would be stuck on the walls or windows of the house.  This cutout is a part of the 12 zodiac animals made into a greeting card.