Search results for: "bat"

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAW300 X H500mm, China

A scene from the Ming dynasty novel “Romance of the 3 Kingdoms” – Zhao Zilou’s Battle of Chang San.

Half way into the novel; Cao Cao attacked the city of Fan where Liu Bei stationed, Lau decided to evacuate the city with its residents but was surrounded by Cao’s army in Chang San.  The brave general Zhao Zilou managed to break through the enemy’s line of attack and rescued Lau and his family.

The warrior on the left Cao Cao, on the right is Zhao Zilou.  You might be wondering who the little head inside Zhao’s jacket; that is Lau Bei’s son Adou.

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

MOUNTAIN FOLKCRAFT
CHINESE WOOD BLOCK PRINT COLLECTION

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADIA130mm, China

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A pair of jade bats.
The Chinese believes that bats symbolizes blessing, 2 bats, double blessing.
The word for bat is 蝠 ( fu), which sound like the word for blessing, 福 (fu)

Personally, I think they are the sweetest bats, perhaps second to this … wait to see it even yawns!

Something Old Something New
Collectible Jewellery Collection

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W70xL210xH25mm, China

Bat biscuit for the halloween?

Unlike the west where the bat is associated with the dracula, the Chinese adores the symbol of the bat.  Being viewed as an icon of blessing, their symbol can be seen everywhere.  The Chinese name for bat is 蝠 ( fu), which sound like the word blessing, 福 (fu), and as bat sleeps upside down 倒 (dao) sharing the same pronunciation as the word arrival, 到 (dao).

Bat hanging upside down = Arrival of blessing

Why would a bat be hanging upside down?

Happy halloween!

W130xD50xH230mm, China

This figurine is a Shou Shan stone carving, the Shou Shan stone is famous for its wealth of colours, the artist would made use of the colour to form the composition of the carving work, all the carvings are one off piece of artwork.

The warrior of this carving is riding on a Kirin (yes, its the same mythical creature as on the beer can) with bats accompanying them.  The Kirin (together with the Phenoix, the turtle and the dragon) is believed by the Chinese to be one of the four old saintly creatures.  Its a creature of heaven and not of the earth, those that were captured by the gods became their carriage (as on this figurine).  The Kirin has the head of a dragon, horns of a deer, eyes of a lion, the body of a tiger, the scale of fish, but despite this fierce appearance it is a kind creature and believe to an animal of blessing.  As for the bats, they are also a symbol of blessing for the Chinese but as we all know what they look like I wont go into details in this post.

Here is a story about the bat and the kirin from the Ming dynasty which i find quite amusing; one day the Phoenix held a birthday party, as she was the queen of the birds all the birds from everywhere came to wish her happy birthday.  The bat, however, did not show up.  The Phoenix, being the queen, was not please at all, so she summoned for the bat and asked, “you live under my rule, where are you so arrogant and did not come when invited?”  The bat answered, “I have craws, I am a beast, why should I pay my respect to a bird?”  Then the Kirin held his birthday party and the bat did not show up, the Kirin was angry and condemned the bat, the bat answered, “I have wings, a bird, why should I come to a beast party?”  Then the Phoenix and the Kirin met up and of course the bat incident came up in their conservation, “what a world this is coming to that there is such non bird non beast creature, how frustration is that.”  As time moves on from the Ming Dynasty, I feel that the bats now would claim to be a bird in front of the Phoenix and a beast in front of the Kirin, a fence sitter in all sense.

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L300xW300mm, China

The composition of the embroidery is based on a scene in the Beijing Opera – Return to Jing Zhou.

The story was set in the 3 Kingdoms Period,

WEI – led by East Han chancellor Cao Cao, adviser Sima Yi
WU – led by Sun Quan, adviser Zhou Yu
SHU – led by Liu Bei, general Guan Yu, Zhang Fei and Zhao Yun, adviser Zhu Ge Liang

Sun Quan and Zhou Yu (WU) set up a plan to get Liu Bei (SHU) to hand over his strong hold Jing Zhou.  Sun Quan has a beautiful sister, to lure Liu into the trap, he proposed to Liu Bei for a marriage to his sister, a union of the 2 kingdoms. Liu Bei in return would have to go to WU for the wedding.  This is a proposal Liu Bei cannot lightly turn down for the sake of his kingdom.  Sun Quan however has no real intention of marrying his sister to his enemy, he would wanted to capture Liu Bei and and force him to hand over his kingdom.  Luckily before Liu Bei’s departure, his wizard adviser Zhu Ge Liang see through the trick and handed 3 notes to Zhao Yun and asked him to escort Liu Bei to Wu.  When Liu Bei crossed to Wu he opened the first note, it asked Liu Bei to visit the father in law of Sun Quan.  Impressed by Liu Bei and thinking that a union of the 2 kingdoms is a good idea from Sun Quan, the in law asked for Sun Quan’s mother for her approval for the marriage.  The empress dowager agreed and the marriage went ahead.  Sun Quan found out he has lost his sister, set out to detained Liu Bei in Wu.  Liu Bei opened the second note, it asked for a faked report that Jing Zhou was being attacked by now their common enemy Cao Cao (WEI).  Having a great excuse, Liu Bei together with his newly married wife and his men left Wu for Jing Zhou.  Sun Quan found out and had his general went after them.  Liu Bei then opened his third note, in the note it asked him to leave the defense to his wife.  Now in love with Liu Bei, the princess gave the general a hard time and refused to return to Wu.  When Liu Bei returned to Jing Zhou, Sun Quan’s army was confronted by Liu Bei’s general Zhang Fei and badly defeated.

A common Chinese phrase came from the story, 賠了夫人又摺兵 (not only losing the girl but the battle as well) – something similar to the phrase “throw the helve after the hatchet”.

Click here to see our wood block prints which also depicted the same opera.


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W25xD25xH85mm, China

The Chinese adores the symbol of the bat; being viewed as an icon of blessing, their symbol can be seen everywhere.  The Chinese name for bat is 蝠 (fu), which sound like the word blessing, 福 (fu).

This particular toggle do looks a bit like the Dracula, now that’s a cool blessing!

Click here to see our other bats.

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DIA150xH30mm, China

A famille rose octagonal plate with an auspicious pattern.

A pattern common enough, but can someone let us know what the yellow fusilli like shape and 5 red decoration represent? 5 bats in the cloud?  5 peony within a sea of yellow bats?

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W400 X H280mm, China

The phrase 五福同堂 (5 Blessings within the Family) is a common Chinese well wishes.  Do you know that the 5 blessings are?

The 5 blessings are;
– longevity
– wealth
– health
– humanity
– a dignify death

As the word “blessing” 福 has the same sound as the word “bat” 蝠.  One could often found bats as a decorative elements and most of the time, 5 of them.

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

MOUNTAIN FOLKCRAFT
CHINESE WOOD BLOCK PRINT COLLECTION

File-8---DW-006-一團和氣W450xH680mm, China

On the top of the print is a hanging bat symbolizing the arrival of blessing.  The word upside down (倒) “dao” shares the same pronunciation as the word arrived (到) “dao”, while word bat (蝠) “fu” with the word blessing (福) “fu”.

Hanging on the mouth of the bat is a Buddha’s hand fruit, a symbol of happiness and a peach which symbolizes longevity.

This rounded figure is known as “yi tuan he qi” – Harmony, which is a blessing for oneself, the family, the country to the world at large.

The figure originally comes from the painting of the same title by the Ming emperor, Zhu Jian Shen, featuring the Maitreya in a lotus meditation pose.  On closer look, there are 2 scholars on either side smiling at each other with their knee touching.  The Maitreya embraces the 2 scholars with his head bend, revealing his bald head.  The 3, Buddhist, Taoist and Confucius are in harmony with each other.

一團和氣

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

MOUNTAIN FOLKCRAFT
CHINESE WOOD BLOCK PRINT COLLECTION

stopperDIA100xH300mm, Hong Kong + Sumatra, Indonesia

Remember the guri guri potion stopper?  It has now completed with a jar!
The jar has been custom made for the stopper.

The figurine belonged to the datu (shaman) of the Batak tribe in Sumatra.  Magic guri guri potion would have been kept in the jar, which is the ingredient for magic performed by the datu.
The figurine consists of 2 humans riding on a singa, a mythological creature that is benevolent and powerful, it is described to be part human, part buffalo, part crocodile.