Search results for: "door god"

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 …

W900xH1040mm, Hong Kong

This is a modern door god design by my father, this is a silk screen print on a cloth, the traditional door gods are wood block print to be posted on the doors to offer blessing and protection to the household.

One of the legend for the origin of the door god goes like this; according to the Qin geographical documentation “Shan Hai Jing”, in midst of the ocean there is a mountain, there stood a giant peach tree which spread over 3000 miles.  At the north east is the door to the dark world where the ghosts go in and out. Over this door stood 2 gods – Shen Shu and Yu Lv, their duty is to censor the good and the bad ghosts, the evil ghosts will be thrown down the mountain to feed tiger.  The character here is Yu Lv,  brother of the Shen Shu, the pair are the legendary ghost busters.

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.

W500xH900mm, China

Previously we talked about preparing the Kitchen God for his report to the Jade Emperor, traditionally today (4th day of Chinese New Year) is the day to welcome him back to the household.  (see Kitchen God Wood Block Print-12/04/2011)  The feast would be the same as that is served for welcoming a guest that has travelled from afar.  Everyone in the household has to be present so he can keep his censors for the new year correctly.

This wood block print was from the 26th year of the Republic of China, i.e. 1938.  Every year a there will be a new calendar for the Kitchen God.  The two gods in the middle are the  Kitchen God and his wife, on the upper row is the god of fertility, the 4 gods on either sides are 3 categories of saints (upper, middle and ground), the lower 4 are the junior money gods and the money bringing kid and the pair of door gods.  For this particular kitchen god, his schedule is tighter then the one traditionally practice, he departs for the Jade Emperor on the 23rd eve and returns on the 5th hour of the New Years day.

W100xD80xH200mm, China

This is a gold plated figure of the God of Wealth General Zhao Gong Ming worshiped by the Taoist.  The figure is well known to be in armour, one hand holding a piece of gold, the other a silver whip and riding on a black tiger.  Legend had it that originally there were 1o suns, they blasted the earth, Hou Yi was asked to shoot down all of them but one.  The 9 suns became demons, 8 of them revenged and brought about sickness but one of them Zhao became human.  He was trained and attained the power to fight plague, as a reward for his hard work he was made god and in charge of the wealth of the world. You might also known him as one of the door god icon.

wood block printW410xL690mm, China

This is a Yang Liu Qing print on the subject of “Searching for Plum Blossoms in the Snow”.  The phrase is generally used to described scholars appreciation and effort with poety.  The old man on the donkey is Meng Hao Ran, a Tang dynasty poety; he is known to have gotten his inspiration from ploughing through the snow on the  Ba Qiao Bridge in Xian.

yang liu qingL1140xH660mm, China

This Yang Liu Qing print is about the story “Wenji Reurning to Han”.

Wenji, was the daughter of the scholar Cai Yong, equally well learnt she was tributed to have revived some important ancient literature that was lost during the war.  Wenji though has a rather tough life; her first husband Wei passed away and during the war she was kidnapped by the Huns tribe and made to be the queen of the Hun king.  The king treated her well, they had children and soon Wenji though missing home was well settled in Hun.

Meanwhile her father Cai Yong was jailed and died for his support of a declined politician.  The story would have ended here if  emperor Cao Cao has not suddenly missed his friend Cai Yong and thought of his daughter.  Emperor Cao requested for her return to Han, though unwilling the Hun king dared not disobey and reluctantly send the mother of his child home to Han.  Feeling the sorrow as she departed her Hun family, Wenji wrote the poem “Eighteen Stanzas for a Barbarian Reed Leaf Pipe”

Happy to see her, Emperor Cao Cao felt bad that she is all alone and without a family so he arranged for her to be wedded to an official named Dong.  Unfortunately, Dong committed some crime and received a death sentence.  Wenji fearing she will lose yet another husband went to see Cao Cao and begged for his pardon.  Moved by her action, Cao Cao ordered for Dong’s release and chatted with her about her father’s literature.  Wenji told him that all the 4000 odd books were destroyed during the war but she could still recite 400 out of the 4000. Cao Cao was excited to record the lost literature and Wenji wrote them down word for word.

Click here to see our other Yang Liu Qing prints.

Yang Liu Qing

W1150xH670mm, China

This old Yang Liu Qing print, depicted a scene from a Tang dynasty poem, 商山早行 Morning Journey At Shang Shan.

晨起动征铎,客行悲故乡。
鸡声茅店月,人迹板桥霜。
槲叶落山路,枳花明驿墙。
因思杜陵梦,凫雁满回塘。

After a restless night thinking of my home town, I woke up with the hurrying bells of the inn.
The rooster crow at the frailing moon, on the frost cover bridge left the footprints of the travelers.
The down hill road is covered by wilting plants, orange flower shines out on the inn wall.
Seeing the sunrise, I thought of my dreams of ansers returning to the pond, maybe too I can see my family soon.

The people on the print, however, described another story;

人家骑马我骑驴,回头再看推车汉,比上不足 比下有余!

I ride a donkey and look up to those who ride a horse, but looking at the cart pusher I feel content.