Search results for: "shou"

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W260 X H350mm, China

After the description from yesterday’s post, would you be able to tell whom these Gods are?

The two prints are of the same theme, Fu shou and Xi (Blessing, longevity and happiness).  This particular print is from the school of Zhuxian which are characterized by bolder lines, vivid colours and more dramatic composition.  The school of Zhuxian is recognized as one of the 4 main schools of Chinese wood block printing.  The print from yesterday’s post with finer lines, more detail description and paler colours are from Yangjiabu school, one of the most popular school in the Ming and Qing dynasty.

It is interesting to compare two prints of the same theme and see how the artisan depicts the prints, almost like saying the same phrase with two different dialect.

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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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

P1040739a

W600xH170mm, China

A phrase of blessing, 福壽無疆 “Fu Shou Wu Jiang”, good fortune and longevity without limit.

On the print are 4 fruits (from right to left); the Buddha’s hand fruit, the peach, large fruit and the pomegranate, they are also symbol of blessings.

Buddha’s Hand Fruit 佛手 – the fortune hand 福手 as they share the same pronounciation “Fu Shou”.
Longevity Peach 壽桃- the magical peaches that produce longevity.
Large Fruit 碩果- the rare individual that made large achievements.
Pomegranate 石榴 – the many seeds of the pomegranate symbolizes many sons.

This new year print was from the Ping Yang school which started print making since the Sung dynasty.  This print is by one of the famous print shop 興昌畫店 in Lin Fin Town.

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.

clay toy

 W100xH100xD25mm, China

A figurine of a cute chubby girl holding her pekingese dog, she is no ordinary girl but A-Fu the giant child and what she is toying with is no pet dog but a fierce lion.  She and her boy friend has been send to earth to protect us from beasts that has been threatening the villagers in ancient time.  (It would seem that the human are a more a threat to the wild life today and they should turn around and offer them protection instead.)

Click here to see our other A Fu.

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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

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W600 X H170mm, China

This rooster wood block print ,being horizontal and elongated in shape, is a special type of print that is used for the decoration of the top of the window frame.
Click here to find out more about wood block print for window frame.

It is an ancient tradition to decorate windows with roosters painting, in the Han dynasty fortune forecast book  it was recorded that on the first day of Chinese new year the fortune of the rooster should be cast, second day for the dog, third day for the pig, fourth day the goat, fifth day the cow, sixth day the horse.  it is not until the seventh day that we should tell the fortune of the human.  The rooster being the first animal might have came from it presumed ability to call up the sun with its crow, a sign of life from the darkness.

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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W60xD40xH90mm, China

A little clay figurine dressed in red and holding a fish.

This toy embedded many of the wishes that the parents would want for their child.
On his vest is the word “shou” 壽 – longevity,
while the fish 魚 “yu” shares the same sound as 余 “yu” – plentiful.

In the old days, when life is harsh, staying alive and having enough to survive on is a hope for the future.  These words of blessing are often found in wood block prints, pottery, embroidery, wood carvings and even the name for dishes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADIA200xH230mm, China

While you are getting tangerine and kamquat for X’mas, get an extra portion of kamquat and preserve them.

 The Chinese believe that the salted kamquat is a natural remedy for any throat irritation or ailment.  Here is the recipe;

  1. soaked the kamquat in a bowl of water with a handful of salt for 10mins, washed, rinse and dry
  2. blanch the kamquat in boiling water (dont over cook them)
  3. put in a sieve and let dry for a day
  4. stir fried some ginger slices with salt
  5. place a layer of kamquat at the bottom of the jar, cover with a layer of sea salt
  6. repeat until the jar is full or when you run out of kamquat
  7. seal the top of the jar with a piece of a paper and tied it to the mouth of the jar
  8. place the jar in a cool dark dry place
  9. the kamquat will be ready in a couple of days, but as usual the longer it is kept, the better the effect
  10. to use; put a preserved kamquat in a cup, topped with boiling water and give the kamquat a squeeze with a spoon.

While typing this, I wonder if I should try a sweet version with cinnamon and sugar this year ….