Archives for posts with tag: 8 immortals

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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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W560xH340mm, China

Every year on the birthday of the Queen Mother of the West, 3rd of lunar March, there will be a peach party and all the saints will be invited and feast on special peaches.  A bite of these magic peaches will make one immortal but there are extremely rare, they take 3000 years to flower, 3000 to bare fruits and another 3000 years to ripe.

In the middle of the wood block print is the Queen Mother with two of female saints by her sides.  Below, holding a bowl full of peaches is the Monkey King who mischievously stole some of the peaches.  On the left side of the Monkey King is the God of longevity with his deer on the Monkey’s right.  The crane by the God of longevity is saint Dong Fang Shuo who was so obsessed with tasting the magic peaches that he turned into a crane in order to be nearer to the peach. The 8 saints joining the party are Eight Immortals –  from (left to right, top to bottom) are Philosopher Han Xiang Zi (with the xiao pipe), Philosopher Han Xiang Zi, Lan Cai He (with magic basket), Leader Lu Dong Bin (with sword), Royal Uncle Cao Guo Jiu (with castanets),  Iron-Crutch Tie Guai Li,  Immortal lady He Zian Gu (with magic lotus) and Elder Zhang Guo Lao.  Click here to see the symbolism of the magic tools.

This word block print will make an ideal birthday present.

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

MOUNTAIN FOLKCRAFT
CHINESE WOOD BLOCK PRINT COLLECTION

snuff bottleW45xD45xH75mm, China

A snuff bottle decorated with 8 treasures used by the Taoisit 8 Immortals, “An Ba Xian”.

Gourd – Iron Crutch Li
Fan – Han Zhong Li
Fish Drum – Elder Zheng Guo
Sword – Lu Dong Bin
Lotus – He Xian Gu
Basket of Flower – Lan Cai He
Flute – Philosopher Han Xiang Zi
Castanet – Royal Uncle Cao

These 8 treasures have special powers;

Gourd – saving the world
Fan – resurrection
Fish Drum – prediction
Sword – keep evil at bay
Lotus – purification of the soul
Basket of Flower – direct line to the Saints
Flute – revitalizing all creatures
Castanet – purifying the world

When I was writing this, I thought the Gourd being able to save the world would be all that we need, but writing on all the other 7 treasures are even more powerful.  For the world we live in now, we need the Castanet more than ever.

8 immortalsDIA165mm, China

The figurines on this necklace used to be the ornaments of a child’s hat.  A special hat would be made for the child’s birth, 100 days celebration and the first birthday.  The hat is seen as a blessing for the child, depending on the gender, family social status, the design of the hat varies.

The gold plated enamel ornaments would have belongs to a hat of a wealth family.  The 9 figurines are the 8 Immortals (one either side) + the god of Longevity (in the middle).  The 8 Immortals are; Iron-Crutch Tie Guai Li, Philosopher Han Xiang Zi, Elder Zhang Guo Lao, Lan Cai He, Immortal Woman He Zian Gu, Leader Lu Dong Bin, Han Zhong Li and Royal Uncle Cao Guo Jiu, they are Taoist saints who are not very powerful and have a few human frailties.  One of the many stories of the 8 Immortals is about their birthday wishes for the Queen Mother of the West and thus the appearance is associated with birthdays and blessings.

Here is a clip from the Xiang opera “8 Immortals birthday wishes for the Queen Mother of the West”

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