Archives for posts with tag: beijing

wood carving

W70xD50xH140mm, China

This wood carving is depicting the event of the top scholar of the year, Zhuang Yuan, a parade showing off his achievement.  Early on the Chinese has established a strong examination system for the selection of her court officials.  The procession started inside the Jin Luan Dian, one of the three main courts of the forbidden city, this is here the Emperor will announce the top 3 scholars, their name will be sang out.  After thanking the Emperor, the Zhuang Yuan will depart the Jin Luan Dian, passing the Tai He Men, Wu Men, Duan Men, Cheng Tian Men, Ta Ming Men then head back to Chang An Zho Men to exit the forbidden city and continue his celebratory journey home.  Chang An Zho Men, now demolished, is the single entrance for “non-emperor”.  On the day of the results, after names of the Zhuang Yuan and others have been sang out in Jin Luan Dian, their names will be written on two yellow piece of paper, one to be kept as a record inside the court and the other larger piece to be posted inside a a temporary scaffolding hut outside Chang An Zho Men.  The examination system was a attempt to find the most capable regardless of the social background, it is similar the Chinese legend of the carps jumping up the sky in belief that they will become dragons.  For this the Chang An Zho Men (left door by Chang An Street) is also known as the Dragon Gate.

See the journey on map.

wood carving

Click here to see a embroidery version of this theme and below is a puppet version.

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DIA280xH150mm, China

This bronze bowl is engraved with pattern of flowers and the blessed kirin; the art of bronze engraving was first founded in the Spring and Autumn period (722-476BC), it was then used to document important events and notables.  The craft of bronze engraving is most popular in Beijing where all the famous engravers reside,  these craftmen are also known for their calligraphy and seal engravings.

Just found out from goggling about bronze bowl that bronze is suppose to help with curing vitiligo, hmm, wonder if i should bring the bowl back and give it a try.  Will keep you updated on the progress.

W100xD50xH130mm, China

This is no Easter bunny but the famous Lord Rabbit.  It is a toy for the Mid Autumn (full moon) festival in the Beijing area.  The Lord Rabbit figurine first appeared in the late Ming dynasty, it was mainly used for worshipping by the younger generations.  It is believed that Chang E, the moon goddess, has a pet rabbit who is whiter than white jade as he was named as the Jade Rabbit.  The Jade Rabbit was specialised in preparing the medicine (you might have seen images of him stirring the medicinal pot on the moon).  Jade Rabbit worshipping has then been taken into moon worship and since rabbit has been kept as a household pet, out of respect for the Jade Rabbit god he was worshipped as the Lord Rabbit.  By Qing dynasty Lord Rabbit has turned into a toy for the Mid Autumn festival.  The folk story goes; once Beijing was infected by plague, almost all the household got sick, the moon goddess was sadden by the news and sent the Jade Rabbit to help cure the capital.  At each household he healed he would turned down any gifts but instead borrow a new set of clothing.  With the new clothing he would assume a different image for the next household, sometimes a female, sometimes a general etc.  He would also take on different animals for transportation; a deer, a tiger, a horse etc., hence there are many different versions of his figurines.

W80xL100mm, China
(If you see this image on an iphone, that will be close to the actual size.  This embroidery is very small)

This is a piece of typical Beijing style embroidery with the use of the Da Zi stitch which is a specific to the Beijing embroidery.  With the Da Zi stitch each stitch is required to be of the same size, spacing and height, this demand a embroider to be able to use the same pressure for each stitch and to know where each stitch should be located.  The Beijing style embroidery uses Da Zi stitch as a colour shade filler, each stitch is looped individually.  The Beijing style embroidery work is labourious; in 1 sq cm, there would be 150 Da Zi stitches!