Archives for posts with tag: crane

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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

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAW50xD40xH140mm, Hong Kong

This figurine belonged to the Tanka tribe, a group who lived on junks by the bay and fish for a living.  In the Guangdong area, it said that their junks used to be tied together which stretches a mile long.  As time goes by, with development along the coastline, better living offer on land, most and almost all of the junks have disappeared.

This is an ancestor figurine of a middle ranking female, the crane symbolizes a departure from this world like the saints.

golden wood carvingL210xD35xH100mm, China

The character in this golden wood carving is known as Lin Bu, a poet in the North Sung dynasty, he is surrounded by plum blossoms and there is a crane by his side.  Lin led a hermetic life on a small hill at the West Lake in Huangzhou, never setting foot in the city, he found company with the monks whom he would visit with his small boat.  Lin also admire plum blossoms which he planted around his hut, this also inspired him to write poems about them.  Lin also kept a couple of cranes for company.  It is said that if he got unexpected guests visiting while he is out on his boat, the cranes would flew to him, hoover above his boat and gave him his message.  Lin was never married, the plum blossom being his wife and the crane his sons, this phrase 梅妻鶴子 (Mei Qi He Zi) became a description for a hermetic life.

dish with spoutDIA150xH40, China

A flat dish with a spout.

This is one of the items in the shop that I have problem finding out its use.

Spout – suggest the use for pouring out liquid, powder or beads?
Blue and white under glaze –  suggest a clear liquid (verse ink) so pattern can be appreciated?
Heavy & flat – suggest not intended to be handle often (unlike a teapot)?

If anyone has any idea how this item was intended to be used, please let me know!

If you are interested in solving puzzles, check out the other curious items; A Jade Tool, Paper Lacquered Tray.

Now back to the pattern; clouds and crane.  It is a popular ceramic pattern, it is believe that the crane is a mythical bird and symbolizes longevity.

W40xD50xH130mm, Macau

This is an old figurine worshiped by the fisherman on the junk boats of Hong Kong, it is one of the ancestral saints – Crane Riding Mother Saint, a figurine representing the female ancestors.  It is believe that ancestors would protect the fisherman at sea.  In Taoism, the Taoist saints be believe to travel around by riding a crane.

See our other entry of the Junk Boat Gods;
Tanka Wooden Effigy, Junk Boat God (god?), Junk Boat God