Archives for posts with tag: goldfish


bowlDIA120xH50mm, China

This pair of octagonal bowls are decorated with goldfish, a traditional blessing symbol.  Gold 金 (Jin) Fish 魚 (Yu), the word “fish” shares the same pronunciation with the word surplus 餘 (Yu).  A lot of chinese decoration symbols follow the play of homophone, these might all be a bit superstitious and arbitrary but in the days of old rural China when  life is hard, these kind of blessing is an expression hope for a better life.  Even in today’s world, these kind of subtle tradition carries on e.g. in Hong Kong, an Empty 空(Hung) Residence 宅 (Zaak) would be call a Blessed 吉(Ji) Residence, as the word “emtpy” 空(Hung) has the same pronunciation as 兇 (Hung) – a murder house.  Changing a word that make no sense to the original meaning just for the sake of avoiding a bad homophone.

Anyway, ain’t these goldfish the cutest?!


DIA75 x H50mm, China

This item selected by Furze for the Something Old Something New exhibition and is available at both Mountain Folkcraft and Soil.

These pair of cups has a brown glazing (known as the soy sauce glaze) and internally a hand painted blue and white porcelain goldfish pattern.  The goldfish pattern is a traditional Chinese pottery decoration; the word goldfish (金魚) and the word gold & jade (金玉) are heterographs (same pronunciation, but different meaning and spelling), a bowl full of golden fish is hence a house of wealth.

And here is the ultimate goldfish in a bowl by Riusuke Fukahori

DIA110xH70mm, China

Today is the 15th day of the Chinese New Year, Yuan Xiao, a day which denotes a lot of events;
– First full moon of the new year
– End of the Chinese New Year celebration
– Chinese valentine’s day
– Lantern’s festival

It is traditional to have a rice dumpling soup on the day and to solve the lantern riddle.
Here is the recipe for the rice dumpling soup (also known as Yuan Xiao)


For the dumpling (make 10 dumpling)

  • 110g glutinous rice flour
  • 100g water
  • 25g black seasame seed
  • 25g sugar
  • 1.25 tbs butter (the traditional version is to use lard)

For the soup

  • 625ml water
  • 40g sugar brown sugar bar
  • 3 slices of ginger
  1. Heat the sesame seed in a pan in medium heat (keep stirring) until popping
  2. Grind the cooled sesame seed in a blender or mortar
  3. In a heated pan, melt the sugar, butter and blend in the sesame paste, then put in the fridge
  4. For the skin dough, mix the rice flour with water, knead until  it is no stick to the hand
  5. Make 10 little balls with the dough, take 1 ball, flatten it  and make a slight dent, put the sesame stuffing in and lightly let the dough envelop in the stuffing and shape the dumpling into a ball again
  6. Make the sweet soup by adding the 3 items in a saucepan and boil till the sugar dissolved
  7. In other large pan of boiling water, add in the dumpling, they will start to float when they are cooked
  8. Put a couple of dumpling in a bowl of sweet soup, enjoy!


Here is a lantern riddle to go with your dumpling soup (now all you need is to find a valentine and a lantern …)


(guess an animal)

The bowl presented here is in fact a tea bowl (blue and white porcelain with painted goldfish), its a brewing and drinking bowl for individual enjoyment.  Hot water is added to the tea leaves in the bowl, rinse and drained (use the lid to retain the tea leave).  A second round of hot water is added and brew for 10 minutes.  The lid is opened for appreciation of the scent and the colour of the tea, it is then close again with a small small opening.  Tea is slowly sipped out from the gap.

(answer to the riddle – frog)

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