Archives for posts with tag: gourd

wood block printW600xL1750mm, China

This birthday print is filled with blessing symbols –

God of Longevity who is holding a cane on one hand and the Buddha’s hand fruit on the other hand.
The lady of behind is Ma Gu, the female God of Longevity with a basket full of magical plants.  Unlike the God of Longevity who has an appearance of an old man with a protruding forehead, Ma Gu is portrayed as a beautiful girl in her late teens.  In the legend, every year on the 3rd of lunar March, on the birthday of the Queen Mother of the West, Ma Gu will give her best wishes.
Lastly, the child saint carrying a basket full of longevity peaches, also a well known theme for birthday blessings.

Unlike the birthday scroll being a respectable birthday present for the elderly lady that would be held around birthday time, this is a Mian Zhu new year print that is pasted on the wall on Chinese New Year and to be replaced yearly.


sake gourdDIA70xH130mm, Japan

For the Asian Folkcraft Event, we have from Soil a Sake hyotan container with its own cup!  A more poetic version of the whisky flask.

Hyotan (Gourd) is a symbol of good luck.  This Japanese hyotan gourd is used as handy sake vessel, and complete with a stopper and a ceramic sake cup.  The cup is delicately made, and has a hand painted and gilded decoration depicting a village scene, with a traditional Japanese architecture and pine trees in the background.

Watch this video and find out how gourd could become so useful for wilderness survival.

Here are other gourd items in the shop;
Large Gourd, Small Gourd, Gourd Cricket Cage, Gourd Basket.

large gourd 1

W180xD180xH600mm, China

There is small gourd and large gourd.  The Chinese has a strong endearment for the gourd, there are many legends and tales about the fruit and here is one of them.

In ancient time, some earthlings has angered the Jade Emperor, an order was place for the Thunder God to have the human exterminated, all the land was to be flooded.  The Thunder God was worried that his own children would be killed by the flood, he gave his son Fu Hsi a gourd and asked him to plant it on the ground.  As soon as the gourd touches the soil, in a couple of hours the roots formed, then sprout came out, followed by branches and gourd fruits.  By night, the gourd has a girth the size of a small room.  A few more hours later, the fruit was ripened, Fu Hsi and his sister Nu Wa cut a lid into the gourd and put all their garments and food inside.  Fu Hsi tried to save the people around him but no one listened, at the end only Nu Wa and himself  climbed inside the gourd and closed the lid tightly.  Within an hour, the rain has started pouring and it lasted for 9 days and nights.  The two stayed there inside the floating gourd until the roaring sound has stopped, Fu Hsi opened the lid and looked outside and there is nothing left but miles of water without edge.

This gourd is not quite as large but still got Spike intrigued.

Here are our other gourd items; Gourd Cricket Cage, Gourd Basket.

DIA60xH130mm, China

After 2 entries about gourd (Gourd Basket, Gourd Cricket Cage), here is a small gourd of the ordinary and natural “8” shape.  Tiny gourds have long been appreciated since the Tang dynasty, Gao Lian in his “Interesting Things To be Appreciated at Leisure Hours” talks about tiny gourds that are only about 25mm in size that one can use as cape   button.  This gourd though not so tiny has a good proportion.

DIA100xH220mm, China

This cute little man is in fact a gourd!  It doesnt have the normal “8” shape (see entry Small Gourd) as it was been formed with the string bounded technique.  When the gourd is still green and tender, a string is fastened to it tightly, the string is use as a guide and restriction for its growth, by the time when it is ripe and fully grown a certain shape is formed.  This reminded me some of Araki Nobuyoshi’s work, perhaps both has a feeling of manipulation and distortion.  The drawing on the gourd is done by a technique known as heat engraving; a metal needle is inserted into a large joss stick (finger thick), the joss stick is then lighted up, using the heat the score skin of on the air dried fruit, creating a mark.  The heat can be lowered by clipping away portion of the burning joss stick.  There are different needles for different lines and shade; mainly, the pointed set for lines, horse shoe shape set for shading and knife shape for smoother lines.  Now the function of this little man, its a toy cricket cage for children to keep their pets.  The man will be at a headstand position with the lid on top, the shape of the gourd will give a resonance for the song of the crickets.

For the bamboo cage, see entry cricket cage

DIA150xH300mm, China

Gourd is kind of squash, its latin name is Lagenaria Siceraria, traditionally the Chinese view it as an icon of blessing.  It has been with the Chinese culture for a long long time, its seeds were found at a Zhe Jiang 5000BC archaeological site, the hollowed out dried skin is probably the first liquid container used before pottery and bronze.  It is also commonly used in the old days to store medicine, there is an old say, “wonder what kind of potion is stored in this gourd” meaning a suspicion of someone up to something.

The gourd used for the basket is not of the common “8” shape (see entry Small Gourd) form but a more rounded shape, which is a species from Japan.

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