Archives for posts with tag: guan yu

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W220 X H300mm, China

The God that Aid the Heaven.

He is actually General Guan of the 3 Kingdom period, famous for his tanned face loyalty and bravery, the title God that Aid the Heaven was one of the many titles that was attributed to him by the Taoists.

There are a temple in Sai Kung particularly for worshiping the God that Aid the Heave, click here for direction.

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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W45xH90mm, China

This is a glove puppet head for the character Guan Yu.

One of the heros in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Guan Yu was the loyal general of the warlord Lui Bei.  With the help of Guan, Lui Bei later formed the Han Dynasty and unified China.

Guan Yu is portrayed with having a red face, 9 feet tall with a 2 feet long beard and eyes of a pheonix.  A powerful and masculine figure.  Aside from his bravery, Guan Yu is known for his loyalty.

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W410xH550mm, China

This is a Wei Fong school wood block print.
The Wei Fong school of the Shan Dong province began in the late Ming dynasty and flourished in the Qing dynasty.  Known for the bold composition and the reflection of life with humor.  The wooden stencil of this print was carved by the artisan Zhao Lan Peng of the Wei Fong New Year Print Studio in the 80s.

The subject of the print is Guan Yu, the red face general of the 3 Kingdom period.  In the novel, “Romance of the Three Kingdoms”, General Guan took on loyal and fearless character which is worshipped by the police and the triads alike.

clay toyW150xD40xH200mm, China

Characters from the Beijing Opera (which is a collection of legendary stories in itself) are made into toys.  I suppose the its no difference now with Buzz Lightyear and the Woody action character, an hero friend you can keep in the pocket.

This is Guan Yu, the hot blooded general of Liu Bei in the Three Kingdoms era (200BC), the character is made popular by the historic novel “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” (published 1350) where he is described as 9 feet tall with a 2 feet long beard, a date colour face and red lips, eyes of a phoenix, silkworm like eyebrow and above all loyal and dignify.

Not only is he a favorite character for the kids,  he can also liked by the adults, taking on the role as the God of Wealth.  In praise for his loyalty, in Hong Kong Guan Yu is also worshiped by the police and Triads alike.

money god printW300xH380mm, China

Today, the fifth day of the Chinese New Year, is the day to welcome God of Wealth.  Traditionally, early in the day one will heard drums and gongs, fire crackers from the shops as well as a fest of food to invite the God of Wealth for visit, some might even go through the trouble of  welcoming him early in the night so to make sure he will not be going anywhere else.

On this new year print there are 2 Gods of Wealth, one academic and one martial.  The god of wealth is a title, it is not attributed to a single saint but a handful of saints.  The Academic God of Wealth has the task of delivering wealth and commonly refers to Fan Li and Bi Gan, both a loyal and wealth character who helps out with country and the poor.  The Martial God of Wealth is responsible for safe guarding the wealth, they are General Zhao Gong Ming and General Guan Yu, both legendary fighters.

See our other God of Wealth.

L1200xH700mm, China

For those of you who has followed the recent historical comedy soap on TVB, here is a new year print from the yang liu qing school depicting the same story (minus the satire).  This story is set in the San Gou period, it was a time when China was divided into 3 separate kingdoms , a time after the corrupted East Han dynasty, warring period that lasted for almost 100 years.

Briefly the 3 kingdoms are;
WEI – led by East Han chancellor Cao Cao, adviser Sima Yi
WU – led by Sun Quan, adviser Zhou Yu
SHU – led by Liu Bei, general Guan Yu, Zhang Fei and Zhao Yun, adviser Zhu Ge Liang

The Return to Jing Zhou

Sun Quan and Zhou Yu (WU) set up a plan to get Liu Bei (SHU) to hand over his strong hold Jing Zhou.  Sun Quan has a beautiful sister, he proposed to Liu Bei for a marriage to his sister, a union of the 2 kingdoms. Liu Bei in return would have to go to WU for the wedding.  This is a proposal Liu Bei cannot lightly turn down for the sake of his kingdom.  Sun Quan however has no real intention of marrying his sister to his enemy, he would wanted to capture Liu Bei and and force him to hand over his kingdom.  Luckily before Liu Bei’s departure, his wizard adviser Zhu Ge Liang see through the trick and handed 3 notes to Zhao Yun and asked him to escort Liu Bei to Wu.  When Liu Bei crossed to Wu he opened the first note, it asked Liu Bei to visit the father in law of Sun Quan.  Impressed by Liu Bei and thinking that a union of the 2 kingdoms is a good idea from Sun Quan, the in law asked for Sun Quan’s mother for her approval for the marriage.  The empress dowager agreed and the marriage went ahead.  Sun Quan found out he has lost his sister, set out to detained Liu Bei in Wu.  Liu Bei opened the second note, it asked for a faked report that Jing Zhou was being attacked by now their common enemy Cao Cao (WEI).  Having a great excuse, Liu Bei together with his newly married wife and his men left Wu for Jing Zhou.  Sun Quan found out and had his general went after them.  Liu Bei then opened his third note, in the note it asked him to leave the defense to his wife.  Now in love with Liu Bei, the princess gave the general a hard time and refused to return to Wu.  When Liu Bei returned to Jing Zhou, Sun Quan’s army was confronted by Liu Bei’s general Zhang Fei and badly defeated.

Here goes the idiom, “lost the lady and  the army” (making double lost without any gain)

In this yang liu qing school print, we have from the left Liu Bei, Zhao Yun, maid 1, Princess Quan, maid 2, Guan Yu and lastly Zhang Fei

The story was also a very known script for the Beijing opera, here is a part of the opera.  The opera singers were the master of masters, the leading dan role was performed by Mr. Mei Lan Fang (in the past all roles are played by male artists).