Archives for posts with tag: longevity

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W400 X H280mm, China

The phrase 五福同堂 (5 Blessings within the Family) is a common Chinese well wishes.  Do you know that the 5 blessings are?

The 5 blessings are;
– longevity
– wealth
– health
– humanity
– a dignify death

As the word “blessing” 福 has the same sound as the word “bat” 蝠.  One could often found bats as a decorative elements and most of the time, 5 of them.

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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W370 X H650mm, China

The recent generations of the Chinese are familiar with the Gods – Fu Lu Shou, the trio that stood in the prime location of the living room almost like an alter piece.  Its only recently that I discovered that they are no a trio but a group of five!  Nowadays rarely seen together, the five are made up of Fu, Lu, Shou, Xi and Cai.

Fu – God of Blessing – dressed in red robe holding large “ru yi” scepter
Lu – God of Fortune – holding a decree from the Emperor
Shou – God of Longevity – old man holding cane and peach
Xi – God of Happiness – holding a kid
Cai – God of Wealth – holding golden ingot

In this print, the trio are Fu in the middle with Shou on the right and Xi on the left.

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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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

File-8---DW-006-一團和氣W450xH680mm, China

On the top of the print is a hanging bat symbolizing the arrival of blessing.  The word upside down (倒) “dao” shares the same pronunciation as the word arrived (到) “dao”, while word bat (蝠) “fu” with the word blessing (福) “fu”.

Hanging on the mouth of the bat is a Buddha’s hand fruit, a symbol of happiness and a peach which symbolizes longevity.

This rounded figure is known as “yi tuan he qi” – Harmony, which is a blessing for oneself, the family, the country to the world at large.

The figure originally comes from the painting of the same title by the Ming emperor, Zhu Jian Shen, featuring the Maitreya in a lotus meditation pose.  On closer look, there are 2 scholars on either side smiling at each other with their knee touching.  The Maitreya embraces the 2 scholars with his head bend, revealing his bald head.  The 3, Buddhist, Taoist and Confucius are in harmony with each other.

一團和氣

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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W60xD40xH90mm, China

A little clay figurine dressed in red and holding a fish.

This toy embedded many of the wishes that the parents would want for their child.
On his vest is the word “shou” 壽 – longevity,
while the fish 魚 “yu” shares the same sound as 余 “yu” – plentiful.

In the old days, when life is harsh, staying alive and having enough to survive on is a hope for the future.  These words of blessing are often found in wood block prints, pottery, embroidery, wood carvings and even the name for dishes.

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L280xW80xH20mm, China

A cookie mould of – a mushroom, a pomegranate and a fan.

You might find the combination a bit odd;
the mushroom is ganoderma, a type of wood fungi which is believed to give longevity, a saintly plant,
pomegrante, the whole fruit being just seeds is a symbol of fertility,
the fan is a symbol of a scholar, they are often hang on the wall to give a blessing for the family to have a scholar.

So in fact, the three items are a representation of the famous Fu Lu Shou,

Amongst the unique pottery, you will also find Mountain Folkcraft’s collection at the Cobo Ceramic Workshop X’mas Sale.

COBO CERAMIC WORKSHOP
1/F Fortune Court, 33 Morrison Hill Road, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong

5 – 9 Dec 2014 (Fri – Tue)
13:00-20:00

hat

DIA150xH70mm, China

This is a hat for the new born baby, a blessing from the mother.

Three different fruits are embroidered on the top of the hat (click on the links for more stories about the symbolism);
Peach – symbolizes longevity,
Promegranate – symbolizes fertility,
Buddha’s Finger – symbolizes happiness.

Embroidered n the back flap are the symbols of;
the word “壽” – longevity,
– “Swastika” – luck,
Double Bat – double blessing.

All the good thoughts from the mother to the child.

dishDIA200xH100mm, China

A wash bowl from the past.

The painting on the bowl of an old man and a child with a background of plum blossom and pine tree.  The words around the bowl describe a time of meeting and the wishes for the other to be affluent and a long life, seems to be by the same hand.   Could it be a gift from the pottery to his friend or was it a commission work.  It would be quite funny if I were to present a wash basin at someone’s birthday party.

wine cupDIA60xH50mm, China

A small wine cup with the word “壽” – longevity.

With every sip, every bottoms up, every toast, may we wish you good health and longevity!

golden wood carving

L230xD30xH90mm, China

This golden wood carving makes a perfect birthday present.

The four figurines are full of blessing, Fu Lu Shou and Ma Gu.  They are all Taoist saints, representing blessings and happiness.

Fu (far right) – the planet Jupiter which was also attributed to Yang Cheng of the West Han period.  Yang, after being nominated to be the Daozhou official, abolished the practice of present contribution to the Emperor, relieving the stain for the people and therefore seen as a blessing.

Lu (left of Fu) – god of prosperity.  The stars Ursa Majoris humanized as Zhang Xian of the Shu dynasty, a brave general who was respected by the Emperor and worshiped by the people.

Shou (left of Lu) – god of longevity.  The stars of Canopus, translated as Peng Zu who is believed to have livd to an age of 767!!

Lady (at the far left) is Ma Gu, goddess of longevity – with the appearance still being in her teens, she has witnessed 3 times the sea turned into fields (judging its not from any dramatic climatic changes, she has been around for a long long time).  Her immortality and her yearly birthday tribute to the Queen Mother of the West is seen as a blessing and so Ma Gu is a popular subject for pritns, figurines, embroidery and alike.