Archives for posts with tag: monkey king

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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

paintingW260xL750mm, China

This painting consists of illustration of the epic Ming dynasty novel “Journey To The West” which is described the journey monk Xuan Zang and his three disciples Sun Wu Kong (monkey), Zu Ba Jie (pig) and  Sha Jing (saint banished to the mortal world) took to the West to find the holy scripts.

I remembered as a child, the novel has been an entire summer’s entertainment.
Here is one of the many adventure described in the book.

print

W220xL300mm, China

The title of this wood block print is called “Buddha of the West Sky”, referring to Siddhattha Gotama of India.  The idea of the West Sky is complex, in the early days the sun is believed to be a godly object; raising from the east, watching us on the day and going away and setting on the west.  It is believed that while we sleeping the sun will be watching over in the west sky.  With Buddhism introduced to China from India, a country to the south west, India, the West Sky, is the place where the truth, the important scripts are.  Monks, notably Xuanzang (depicted in the novel the Monkey King), went to India to find enlightenment.  The West Sky symbolizes a cleansed soul and mind, a nirvana world.

W140xH170mm, Indonesia

This is a mask used for the Kecak trance dance in Bali, it is also know as the monkey chant.  The chant is performed by 150 men during which the Ramayana epic will be performed by masked dances.  In the Ramayana legend, the monkey king Vanara helped Rama to save his wife Sita from the demon Ravana.

For our other monkey mask, check out previous entry:
Monkey Topeng, Korean Monkey Mask, Monkey Mask.

W150xH200mm, Indonesia

This is the Java mask for the Ramayana epic character Sugriwa , the king of the monkeys.  The monkey kingdomm Kishkindha was ruled by Bali, Sugriwa’s brother, one day a demon came to challenge a fight with Bali.  Seeing blood from the demon’s mouth and that Bali not returning, Sugriwa thought his brother has died and took over the kingdom.  Bali however returned unharmed and suspected Sugriwa has betrayed him, took Sugriwa’s wife Tara and banished him from the kingdom.  During his exile, Sugriwa made friends with Rama whose wife Sita was captured by the demon Rakshasas.  Sugriwa and Rama made a deal to help each other, Sugriwa to take revenge of Bali and Rama to save his wife.  Sugriwa challenged Bali and a fight started, midway Sugriwa’s counsellor Hanuman to place Garland of flower around Sugriwa’s neck.  Rama took the chance and shoot Bali at the heart.  After Bali’s death, Sugriwa took over the kingdom and forgot about the promise with Rama.  Rama’s brother Lakshmana was upset and was planned to destroy the monkey kingdom and to kill Sugriwa.  Luckily Tara reconciled Rama and Sugriwa.  Hanuman found out the location of Sita and with joint forces Sita was free.