Archives for posts with tag: painting


L250xH130xD60mm, China

A golden lacquered wood carving of the blessed symbols.

Flower – Wealth
Pomegranate (right) – Fertility
Books (behind flower) – Intellect
Painting (behind books) – Scholarly
Gu Qin, musical instrument (right of flower) – Peacefulness


mirror paintingW320xH420mm, China

A mirror painting of a still life.

Though unintentional by the artist, there is something rather modern about the painting; the lack of shadow, the flatten objects, the solid colour, lack of detail and the sharp outline of the objects.

 Reminded me of Patrick Caulfield’s work.

yang liu qingL1140xH660mm, China

This Yang Liu Qing print is about the story “Wenji Reurning to Han”.

Wenji, was the daughter of the scholar Cai Yong, equally well learnt she was tributed to have revived some important ancient literature that was lost during the war.  Wenji though has a rather tough life; her first husband Wei passed away and during the war she was kidnapped by the Huns tribe and made to be the queen of the Hun king.  The king treated her well, they had children and soon Wenji though missing home was well settled in Hun.

Meanwhile her father Cai Yong was jailed and died for his support of a declined politician.  The story would have ended here if  emperor Cao Cao has not suddenly missed his friend Cai Yong and thought of his daughter.  Emperor Cao requested for her return to Han, though unwilling the Hun king dared not disobey and reluctantly send the mother of his child home to Han.  Feeling the sorrow as she departed her Hun family, Wenji wrote the poem “Eighteen Stanzas for a Barbarian Reed Leaf Pipe”

Happy to see her, Emperor Cao Cao felt bad that she is all alone and without a family so he arranged for her to be wedded to an official named Dong.  Unfortunately, Dong committed some crime and received a death sentence.  Wenji fearing she will lose yet another husband went to see Cao Cao and begged for his pardon.  Moved by her action, Cao Cao ordered for Dong’s release and chatted with her about her father’s literature.  Wenji told him that all the 4000 odd books were destroyed during the war but she could still recite 400 out of the 4000. Cao Cao was excited to record the lost literature and Wenji wrote them down word for word.

Click here to see our other Yang Liu Qing prints.

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.

bird necklacebird


DIA200mm, China

The pendant of this necklace is the partridge, “Chun”, the Chinese believes that this special bird comes from the same family as the Phoenix.  Looking at the video … its probably a very very distant cousin …

The “Chun” first made its name in the Warring State period as a gourmet dish, by the Tang dyansty it is used in bird fighting.  It made its name by the Sung dynasty as a popular subject for painting.  One might wonder with its physique managed a place  in the subject of the art world.  It has to do with the word “Chun” sounds like “An” which means peace, ease and together with the other elements in the painting symbolizes longevity, settle, etc.  The subject matter extended from Sung dyansty all the way to the Qing dynasty.

W330xH430mm, China

Verre eglomise is a technique which dated back to Roman time as early as 400AD and revived in Europe in varies different centuries.  The French term was attributed by the french decorator Jean-Baptise Glomy who made it popular again in the 18th Century.  Verre eglomise was introduced to China from the west in the Qing dynasty, it quickly took on as a home decorative object for the wealthy and riches.  By the end of the Qing dynasty  it has been adapted as a popular craft form in China, so much that they were also for exports back to Europe.

W900xH2200mm, China

This silk embroidery painting is a traditional gift for birthday of a lady of high social status.  In figure in the embroidery is the saint Ma Gu and the phoenix (queen of all birds) going to give her best wishes the Queen Mother of the West (the supreme head of all female saints) for her birthday.  On the tray that she is going to present to the Queen Mother has a few of the magic peaches which are believed to take 3000 years to flower, 3000 to bare fruits and another 3000 years to ripe, a bite of it will make one immortal.  The peach is a symbol of longevity, it was also featured in God of Longevity.

Unfortunately the closest we can get to the magic peach is through pottery, carving and paintings, but if you would like to try the worldly version, it is known as the Saturn Peach (Prunus persica f. compressa), they will not make you immortal but they are super delicious.

W410xL230, China

Here is a folding fan with the fan leave decorated with a poem and painting by my father.  The poem from the poet Bai Ju Yi, “The Jackdaw’s Nightly Cry”,



The Jackdaw cries for the lost of its mother.
That year it stayed at their forest home; by day and by night.
Every midnight it cried, tears would run down those who heard.
As if it was saying it has not taken care of its mother.
Hundred of birds are without mother but only you are grieving so.
Your mother’s kindness deepens your sorrow.
There was general Wu Qi too busy chasing fortune to attend his mother’s funeral.
These kind of humans are worse than birds.
The Jackdaw is the dutiful son of birds.

Here is a clip of a jackdaw to make up for my bad translation of poem.


W700xH1100mm, China

This is a Chinese new year print of the famous yang liu qing school, different from the new year print from other areas / schools, the yang liu qing prints combined the art of printing and painting in one.  Lines for the painting are first carved out from a piece of wood, black water base ink is then applied on the wood block and printed onto the paper by rubbing.  Once there is a sharp outline of the image, water base colour is then applied, giving varies tones of colour to the print.  Then a thick powder colour is used to give all the details to the painting.  The yang liu qing school began at the end of the Ming dynasty; it brought on the tradition of detail painting of the Sung dynasty and combined it with the printing technique popular in the Ming dynasty giving it an unique appearance.

This print is one print of a pair of door gods (traditional doors in China always comes in pairs), Qin Qiong, the other door will be of  Wei Chi Gong.  The legend of the 2 door gods goes like this; during the Tang dynasty an old dragon made a bet with a fortune teller and violated the law of the heaven.  As a punishment the supreme god Jade Emperor ordered Wei Zheng to have it killed at noon the next day.   Hearing the news, the old dragon went to see the Tang Emperor and begged him to help him, the Tang Emperor agreed.  The next day the Tang Emperor summon Wei Zheng to court and asked him to play a game of Chinese chess with him, hoping that if the game is long enough he will miss the noon execution.  During the long game Wei Zheng dosed off and in his dream he went to kill the dragon.  Not knowing the whole story,  the ghost of the dragon felt bitter that the Tang Emperor did not keep his words and came to haunt the court everyday.  Wei Zheng found out and send 2 generals, Qin Qiong and Wei Chi Gong, to guard the gate of the palace and this scared off the dragon.  The Tang Emperor felt bad that the 2 generals do not get a break and asked artists to make a painting of them to be put on the doors, and this seems to have the same effects, the rumor spread and now the door gods are all over China.

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