Archives for posts with tag: phoenix

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

L430xD60xH110mm, China

This wood carving would have been the center piece of  a furniture.  A pair of phoenix amidst an intricate carving of clouds are flying towards the raising sun.

The phoenix is a pair of mythical birds that symbolizes peace.  These king of birds flying towards the sun represent an expectation of well being to come; a blessing of health, longevity and goodness.

Advertisements

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

DIA150mm, Hong Kong

The jade pendent of this necklace is in the form of a double phoenix pattern.  The phoenix is a mythical bird, symbolizing world peace.  The female phoenix is called feng (鳳); in the oracle bone script the word also mean the wind (風).  The male phoenix is huang (凰), meaning the emperor the supreme being.

Something Old Something New
Collectible Jewellery Collection

W1070xH1180mm, China

A wall hanger embroidery, use for festivities such as birthday for the elders or for new born babies.

The embroidery is full of well wishes;

Blossom of the Four Season Flowers – (Narcissus, Lotus, Chrysanthemum, Plum) representing good fortune all year round.
Dragon & Phoenix – (Dragon a concept of mammals, fish and reptiles while the phoenix of the birds) the combination of the dragon and the phoenix is the totality, the perfect match.
Kirin Delivery of a Baby Boy – (legend of how Confucius was born) and of course every parents would like to have a son as smart as Confucius.
Ru Yi and the Birthday Peach – (man on a horse was holding a scepter and a birthday peach).  The birthday peach representing longevity while the decorative scepter has the name of “as you wish”.

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.

W130xD50xH230mm, China

This figurine is a Shou Shan stone carving, the Shou Shan stone is famous for its wealth of colours, the artist would made use of the colour to form the composition of the carving work, all the carvings are one off piece of artwork.

The warrior of this carving is riding on a Kirin (yes, its the same mythical creature as on the beer can) with bats accompanying them.  The Kirin (together with the Phenoix, the turtle and the dragon) is believed by the Chinese to be one of the four old saintly creatures.  Its a creature of heaven and not of the earth, those that were captured by the gods became their carriage (as on this figurine).  The Kirin has the head of a dragon, horns of a deer, eyes of a lion, the body of a tiger, the scale of fish, but despite this fierce appearance it is a kind creature and believe to an animal of blessing.  As for the bats, they are also a symbol of blessing for the Chinese but as we all know what they look like I wont go into details in this post.

Here is a story about the bat and the kirin from the Ming dynasty which i find quite amusing; one day the Phoenix held a birthday party, as she was the queen of the birds all the birds from everywhere came to wish her happy birthday.  The bat, however, did not show up.  The Phoenix, being the queen, was not please at all, so she summoned for the bat and asked, “you live under my rule, where are you so arrogant and did not come when invited?”  The bat answered, “I have craws, I am a beast, why should I pay my respect to a bird?”  Then the Kirin held his birthday party and the bat did not show up, the Kirin was angry and condemned the bat, the bat answered, “I have wings, a bird, why should I come to a beast party?”  Then the Phoenix and the Kirin met up and of course the bat incident came up in their conservation, “what a world this is coming to that there is such non bird non beast creature, how frustration is that.”  As time moves on from the Ming Dynasty, I feel that the bats now would claim to be a bird in front of the Phoenix and a beast in front of the Kirin, a fence sitter in all sense.

H300x W190mm, China

To continue with our series of bird entries, here is a paper cutout of a phoenix (the mystified peacock).  For the Chinese, the phoenix is believed to be  the symbol of beauty and talent, an icon of blessing.  Its often paired together with the dragon, the dragon representing the male and phoenix the female (funny enough the more glamorous looking peacock is in fact a male).

W140xD110xH70mm, China

This pair of rectangular ceramic brick like objects are actually pillows!  Its most natural to seek for something to support one’s head while sleep, by Siu dynasty (600 AD), after trying different material, the Chinese came up with pottery.  The earthenware pillows are heavy and hard, these are used for burial.  Glazed porcelain are smooth, light and cool; by the Song dynasty they became a household item, there are a vast number of shapes and design.  For the reason of firing and the reduction of weight and material, the porcelain pillows are made hollow with airing holes on either side, another reason is for the cooling of the user.  At the time when there are no air con, electrical fans, these helped to pass many long hot summer nights.  This is a pair of  simple rectangular pillow with design of the dragon and phoenix painted on, perfect for wedding.

Congratulation GY and Miranda!