Archives for posts with tag: queen mother of the west

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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

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8 immortalsDIA165mm, China

The figurines on this necklace used to be the ornaments of a child’s hat.  A special hat would be made for the child’s birth, 100 days celebration and the first birthday.  The hat is seen as a blessing for the child, depending on the gender, family social status, the design of the hat varies.

The gold plated enamel ornaments would have belongs to a hat of a wealth family.  The 9 figurines are the 8 Immortals (one either side) + the god of Longevity (in the middle).  The 8 Immortals are; Iron-Crutch Tie Guai Li, Philosopher Han Xiang Zi, Elder Zhang Guo Lao, Lan Cai He, Immortal Woman He Zian Gu, Leader Lu Dong Bin, Han Zhong Li and Royal Uncle Cao Guo Jiu, they are Taoist saints who are not very powerful and have a few human frailties.  One of the many stories of the 8 Immortals is about their birthday wishes for the Queen Mother of the West and thus the appearance is associated with birthdays and blessings.

Here is a clip from the Xiang opera “8 Immortals birthday wishes for the Queen Mother of the West”

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