Archives for posts with tag: taoist

figurineW140xD100xH320mm, China

This is a figurine of Bei Di, who is the Prince of  Shang dynasty.  In a dream, the Queen swallowed the sun and felt pregnant after 14 months Bei Di was born.  Though being the heir of the kingdom, he was more interested in meditation than in the power he was born into.  Finally, he left his parents and went to Wu Dung to study Taoism.  After 42 years, he was sainted by the Jade Emperor.  It is also believed that he is the 82 reincarnation of the Tai Shang Lao Jun.

There are several Bei Di temples in Hong Kong which is well worth visiting.
There is one in Wanchai, Sham Shui Po and Cheung Chau.




W220xL300mm, China

There are many door gods, the most famous and the original ones are Qin Qiong and Wei Chi Gong.  The two generals have been keeping the ghosts away from the imperial court. the Tang Emperor felt sorry for their long shifts and ordered portraits to be put up on the doors to give them a well deserved break.  Click here for the full story.  Traditional Chinese doors comes in pairs and a print of the individual door god would be posted on both doors.  This particular prints has two door gods, the one with the white face on the left is Qin Qiong (門丞) and Wei Chi Gong (戶尉) is on the right, this print is made for single door.

The four words on the print “門丞戶尉” refers to the two door gods, but funny enough with the four words mixed up as “門尉戶丞” it became a Taoist spell for healing the sick.  The procedure apparently goes like this (please don’t try this at home);

take a rooster with lush feathers,
hold a knife with your right hand and the rooster on the left,
go to the house of the sick,
inside of the house take 3 steps and on each step say the spell,
(門尉戶丞, so and so’s sickness, expel at once, promptly take the order)
then put the head of the rooster in the mouth of the patient 3 times,
take the knife and draw blood from the rooster’s comb,
mixed the blood with 100ml of white spirit for the patient to drink.

… if the patient was not very sick before … he probably would be now …


shadow puppe

W150xH380mm, China

A warrior of the Hua county in the Shaan Xi province., it is said that Chinese shadow puppetry originated from this county.  Shadow puppet theater started its form as a Taoist court ceremony  where illusion, shadows, dreams and a bit of imagination formed the idea of after death for the ancient emperor.  As time goes by, the religious ceremony took a form as entertainment for the emperor and thus shadow puppet theatre began.  The fashion from the courts later was copied by the nobles and then the wealthy, and to the masses.  The Hua school of shadow puppet are small and very finely made, it is believed that the tradition came from entertaining small party of the court.


bowlbowlDIA120xH50mm, China

This pottery bowl was used as a container for Taoist offering.   The horizontal line pattern on the bowl are trigram figures from the I Ching, on each face of the octagon bowl are the pattern; 乾 Qian, 兑 Dui, 离 Li, 震 Zhen, 巽 Xun, 坎 Kan, 艮 Gen, 坤 Kun.  These 8 trigrams correspond to 8 nature phenomenon, namely, Sky, Lake, Fire, Thunder, Wind, Water, Mountain, Earth.  From the 8 trigrams found by Fu Hsi, 64 hexagrams was developed capturing more natural phenomenon and human events,it was later used for prediction of events.  From the Yuan dynasty, trigrams pattern were introduced to ceramic decoration and flourished in the Ming dynasty.

W40xD50xH130mm, Macau

This is an old figurine worshiped by the fisherman on the junk boats of Hong Kong, it is one of the ancestral saints – Crane Riding Mother Saint, a figurine representing the female ancestors.  It is believe that ancestors would protect the fisherman at sea.  In Taoism, the Taoist saints be believe to travel around by riding a crane.

See our other entry of the Junk Boat Gods;
Tanka Wooden Effigy, Junk Boat God (god?), Junk Boat God

W300xH450mm, China

The head, feet and hands of the glove puppet is made of wood and its body and arms in a fabric formed glove.  For the right hand control puppet, with the whole hand in the glove, the thumb would go into the left arm of the puppet, the index finger in the head and the remaining 3 fingers in the right arm of the puppet.  As the puppet is directly control by the hand, fine mechanism can be built into the head for the control of the eye, the mouth etc.  As in all theatre, the characters of the glove puppet show can be classified into 7 category and each with its many subtypes;  the Sheng (male role), the Dan (female role), the Jing (the painted face strong character), the Chou (clown), the Xian (saint), the Guai (monster).

The puppet here is of the saint category,  Ling Guan, he is a Taoist saint who used to be bad temple god who would eat children for a meal.  A powerful wizard tamed him with a flying fire charm and set his eyes on fire.  Ling Guan was upset and filed a complaint to the Jade Emperor who compensated him with a golden whip and a third eye of wisdom, he was also allowed to follow wizard and take his revenge if he found the wizard doing a bad deed.  12 years he followed the wizard and the wizard only do good and no wrong, Ling Guan was moved, instead of hoping for his revenge he became a disciple of the wizard.

W100xD80xH200mm, China

This is a gold plated figure of the God of Wealth General Zhao Gong Ming worshiped by the Taoist.  The figure is well known to be in armour, one hand holding a piece of gold, the other a silver whip and riding on a black tiger.  Legend had it that originally there were 1o suns, they blasted the earth, Hou Yi was asked to shoot down all of them but one.  The 9 suns became demons, 8 of them revenged and brought about sickness but one of them Zhao became human.  He was trained and attained the power to fight plague, as a reward for his hard work he was made god and in charge of the wealth of the world. You might also known him as one of the door god icon.

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