Archives for posts with tag: yang liu qing

wood block printLxHmm, China

This Yang Liu Qing wood block print depicts a scene of the Duan Wu Festival where the dragon boat race is taking place.  From the costume, it would be a time of the Republic of China period, the cue hairstyle has gone, the appearance of western style hats.

The dragon boat race began as a rescue operation of the respected Qu Yuan who leaped into the river to kill himself. Fisherman gathered ringing gongs to scare the fish away, feeding them zong so they will not harm him.  Hundreds of years later, it came a festival that attracted even the Emperors would participate viewing the race.

Today is 5th of lunar May, and you have probably feasted on the traditional dumpling (zong) over the past few days.  The Hong Kong Dragon Boat Carnival will take place on this weekend and this year it have the setting of the Victoria Harbour.  Click here for more details.

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wood block printW410xL690mm, China

This is a Yang Liu Qing print on the subject of “Searching for Plum Blossoms in the Snow”.  The phrase is generally used to described scholars appreciation and effort with poety.  The old man on the donkey is Meng Hao Ran, a Tang dynasty poety; he is known to have gotten his inspiration from ploughing through the snow on the  Ba Qiao Bridge in Xian.

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.

L1200xH700mm, China

This is a Yang Liu Qing wood block print portraying the story of the fearless Song dynasty warrior Di Qing (2nd left).  The story has it that Di Qing and Liu Qing (1st left) of North Song was send by the Emperor to pacify the uprising to the west of the country.  Unfortunately the army got lost and ended up in a wrong country, Dan Dan.  There, Di Qing met the Dan Dan princess (3rd right) who fell in love with his looks.  She lured him into the palace and asked for him to surrender and to marry her.  Unwillingly, Di Qing wedded the princess but only thinking about escaping to defend his home land.  The princess was upset that her newly wedded husband has departed without a word and set off after him, Di Qing explained about his duty and promised to return after his task.  Like most plots, the hero forgot about the princess when he returned home with victory and never returned to Dan Dan.  This time the princess was furious and led an army to attack Song, general Yang Zong Bao (center character) was no match with the princess and instructed Di Qing to deal with the princess.  When the couple met, of course they forgot all about fighting and lived happily ever after …

Here is the opera version of the same story

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.