Chinese Art: A Guide to Motifs and Visual Imagery
Patricia Bjaaland Welch
With over 630 striking color photos and illustrations this Chinese art guide focuses on the rich tapestry of symbolism which makes up the basis of traditional Chinese art.
Chinese Art: A Guide to Motifs and Visual Imagery includes detailed commentary and historical background information for the images that continuously reappear in the arts of China, including specific plants and animals, religious beings, mortals and inanimate objects. The book thoroughly illuminates the origins, common usages and diverse applications of popular Chinese symbols in a tone that is both engaging and authoritative.
Chinese Art: A Guide to Motifs and Visual Imagery is an essential reference for collectors, museum-goers, guides, students and anyone else with a serious interest in the culture and history of China.
Children holding books) symbolizes the accumulated advantages many sons will bring a family. The modern representation probably evolved from an older motif of five children holding hands, representing the five directions, known as wǔ dàowáwá (五道娃娃), literally “five-way children.”10 This motif is still found amongst the traditional papercuts in Gansu Province. Fig. 360 Four young boys play chess in a banana leaf, peony, and longevity rock-strewn garden while others amuse themselves at other.
The EIGHT DAOIST SYMBOLS (see p. 240). TEAPOTS Teapots (hú 壶) are said to represent fertility, ostensibly because of the manner in which the spout dips into the waiting cup, but they also have a homophonous relationship with a hù that means “protect, shield, guard” (护) and a hù that means “blessing” (祜) (Figs. 565, 617-619). As a result, from the Qing Dynasty onwards, tiny little teapots can be found as charms accompanying other fertility and auspicious charms on such objects as women’s.
“immortal being.”) The name for bamboo (zhú 竹) is a pun for “wish” (zhù 祝), giving us the verb. The idea of longevity is conveyed through the fungus of immortality, the língzhī. Sometimes peaches are added to embellish the longevity motif and message. A bonus is the knowledge that narcissus (shuǐxiān) rhymes with an expression that means “age, years” (suìnián 岁年). A narcissus or narcissi are sometimes added to a picture or carving of prunus (flowering fruit tree blossoms) to represent the change.
The Chinese have the perfect expression: bǎi wén bùrú yī jiàn (百闻不如一见) “one seeing is better than a hundred hearings.” CONTENTS Notes on Transliteration Preface and Acknowledgments Introduction PART I SYMBOLS FROM NATURE Chapter 1: Flowers and Plants Apricot Blossoms • Artemisia Leaf • Bamboo • Banana • Bindweed • Calamus • Camellia • Cassia • Chrysanthemum • Crab Apple Blossoms • Cyprus • Day Lily • Flag Root • Flowering Plum • Fragrant Plantain Lily • Hibiscus • Iris • Lily • Lotus.
This tale has entered the Chinese lunar New Year cycle of activities, and rural communities celebrate it on various days in the first lunar month by sprinkling grain and other foodstuffs on the ground as a contribution to the wedding feast. Because rats are also credited with being able to undo knots, they “decorate knot picks and earpicks…. [They were] a popular gift for a young man going to take his civil service examinations, a rat pick supposedly helped him untie the knots in the.