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Chinese Decorative Elements Symbols of happiness, wealth, and long life.

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Presentation on theme: "Chinese Decorative Elements Symbols of happiness, wealth, and long life."— Presentation transcript:

1 Chinese Decorative Elements Symbols of happiness, wealth, and long life

2 Daoist symbols Xiwangmu--mother of the West; has magic peaches (party with 8 Immortals) Three Star Gods--happiness, wealth and long life Fuxing-God of Blessings and Happiness especially wishes regarding marriage and the birth of sons; holds a scroll; often accompanied by children Luxing- God of a good salary and rank; carries Jade badge of office (dresses in court official cloth) Shouxing-God of Longevity and immortal; carries the peach of immortality which came from Xiwangmu and a staff with scroll attached

3 Celestial Worthy of Numerous Treasure

4 The Immortals



7 Daoism Eight Immortals (flower basket, flute of the youthful, castanets, fan, bamboo, fish drum with metal beaters, the lotus, the sword, and the fly whisk, and a double gourd with iron crutch One hundred boys--were the 99 natural sons and one adopted son of the wise and benevolent King Wen of Zhou (for wedding gift)


9 Numbers 5 is important; five directions, five elements, five blessings (long life, riches, health, love of virtue and a natural death 8 is an auspicious number; it is an even or feminie yin number, which in the balance of things rules a man’s cycles of growth and completion; many groups of 8: 8 trigrams, 8 precious things, and the 8 Buddhist symbols

10 Landscape painting Landscape paintings may not only represent particular places at particular moments but also symbolically combine mountains and water, or yang and yin, symbolized the primary forces that create the universe Chinese gardens are decorated carefully with rocks and water together with trees and flowers

11 Dragon Dragon with five claws symbolized the Emperor; yellow is the color associates with him Phoenix symbolized the Empress; red is the color associates with her Qilin symbolized high ranking officials; symbol of the bringer of babies Peonies can be used only by the royalty









20 Flowers Flowers symbolized the four seasons Lotus symbolizes purity (growing out of mud) Lotus and cintamani or lotus and scepter meaning “May your wishes come true” Peonies-wealth and rank Magnolia (yulan) is a pun for jade (wealth and rank)





25 Fruit Gourd-the emblem of the New Year Three Plenties (sanduo)-peach, pomegranate and a Buddha’s hand citron Pomegranate--symbol of fertility (has many seeds) Peach--symbol of longevity Citron shaped like a Buddha’s hand with long curving fingers, has the name foshou which makes it a rebus for blessing and longevity





30 Animals In Tang period (618-916), pairs of birds, fish, and plants used to symbolize harmony and devotion in marriage; the forms are full and rounded and the decorative element are elegant In Song Dynasty (960-1280), crane and deer symbolized longevity Ming Dynasty (1368-16440, plant and animals are popular symbols; pomegranate, tiger and Five Poisonous Animals (snake, scorpion, centipede, spider and toad); Symbolism using a play on words was first systematically employed Riddles are used as part of the elaboration of annual holidays

31 Animals Bats and coin--”Blessing in front of your eyes,” “Blessings right here and now” Bat in Chinese is fu which pronouced the same as a character for happiness or blessing; coin is qian which means “in front of you” Bat and deer (immortality; found immortal fungus) Bat and peaches--symbols of long life and happiness (commonly 8 peaches-8 immortals and 5 bats for five Happiness) Red bats are especially auspicious, not because the color red wards off demons but also because hong is a rebus for enormous.

32 Animals Butterfly and melon (wish for many sons)-”continuous like a vine or “everlasting” Toad--symbol of wealth Cat (mao) is a rebus for 70-80 years old Butterfly (die) means aged 80 Tiger-fights Five Poisonous animals Horse (ma or shang) means “on top of” or up Monkey (hou) is a word for high marquis Horse and monkey together means “May you be elevated to the rank of marquis immediately”




36 Qiao Mansion

37 Trees Evergreen symbolizes constancy and longevity Bamboo symbolizes gentle man because it always stands straight; it is also part of the “Three Friends of Winter,” bamboo, pine and plum Persimmon symbolizes fertility






43 Animals Elephant-rebus for strength and wisdom, and also associates with the Buddha; washing an elephant means happiness and good luck; riding an elephant meant good fortune and luck





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