Thursday, February 9, 2012


This is the last of the Chinese art that Mom took pictures of at the art gallery when she was there for the Chinese New Year celebration.  There are no dogs in this group, but there are some horses and camels, so I hope you will like looking at this artwork.

The first one shows a man riding a horse.  The man seems to be a warrior, since he and his horse are wearing armor.  The man used to be holding something in his right hand, like maybe a lance or a can of soup, but now it is gone.

Here's another horse.  Some of the ceramic Chinese horses you will see have short legs and wide butts.  This is because in the beginning, the horses in China looked like that.  People probably used them more for meat and as pack animals than for riding.  But then they saw the tall, lovely horses that the Mongolians had, which could run really fast.  So the Chinese kept fighting the Mongolians, partly so they could get some of those nice horses for themselves, which they did.

This horse is from the Tang Dynasty, which lasted from 618 to 906 C.E.  You can always tell a Tang Dynasty horse because it has a short little tuft of a tail.  Also the Tang artists used a 3-color lead glaze that has yellow and green and brown in it.  And when they paint their ceramics, they let some of the glaze drip down because I guess they liked that look.

This is the head of the Tang horse.  The horse almost looks real, and the bridle is very fancy.

A camel with two humps is called a Bactrian camel.  These kinds of camels live in central Asia, like in Mongolia and the Gobi Desert and places like that.

Here's a woman on a Bactrian camel.  She is trying to get her camel to stand up, and it looks like she used to have a rein in her hand.  At the same time, she is nursing a baby.  This is an early example of multi-tasking.  Anyway, the woman is shown as being kind of a fat, ugly foreigner with no modesty.  The gallery collections book says she is a Turkic caravan woman.  Lots of people and their camels came into China on the Silk Road, and this woman was probably an example of that.

This camel only has one hump, which is called a Dromedary.  This kind of camel mostly came from Arabia and the Middle East.  I think the camel has his mouth open because he is complaining about having to carry a heavy pack.

Okay, so that's all the horses and camels, but here's an ox.  He seems to be looking up in a submissive way, like he's saying, "Please don't make me pull the cart right now.  I just got settled down for a nap!"

This is a very scary face, but I don't know what it's supposed to be.  Maybe it's a dragon.  But maybe it's one of those temple guardian guys.  I just don't think I would want to wake up in the middle of the night and see him looking at me!

One of Mom's favorite pieces at the gallery is the statue of Guanyin of the Southern Sea.  It came from a temple in China, and it is all carved out of wood that has been painted.  It dates back to the Liao Dynasty (907--1125).  Guanyin is sometimes called the Goddess of Mercy, except that this particular figure at the gallery is male.  The original Guanyin came from the Sanskrit Avalokitesvara, which was the male form.

Guanyin is what is called a bodhisattva, which is someone who takes a vow that when they become enlightened, they will then work for the enlightenment of everybody else.  Or something like that.  I don't really know much about Buddhism.

Guanyin has a very special place in a room that looks sort of like a temple.  If there are not too many people there, you can hear a recording of chanting, but when Mom was there for the Chinese New Year, she couldn't really hear it because there were too many people around.  If she had good ears, like a dog, she would have been able to hear it in spite of all the noise.

The last thing that Mom saw was a Chinese yo-yo demonstration.  These yo-yos are not like the ones that just go up and down on a string.  These yo-yos are bigger, and you toss them around on a cord that goes between two sticks that you hold in your hands.

First there was a group of fairly young kids who were doing the yo-yo thing in public for the first time.

Then there were some older girls who could do some fancier tricks.

After that, the teacher did a bunch of stuff with lighted yo-yos.  Mom thought it looked like it would be fun to learn this yo-yo stuff, but you would have to have pretty good coordination.

So anyway, that's the end of the Chinese art that Mom took pictures of, which you are probably glad to hear because now we can move on to other exciting topics, as soon as I think of some!

1 comment:

  1. WOW on all the art work; and I must say the Chinese can make the scariest faces....thinking of the face above!! Who knows maybe the faces do keep away evil spirits...
    Love, AP