Sunday, April 15, 2007

Chinese Dragons

The above is a cropping from a much larger work titled "5 Dragons" made from ink and light color on paper. Click on the painting here to see a much larger version.

"The dragons are drawn in calligraphic lines that stand out against the background of clouds, rocks and water. Their heads express their power and also betray a certain humour, two attributes of the Dao (‘Way’). In contrast to the old-fashioned depiction of triangular scales on the dragons’ bodies, the background is expressionistic, executed in varied ink tones produced by rubbing the paper with an ink-soaked cloth. Long, sweeping brushstrokes are used to draw the movements of the clouds and water, while short brushstrokes of dry and wet ink conjure the massive rocks." - quote from here.

"Chen Rong was a literary artist in the end of the Southern Song dynasty. He was from Changlo (Fujian) and called himself Suǒ Wēng, or Suǒ Zhāi in another story. He passed government officials’ exams successfully in 1235. He was good at painting dragons with India ink and is said to have been prominent in the Bǎo Diào(宝祐) period from 1253 to 1258. This painting carries the seal of "所斎" at the end of the roll, and is said to be a work by Chen Rong." - quote from here.

Below is a quote concerning the dragon in Chinese culture.

"In China, dragons play a very important part. They show up in literature, arts, songs, poetry, and architecture. Dragons represent wisdom, celestial and terrestrial power, and strength. They live in water. It is also believed that they bring good luck for a farmer’s crops. During the Chinese New Year parades, people believe that the dragons will keep the people safe from evil spirits that would ruin the Chinese New Year.

There are nine major dragons. Tianlong the Celestial dragon, Shanlong the Spiritual dragon, Fucanlong the dragon of hidden treasures, Dilong the underground dragon, Yinlong the winged dragon, Qiulong the horned dragon, Panlong the coiling dragon who inhabits water, Huanglong the yellow dragon, and finally, the Dragon King. There are also two others which are both hornless. Their names are Jiao and Li.

It is said that all the dragons have nine children. The oldest is Bixi which you would find on a giant land turtle structure. The second child is Chwen who looks like a beast and is always found on a roof. The third is Pulau. He looks like a small dragon, likes to roar, and you would find him on bells. The forth is Bi’an. He looks like a tiger and is so powerful that he is found in prisons. The fifth is Taotie. He loves to eat and is found on ancient bronze. The sixth is Gongfu. He likes to be in water and is found on bridges. The seventh is Yaizi and he likes to kill. The eighth is Suanni and he looks like a tiger. The youngest is Jaiotu and he looks like a palm. Those are the nine dragons and the nine dragon sons. Today people believe that the dragons went away from China, but they still use dragons for decorations and in parades." - quote from here.

Check out this giant example of a Chinese Dragon at Wikipedia.
See more Chinese Dragons here.

1 comment:

MRC said...

man, i love this blog.