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Chinese Art

Dragons, or Long in Chinese, are serpentine creatures which are considered as protector of Buddhism. They are long serpent-like creatures which has the head of a camel, horns of a deer, eyes of a hare, scales of a carp, paws of a tiger and claws of an eagle. The number of claws of this mythological animal varies on culture and art depictions. Some has three (3) claws and some has five (5). Although frightful in image, this creature is a symbol of malevolence, justice, and treated as a bringer of luck and fortune. Dragons, as a form of Chinese Art, were introduced to China way before Buddism.

It was introduced on the sixteenth (16th) and nineteenth (19th) century B. C. , whereas, Buddhism was introduced only on the first (1st) and second (2nd) century A. D. The images of these creatures were painted in the catacombs of those who passed away to ward off evil. Later, the images were painted in temples with the same intention and to protect Buddhism. To date, paintings of Dragons are popular when in temples of Buddhism or any place of worship. Aside from art, Dragons are primarily famous for its influence in Chinese Culture.

It is, together with other three (3) legendary creatures, regarded as one of the Celestial Emblems which protects the cosmic directions. It guards the East and identified as the season spring. Following such attribute, its colour is green or blue and symbolizes the ‘Yang’ or the Male energy. Thus, it is made the symbol of the emperor in Chinese culture as its cultural depiction. Durga is a Hindu Goddess. Her name means ‘invincible’ in Sanskrit. She is the incarnation of Devi or Mother Goddess, a unified symbol of divine forces. She appears when an evil force is exposed to the jeopardy of the very existence of the gods and goddesses.

The gods shall offer their radiance to her creation, and each part of their body shall form part of Durga’s body. The distinctions between the Buddhist sculpture and Hindu Sculpture is that, the former displays sensibility with human figures that are meditative and serene and a face that glows with enlightenment. The divine is indicated in the soft folds of the dress and the exquisite curvature of the hands of Buddha. On the other hand, in the latter, there is a link between dance, drama, literature and art to aesthetic expressionism. Among the Asian Art Featured Works, I choose the Arched Dragon Pendant which originated from China.

I came to choose this artwork because of the overwhelming belief, tradition and culture embedded in this little masterpiece. As stated earlier, it is believed that a dragon, an image thereof, or an emblem moulded and shaped in its image, dispels evil. Moreover, it is a symbol of the male energy. Saying these, it is safe to presume that this pendant was worn by a Chinese warrior intended to manifest his energy and rage to defeat the enemy taking into consideration that this pendant was discovered to originate during the warring times of China. The emblem is shaped out from a Jade. It is shiny as it is precious.

The Dragon swirls like a snake and forms the letter ‘W’ where the center point is its body. The right point is its head and faces the center of its long scaly body. The artwork tried to impress the scales of a carp as incorporated therein are carvings in a shape of small letter ‘V’s’. It is worthy to be worn by a brave undefeated warrior for it displays a fierce and fearless expression from the dragon’s face. Work Cited: Mark Schumacher. Japanese Buddhist Statuary. 1995-2010. Web. 18 May 2010. Asianinfo. org. India’s Sculpture. 2010. Web. 18 May 2010. Sanatan Society. Durga. 2010. Web. 19 May 2010.

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