Symbolism Of The Fantastic Creature In Chinese Art

1711 Words 7 Pages
Title: Fantastic creature in Chinese art


Fantastic creatures can be easily found in Chinese art. Those decorative motifs do not only content aesthetic value they also carry particular meanings. The origin of fantasies can be traced to traditional Chinese literature and tales. Fantasy becomes an important element in Chinese art that is with two main functions: one is they reflect human emotions, and they are symbols that carry the social values. After classified different kinds of mythical beings, this essay examined the relevant art and its meaning also discussed the symbolic meaning and the cause of existing of the fantastic creature.


Fantastic creatures are imaginary living things. It does not
…show more content…
These abstract designs depend on the physical characteristics of the objects to combine different iconographic elements. Welch (2008,p.121) states that Han ethnic had a faith in the Four Spiritual Animals, referring to ‘Li Ji. Li Yun' the Four Symbols include Qīng Lóng, Zhū Què, Baí Hǔ, Xuán Wū. Among them Qīng Lóng (also known as the dragon) has distinct physical attributes. It has nine characteristics its head often resembles a camel, it has fish scales, deer horns, ox ear, snake neck, with eyes that were like a stealth and stomach likes oysters, also it has the feet from tiger and paws from a hawk. Regarding individual feature, the dragon is supposed to be awe-inspiring as it represents the collective force of nature. This highest-ranking animal often represents the yang force and phoenix symbol yin in a pair. Minao (2009,p.17) demonstrated bronze wine server with dragon and tiger made in Shang Dynasty (Fig5).He explained there are two Kuilong dragons on each side of this wine server while the background is edged with motif pattern which represent mythical animals on its body. According to the shape of the dragon horns, the bronze style might relate to the Shang cultural of the Central …show more content…
To the being itself is not important but the extraordinary ability and its nature is the major attraction to them. Lopes (2014) believed that in the realistic world, human desire to have supernatural ability to overcome the problem that they need to solve, or even exceed the limit of reality. Such mythological animals with superpower represented the wrathful judgment of god. While these supreme beings able to sustains the universe and dominates the welfare of humankind. Their devastating force against humans is the reminder to follow the god’s commandments through obedience and a righteous way of life. Thus myths only appear in the era of early human civilization, compare to rational and logical thinking, people among whom myths existed, believe in their literal meaning even things that are non-scientific and

Related Documents