Chinese Motifs of Good Fortune

Discovering China

Chinese Motifs of Good Fortune

Photographer: Liu Shenghui / Translated by: Cao Jianxin
This fascinating and readable book is an exploration of Chinese culture as it appears in art.

Chinese porcelains decorated with peaches and ats…textiles boldly printed with a phoenix and peony pattern…furniture carved with dragons amid the coulds…These popular patterns are beautiful and eye-catching—but what do these art symbols mean? Each expresses a wish for fortune, whether that represents prosperity, health, luck or happiness.

In China, decorating with auspicious patterns dates back thousands of years, and remains popular today. It has strong ties with tradition, and provides insight into Chinese philosophies about nature, religion, morality and government. Symbols invoking fortune appear in a wide range of media, from porcelains to furniture to architectural decoration, among many others.

This Chinese art book examines traditional auspicious patterns featuring animals, plants, figures, objects and symbols, as well as those that combine motifs from different categories. You will discover how to decode this intricate world of Chinese symbolism by exploring the history, meaning and use of many common patterns. In fact, learning this "visual language" will provide a new level of appreciation not only for China's remarkable decorative arts but also its profound traditional culture.
  • Shanghai Press | 
  • 144 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781602201194 | 
  • March 2011
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