Happy Chinese New Year of the Loong!
Celebrate the Chinese New Year with this brilliant painting by artist Wanyu, a piece of art that blends the rich heritage of Chinese culture with a modern aesthetic, maybe even a tinge of urban humor.
Using mineral pigments commonly found in Chinese painting tradition, the artist lends the painting a similar vivacious energy as the acclaimed landscape painting "A Thousand Li of Rivers and Mountains (千里江山图)" from the end of the Northern Song Dynasty (960-1279), as well as Dunhuang murals across the fourth century AD till 1.6 thousand years later (after 366). Not only did mineral pigments give the possibility of the artwork's longevity without fading, but glistening metallic foils applied also created a fun optical illusion as the rendered colors vary under different lighting.
If you ever wonder why the Loong is coated in a beautiful hue of azure adorned by seven constellations, you are most welcome to take a slight dive into ancient Chinese astrology:
In ancient China, farming rhythms were set based on observations made on the movements of celestial bodies. To better grasp the somewhat chaotic starry sky, people divided the sky into twenty-eight sections, known as the "Twenty-Eight Lunar Mansions," with each Lunar Mansion further divided into four constellations. A representative mythological creature, the Four Symbols (四象), was assigned to each constellation: the Azure Loong of the East, the Vermilion Bird of the South, the White Tiger of the West, and the Black Tortoise of the North. The Four Symbols were believed to be each equipped with its own traits, with associations, with its own unique season, emotion, virtue, etc.
Wanyu is a freelance artist from China’s southern city of Hangzhou who has an established reputation for excellence in revitalizing traditional painting materials and creative reinterpretation of Chinese culture.
We are delighted to present to you tailor-made greeting cards featuring Wanyu's artwork, with blessings in Chinese. Please share them with your loved ones:
生龙活虎 (shēng lóng huó hǔ): "To be as lively and active as a loong and a tiger", meaning to be full of energy and vigor.
合不龙嘴 (hé bù lóng zuǐ): A pun on the phrase "合不拢嘴 (hé bù lóng zuǐ)," referring to the smiling loong and meaning "to be filled with joy that you can't stop smiling."
欣欣向龙 (xīn xīn xiàng lóng): A pun on the phrase "欣欣向荣(xīn xīn xiàng róng)," meaning to be full of vitality and enthusiasm like a loong.
龙光焕发 (lóng guāng huàn fā): A pun on the phrase "容光焕发 (róng guāng huàn fā)", meaning to be prosperous and successful.