Guanyin Bodhisattva 

Guanyin, also called Guanshiyin or Guanzizai, is the foremost Bodhisattva in Chinese Buddhism. Guanyin worship is extremely popular among common Chinese people; they call her Most Merciful and Most Compassionate Bodhisattva Guanyin Who Helps the Needy and Relieves the Distressed.

Forgiveness, mercy and compassion in the Chinese context were seen as primarily feminine characteristics. During the Tang Dynasty Guanyin has been portrayed as a Goddess and a companion to Amitabha, Lord of the Western Paradise. This led to Guanyin's association with the Western Paradise and thence to the sharing of the characteristics with the Taoist Queen Mother of the west -Xiwangmu. Later the characteristics of goddess Tianhou were also absorbed by Guanyin and the latter was looked upon as a goddess of sailors and a protectress of those at sea.

Chinese Town God---Cheng Huang 
In ancient time, people built the city moat for the security of the residents. They also build a town god's temple. According to historic book, the town temple god was developed from a folk god "shui yong". The earliest history of town god's temple was built in 239 A.D. in east China.

In the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.), the first emperor Zhu Yuanzhang praised highly of the town god's temple. Because the town god was responsible for the underworld, one could see on both sides there lay the official assisting the local magistrate, hideous lackeys and other ghosts. In the temple, there is one sitting god and another one inspecting around the town. Inspection tour took place every year in Spring, autumn and winter. It was a grand ceremony with other folk activities. Four assistants accompanied the temple god in the picture.

Chinese Guarddian Gods 

Chinese Buddhism boasts to have guardian warriors at the entrance to a Buddhist temple. It is supposed to add a sense of dignity to the Buddhism.

Taoism also has similar figures. There are four guardian marshals in Taoism which ward off the evils for people. The four guardian marshals are Marshal Ma Tianjun (also called Huang Guang God), Marshal Zhao Gongming (also the God of Fortune), Marshal Guan Yu (who is also a famous general in Chinese history), and Marshal Wen Qiong (also called Lei Qiong). The four marshals are characterized in four different colors. They are white, black, red, and green respectively.

In this picture it is Marshal Ma in the upper center part. The picture is a combination of wood printing and hand drawing.


Gods in Different Trades  
Some people worshipped gods of certain trades. They place them in their homes, workshops, or stores. They also worshipped the gods of medicine in an attempt to keep away from diseases.

The Gods of medicine include Sun Simiao, Bian Que, Hua Tuo, etc. These people as well as many others are regarded as famous ancient medical scientists.

The picture shows the person holding pills with two retinues surrounded by. These people vary in sizes and characters. 


Gods of Bai Ethnic Minority Group  


There live many ethnic minorities in southwest China's Yunnan province. Here worshipping the memorial tablet is distinctive and mysterious. It is even more so for the Bai ethnic people. The engraving style is original and the ceremony involves many ceremonies.

In Dali area, people burn incense and paper made in the form of a coin to worship the god of fire. The god of fire in the picture wears emperor uniform. 


Chinese Earth God---Tu Di Gong 

The earth god, Tu Di Gong, is one of the common gods in Chinese folk. In the Ming Dynasty, there were lot of earth gods and people called them differently. Village god temples were also common seen. Apart from ancestral temples, placing several stones together could form a temple. Inside the temple, people placed another stone to represent the earth god.

The earth god often appears to be white faced, black beard and round neck. The earth god in the picture is from southeast China's Hangzhou in Zhejiang province. The image appears very much like a local village official with retinue surrounded by. It is made by wood printing and drawing.

Paper Horse Printing 
Paper horse is a kind of paper printed with pictures of idols to be burned at the altar. It is a wood printing mixed with hand drawing. It uses either red or green colors to draw patches on the picture.

The paper horse printing in southeast China's Zhejiang province does not stick to the wood or color printing. In stead, it adopts many other techniques such as color drawing, sketching, etc. It has its own style in both techniques or the subject matter chosen. The image is depicted to the last detail.

In New Year pictures or paper printings, the subject of money collecting is often chosen with the meaning of abundant financial resources. In the picture, the imperial bodyguard and the God of Wealth look alike wearing official hats and red uniform. It has four retinues nearby. The imperial bodyguard sits in front, with a desk and a balance scale on it. There are shoes-shaped gold or silver ingot both on and beneath the desk.  

People in Papermaking

Papermaking derives from funeral custom. The image of the paper making in the last picture is adapted from the story of one of the four classics in China, the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. Here the image is from one episode from the book. The maker uses various ways, such as paper making and depicting, to show the braveness character of Zhangfei, person in the novel. In the picture, Zhangfei holds a spear with an expression that he cannot restrain his fury.

Lu zhishen is a character from one of the four classics, the Water Margin. In the novel, he is depicted as a gallant person, fighting against the pernicious pressure group and taking action to uphold justice. At last, he went to the Liangshan revolting troop and became one of important leaders. The papermaking in the second picture is adapted from one episode of the book. In this episode, Lu zhishen saved Lin Chong, another character in the book who was framed and exiled.

The Art of Paper Making 
Papermaking derives from funeral custom. It uses much artistry, such as paper tying, pasting, paper cutting, clay sculpture and drawing to make it. People in offer sacrifices use it.

Paper making are usually divided into following kinds: statues of Buddha burned before mausoleum, statues of portraits, architecture which include memorial arches or others and funeral objects, etc.

The two servants in the picture are made by paper. One is in the military officer uniform and the other is like the image of Nezha, a divine warrior portrayed as a boy walking on two firing wheels in the novel Pilgrimage to the West. 


Di Xi  

Di Xi is a kind of local opera in southwest China's Guizhou province, particularly in the Anshun region. The opera can be seen in the countryside during the Spring and Lantern festival. People perform it to ward off the evils and to entertain. There are only military pieces of the opera, such as The Romance of the Three Kingdoms and The Legend of Sui and Tang Dynasties. Ferocious characters are added into the opera. And the mask is done with exaggeration and carefulness.

Craftsmen divide the masks into five types, civilian officer, military officer, young officer, old officer and female officer. Different patterns are carved on the helmets of male and female officers, such as dragons, phoenixes, bees and butterflies, etc. In the picture, the military officer is exaggerated to show the uncouthness and intrepidness of a military officer.