Information about the Artworks
The Story of The Red-crowned Crane
The Red Crowned Crane, also called the Japanese Crane or
Manchurian Crane, is a large crane and is the second rarest crane in the world. In East Asia,
it is known as a symbol of luck, longevity and fidelity. At 140 cm (55 inches) high, the crane
does not make easy prey, for all that it stands out in its natural habitat of
marshes and swamps. When it matures, the Red-crowned Crane is snow white with a
patch of red skin on its head. This patch of skin becomes bright red when the crane becomes angry or
In the spring, the Red-crowned Crane begins its elegant
dance and whooping calls, leading to a suitable mate. It mates for life, and lives happily and harmoniously,
caring for each other and guarding its young at the center of the flock when
flying or hunting for food. Red-crowned Crane breeds in Siberia and occasionally in northeastern
Mongolia. Normally, the crane lays
2 eggs, with only one surviving. Later, in the fall it migrates in flocks to Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan,
and other countries in East Asia to spend the winter.
The estimated population of the species is only 1,500 in the
wild, with about 1,000 in China, making it one of the most endangered species
of bird. Nearly all of the Chinese
population lives in the Yancheng Coastal Wetlands.
In Japan, this crane, known as “tancho”, is said to live
1000 years. A
pair of Red-crowned Cranes were used in the design for the Series D 1000
In China, the Red-crowned Crane is often featured in myths
and legends. In Taoism, the
Red-crowned Crane is a symbol of longevity and immortality. In art and literature, immortals are
often depicted riding on cranes. A mortal who attains immortality is similarly carried off by a
crane. Reflecting this
association, Red-crowned Crane is called xian he, or fairy crane. The Red-crowned Crane is also a symbol
of nobility. Depictions of the
crane have been found in Shang Dynasty tombs and Zhou Dynasty ceremonial bronze
ware. A common theme in later
Chinese art is the reclusive scholar who cultivates bamboo and keeps cranes.
The Story of Koi
It is said that the Fish probably originates out of Persia
(now Iran), and the common carp were first introduced to Japan by the way of
China between 400 to 600 years ago. Wild carp are called “Koi” in Japanese. The term “Koi” was later applied to all carp both wild and
Koi were developed from common carp in Japan in the 1820s,
and are still popular there because they are symbol of love and
friendship. A variety of colors
and color patterns have since been developed. Common colors include white, black, red, yellow, blue, and
In Japanese symbolism, the Koi represents perseverance in
adversity and strength of purpose. The strongest Koi swims upstream until it reaches the final waterfall,
where it vaults into the mists and becomes a water dragon. Because of its strength and
determination to overcome obstacles, it stands for courage and ability to
attain high goals.
In Chinese culture, Fish is a symbol of marital harmony. In
the art of Feng Shui, Koi Fish and water are placed in the wealth corner of a
home in order to acquire financial good fortune in life. In addition, Fish (yu) is a symbol for
surplus and the sound of the Chinese character for surplus (yu) is the same as
for fish. On Chinese New Year’s
Eve, Chinese family would serve their dinner with a whole fish and make sure
that there will be a left over of the fish for the next meals on New Year
Days. In doing so, the family
believes that they would have money saved carrying over to the New Year.
Decorating with the art of FENG SHUI
Feng Shui is an ancient art and science developed over 3000
years ago in China. This complex
body of knowledge that reveals how to balance the energies of any given space to assure the health and good fortune for
people inhabiting it.
Feng means wind and shui means water. In Chinese culture, wind and
water are associated with good health thus good feng shui came to mean good
fortune, while bad feng shui means bad luck, or misfortune.
Whether decorating your home or office, following the laws
of Feng Shui can help to create harmony and success in your life.
The principles are based on the belief that every space has
an invisible energy, called Chi. This Chi is affected
by a number of factors, including the placement and types of objects in that
space. According to this practice,
Chi must move, flow steadily through a space (not too quickly or too slowly) in
order for positive events to occur in the inhabitant’s life. Therefore, the type and placement of
the art in your home or office would be quite important in harnessing this
energy to maximize health, wealth, and anything else you strive to attain. Although, Feng Shui originates from an
ancient Asian culture, the practice has become increasing mainstream in the U.S.
The recommended colors for the wealth area are reds, and
purples. Also, choosing a piece of art with flowing
water will generate positive Chi and stimulate life in the area. Koi Fish and red Peony are symbol of
prosperity, wealth, and good fortune.
The knowledge and self-cultivation corner should contain
images of landscapes, particularly mountains. The mountain is the symbol for knowledge in Feng Shui.
Sources: About.com; Art Décor Magazine