Monday, 29 June 2009

Beijing: Nine Dragon Screen

And finally, I did get to see the Nine Dragon Screen, resplendent with nine frolicking dragons on each side, chasing pearls through sea and sky and generally looking like they're having a wonderful time.
Even that early in the morning, I had to duck and weave to avoid accidentally including the heads of Chinese girls in my photos, many of whom seemed to be starring in an amateur mini photo shoot. I hadn't had any coffee yet - can you tell even from my memories?

Symbolically, I believe that the dragon represents the Emperor/Imperial Authority, and in a more extended sense, power, fertility, goodness, wealth, bravery, success, and no doubt other desirable qualities whilst the pearl symbolises knowledge. If you know of another interpretation, I'd love to know about it.
From the wall enclosing the screen
Visit other worlds with My World Tuesday.

22 comments:

  1. I always go !!! at the amount of work that people have put into the art of their culture. Impressive.

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  2. so enjoyed your photos of the screen. it's beautiful and so very intricate.
    have a lovely week.

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  3. How beautiful. I don't know any interpretations other than I like it.

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  4. WOW! Your pictures are just gorgeous! LOL! I bet they would be even with little heads in the way! LOL! And what an amazing experience you had. Hope you're adjusting well! Jenni

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  5. What beautiful, elaborate artwork. Funny that you had to dodge the schoolgirls' heads. I wouldn't know any other interprestation, but I like yours.

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  6. Magnificent piece of artwork and your photos are fabulous! Thanks so much for sharing such an interesting part of your world. I am curious about your teaching in China, do you enjoy being there? I've traveled a lot, lived in a lot of other countries, but never got to the mid or far east. It does look fascinating.

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  7. Those are amazing shots!

    From what I've read, Chinese dragons are strongly associated with water; they are believed to be the rulers of moving bodies of water, such as waterfalls, rivers, or seas.

    In times of drought or flooding, it was customary for the local gentry and government officials to lead the community in offering sacrifices and conducting other religious rites to appease the dragon, either to ask for rain or a cessation thereof.

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  8. Amazing photos really beautiful.

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  9. Wow. Chinese art is amazing. It takes me to a place I could never imagine on my own.

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  10. Now that is impressive, wow great pics.

    Have a fantastic week
    Guy
    Regina In Pictures

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  11. Fascinating along with your profile. A friend did what you do in Japan and I know how isolating it can be.

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  12. How very beautiful! I'm so glad you went out, even without coffee to take these photos and share them with us.

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  13. Great captures and thanks for the info that went with it. I'm doing a similar thing as you do. Cheers from Bangkok!

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  14. Beautiful artwork and photos of them. I think that what you are doing is exciting and very thought provoking especially at your age. Bravo for getting out there!

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  15. Yeeeehaaaaw! You made it to the screen... I was beginning to worry. ;-)

    Beautiful stuff there Jane!

    Are you still feeling all jet-lagged? If you even were?

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  16. What a magnificent screen, such detail and bright colors. Great captures.

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  17. I love the wonderful screen...such great artistry... All the posts for My World are so unusual and interesting all around the globe.

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  18. These are indeed extraordinary photos - thank you for sharing them and thank you for your visit. Greetings from Croatia...

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  19. Fantastic pictures and fascinating post, loved it!
    Happy Tuesday!

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  20. The Chinese are marvellous at depicting dragons and nine dragons are so lucky. There is a nine dragon train station in Hong Kong and a friend of ours who was a master brass-caster cast two most intricate missing dragons for one of the temples on the mainland.

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  21. What beautiful dragons and photos. Think of the work that went into that... Glad to see you back online.

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  22. I'm glad you're still posting photos of China because they are fantastic! The dragons do look very playful as they chase pearls. It is curious how the dragon has become an important symbol in China.

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