Many collectors and buyers of Chinese deity statues are attracted to a number of different factors. Some are primarily interested in the deity’s image while others are drawn to the historical value of the statue. If you’re interested in buying a statue, the first step is determining which one you want to buy. Many collectors like old, grimy statues that have obvious history.
Guandi is one of the most popular Chinese deities. He is revered throughout China and is found in all major systems of belief, including Chinese folk religion, Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. He is also worshiped in some parts of Taiwan, Hong Kong, and overseas Chinese communities. Many people believe Guandi is the god of businessmen, criminals, and the Triad criminal fraternity. In Hong Kong, for instance, every police station allegedly maintains a small shrine dedicated to Guandi.
The Guandi statue is less dynamic than Jade Emperor, despite being portrayed as a warrior god. The Guandi statue is seated and rests on a snake-tortoise that represents the North and the Yin of all directions. He is also a more human figure than the Jade Emperor, and his statues are a more sedate contrast to other dynamic images.
Passersby stop by and take photos, and some even burn incense as offerings. However, very few people know how the statues got there. When I visited, I met a man who was cleaning the statues and picking up fallen leaves. He introduced himself as Wong Wing-pong and told me that he has been caring for the statues for over eighty years.
Guandi is one of the most popular Chinese deities. His colossal statue stands 58 meters high and weighs 1,320 tons. He is revered throughout Asia as a bodhisattva and consort of Avalokitesvara. He is also often depicted frowning, although his face is never distorted like those of his demonic attendants.
Guandi’s legend has inspired many story tellers, prints, and operas. His ancestor Guanyu, a bean-curd hawker, saved a young girl from a tyrant. He then fled to the army. Guanyu was pursued by two men, Liu Bei and Zhang Fei.
Guan Yu was first deified during the Sui Dynasty (581-618). He was revered as a perfect example of martial virtues, and was therefore the patron god of war. Later, he was also worshipped as a patron god of literature and business. His statue was often erected in temples dedicated to Confucian values.
Despite the Chinese myth of Guandi, he was a historical person. He lived in China’s Three Kingdoms period between CE 220 and CE 280. During this period, the Han dynasty was reduced to a nominal power. In addition, powerful clans rose up and vied for power behind the throne. The disenfranchised peasants began a series of uprisings, and regional warlords aspired to rule their own empires. Still, some remained loyal to the Han dynasty.
Chinese deity statues of Guandi reflect the deep relationship between the worshipper and god. This relationship is very important when selecting a statue. It is also essential to note that different statues of the same god can be used for different purposes. Here are a few examples of the ways these statues are used.
One such statue is of Guandi, a general who lived around 160 a.d. and is believed to be a god of commerce. He is depicted barefoot, resting on a snake-tortoise, which represents the North and Yin of all directions. It also contains four phrases that are specifically prayed to Guandi.
In addition to being worshiped by the Chinese people, Guandi is also revered by Chinese scholars as the patron of literature. In 1753, a British collector named Sir Hans Sloane gave the statue to the British Museum. He had purchased it before his death. During this time, soapstone carvings of the Chinese deity were very popular in early European collections. These carvings were also popular in the domestic market in China.
In the modern age, Guandi has become a popular deity in China. He is prominent in all major Chinese systems of belief, including Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism. The deity is widely revered throughout China, Taiwan, and overseas Chinese communities. His popularity is particularly strong in the business community and the Triad criminal fraternity. Every Police Station in Hong Kong has its own small shrine dedicated to him.
In ancient China, Guandi’s temple was home to the sword used by the public executioner. It was the place where the magistrate in charge of the executions would go to pray that the spirit of the dead man would not enter the temple. Guandi is usually depicted with a red face and is accompanied by a son or squire. He holds a copy of the Confucian classic Zuozhuan. He is also considered the god of literature.
Guandi was deified during the Sui Dynasty (581-618 ce). He was regarded as a perfect example of martial virtue and was the patron god of war and business. He was also often depicted in literati shrines, which were temples dedicated to Confucian values.
Shouxing Shou Xing
Shouxing, also known as Shoulao, is one of the three star gods in Chinese mythology. He is often depicted as an old man with a long beard and a smiling face. His longevity is revered and he is regarded as a god of good health. His statues are common birthday gifts for elders.
Originally, Shouxing was a personified star. He was equated with the South Pole in Chinese astronomy and was believed to control the human lifespan. Longevity and good fortune are considered important traits in traditional Chinese culture. This belief explains the prevalence of statues of Shouxing Shou Xing in many Chinese homes.
Shouxing is one of the three celestial gods and often appears alone, but is also often represented with his co-star gods. According to legend, his mother was conceived under the star of the South Pole and he was named “the Old Deity of the South Pole”. His statue is typically accompanied by a stork or turtle.