Forani Turtle/Tortoise Collection
Chinese Kuixing calligraphy

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Chinese Kuixing calligraphy - Forani Collection    

Chinese Kuixing calligraphy
Forani Collection
Cat. No: IN01-1390

Woodcut print on paper of traditional calligraphic depiction of Kuixing, the Chinese God of Examinations and Literature. 20th century, China. Dimensions of paper: 129.00 x 59.00 cm. Acquired: Beijing, China.

Note. Kuixing is always shown as a man running with his right foot on the head of a turtle. In this case the turtle under his foot is represented by the character ao (sea-turtle) while the figure of Kuixing himself is said to be composed of characters referring to the Confucian virtues, usually given as five: ren (benevolence), li (respect), yi (justice), xin (integrity) and zhi (knowledge); or as four: yi (justice), xiao (piety), jie (moderation) and zhong (loyalty). Kuixing's head is turned towards another character, bei dou (northern measuring cup), which is the Chinese name for the Big Dipper constellation, being a reference to Kuixing's own place as a star in the bureaucratic administration of the celestial empire, circling the pole star, di (emperor). This woodcut is a copy of an image carved on a stele in the collection of the Beilin Museum in Xi'an, where it is described as Kuixing pointing at the Dipper. Until 1912 when the imperial examinations were terminated, representations of Kuixing, in this or other forms, had a place of honor in every scholar's home.

Photo: John Noone IMG_1094.jpg

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