Classical Feng Shui suggests utilizing cures and charms to enhance luck, health and prosperity – they are said to attract beneficial energies called Sheng Qi. Some of these remedies may require a scavenger hunt to find traditional Classical charms and objects such as wind chimes, flutes and Hulu’s. As a non – Chinese practitioner of Feng Shui I was curious to know why such specific objects have become synonymous with the practice of this ancient Art, Philosophy and Science.
The Eight Immortals 八仙 are a group of legendary Xian or Saints in Chinese mythology. Each Immortal’s power is associated to an object 法器 that can bestow life or destroy evil. Together, these eight tools are called the “Covert Eight Immortals” 暗八仙 Born in the Tang or Song Dynasty, they are worshiped by Taoists and are also a popular element in the secular Chinese culture.
The Immortals are:
· He Xiangu
· Cao Guojiu
· Li Tieguai
· Lan Caihe
· Lü Dongbin
· Han Xiangzi
· Zhang Guolao
· Zhongli Quan
Symbolic of prosperity and longevity, the Eight Immortals are popular themes in ancient and medieval Art, most commonly appearing in paintings.
The artistic referencing of these ‘genies’ is not limited to paintings or other visual arts however, as they are quite prominent in written works too. Authors and playwrights wrote numerous stories and plays on the Eight Immortals. “One famous story that has been rewritten many times and turned into several plays (the most famous written by Mu Zhiyuan in the Yuan Dynasty) is The Yellow-Millet Dream, which is the story of how Lǚ Dòngbīn met Zhongli Quan and began his path to immortality.” Wikihttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eight_Immortals
Painting by Huang Yao – 1980 to 1985 Folk Culture Paintings : Eight Immortals
My aim as a Designer is to take these traditional cures and re-interpret them for contemporary living. I should get my hands on that book!