105.0 x 139.5cm
Created in the 1950s, this rubbing is among a group of nearly 50 rubbings made from the bas-reliefs carved on the stones that were used to construct the Wu Liang Shrine dated second century. The shrine, located in Jiaxiang County of Shandong Province of east China, is a stone chamber dedicated to Wu Liang ( 78 -151CE) and served as a memorial hall for his descendents to present offerings and commemorate him. The excellent carvings on the interior of the shrine are based on the Eastern Han notion of a universe with three integral parts: Heaven, the realm of immortality, and the human world.
The second register from the top of this piece is composed of tales related to nature deities, including Deity for Rain, Wind, and Thunder. Towards the end on the right an arched icon identified as 'rainbow' Deity, a dragon with two heads. This image is also interpreted as the totem animal of 'Fuxi' tribe, and the two heads represent the 'Fuxi' and 'Nuwa'.
Asian Art Department, AGNSW, January 2012
Jackie Menzies, Early Chinese Art, Sydney, 1983, (illus.) not paginated. cat.no. XXI See 'Further Information' for text.
Early Chinese art, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 26 Feb 1983–08 May 1983
Dragon (2012), Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 18 Jan 2012–06 May 2012