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Asian art

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The administration (Hangsi)

circa 1850s


Yao people



Hangsi means the 'Full Altar' or the 'Administration' and is a depiction of the whole Daoist pantheon. Strongly influenced by Chinese tradition, this painting shows a group of Daoist gods and celestial worthies whom the Yao view as a 'Cosmic Fraternity' that was considered to have control of the whole universe. Some Buddhist influence is evident with the inclusion of Guanyin.

The Daoist pantheon depicted includes:
Top row: The 3 Pure ones in the middle l to r: Daode, Yuanshi, Lingbao, flanked by the Jade Emperor (r) and the Master of Saints(l)
Second Row: believed to be attendants of the Jade Emperor and the Master of Saints
Third row: in the middle the Buddhist Bodhisattva Guanyin
Fourth Row: the middle 3 headed deity with many arms is thought to be the Buddhist Goddess of Light Marichi, whom the Yao have appropriated as Tai Sui, God of the Year.
Fifth row: the 6 Marshals; the 3 matrons of Daoist religion in a circle.
Sixth row: Haifan (The Sea Banner) and his horsemen
Seventh row: Taiwei (The High Constable) with horsemen
Eighth row: At middle a ritual furnace to burn paper money for the ‘Celestial Treasuries’; offerings (smoke) reaching the top
Ninth row: Five orderlies mounted from l to r, on a buffalo, white elephant, lion, unicorn and tiger; left is the God of Soil

Reference: Jacques Lemoine, 'Yao Ceremonial Paintings', 1982.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, 2007.


Other Title

Heng Fei

Place where the work was made

Yunnan Province China

Cultural origin



circa 1850s

Media category


Materials used

pigment on paper


118.5 x 49.3 cm


Gift of Dr John Yu and Dr George Soutter 2006


Not on display

Accession number


Artist information

Yao people

Works in the collection



Where the work was made
Yunnan Province

Shown in 1 exhibition

Exhibition history

  • Walking with gods, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 01 Jun 2019–05 Jan 2020


John Yu, 1980s-2006, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, the nine Yao ceremonial paintings donated by Dr John Yu were purchased from different locations including Xian in Shaanxi province of China, Bangkok, Shanghai and Hong Kong.