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Shengzhu, master of the saints

circa 1850s


Yao people


  • Details

    Other Title
    Nyut Hung
    Place where the work was made
    Yunnan Province China
    Cultural origin
    circa 1850s
    Media category
    Materials used
    pigment on paper
    121.5 x 50.7 cm
    Gift of Dr John Yu and Dr George Soutter 2006
    South Building, lower level 1, Asian Lantern galleries
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Yao people

    Works in the collection


  • About

    Shengzhu is the alter ego of Yu Huang (the Jade Emperor). Yu Huang was the supreme deity of the universe. Yu Huang came to prominence during the Tang dynasty when Daoism absorbed some Indian Buddhist concepts into its beliefs. Both Shengzhu and Yu Huang wear an imperial cap and hold a gui ceremonial tablet, while they are distinguished by the colour of their robes - the former always wears yellow, the latter green. It is believed Yu Huang appointed Shengzhu the 'Heavenly Worthy and Perfect Lord'.

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

    Asian Art Department, AGNSW, 2007.

  • Places

    Where the work was made

    Yunnan Province

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

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

    • Elemental, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 30 Jul 2022–2024

  • Provenance

    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.

Other works by Yao people

See all 8 works