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A bear or a monkey? Understanding the meaning of pictorial art in the light of Chinese pun rebus culture

When you mistake a motif in a traditional Chinese picture, you could have misinterpreted the meaning of the whole image intended by the ancient craftsman. Dr Yibin Ni has used the following example to illustrate the hidden meaning of a series of images in the context of Chinese pun rebus culture.

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Dragon

Dragon is an imaginary creature from ancient China which was believed to be agile, powerful and authoritative, thus is a symbol of imperial status in Chinese culture.   Related motif: Phoenix

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Understanding stories on Chinese porcelain: More than just an official and his attendants

Have you ever been puzzled by the description of ‘figural paintings’ for Chinese porcelains listed by various museums and auction catalogues? In fact, many Chinese paintings with figures refer to ancient stories and have meanings behind the scenes. Here is an unusual story about an official and his pet crane.

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