Mission Statement

This blog journals my quest of art, whether it is a piece of work that is inherent in nature or one created by artists known or unknown or that I created myself. During this search, I have come to appreciate the magnificence and generosity of God who in his infinite wisdom surrounded us with exquisiteness everyday...everywhere and inspired our human spirit to create beauty that feeds our bodies and souls. Come join me on my journey to find art through my travels and my own creative endeavors. Maraming salamat.

All rights to all posts and contents on this blog, including photos and artwork are reserved by jojo sabalvaro tan.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Chinese Ancestor Painting

Chinese Ancestor Portraits 2011
by jojo sabalvaro-tan
Watercolor on Arches 140# watercolor paper
4.5" x 6.5"
These are my  last paintings for 2011 and they are my interpretation of the Chinese Ancestor paintings genre. Shopping for accessories for our home, we went to an Asian antique and rare artifacts in downtown Chicago called The Golden Triangle. As we browsed through the store, we came upon a large scroll featuring a seated Chinese man and woman, who we assumed were husband and wife. We were told it was an example of Chinese Ancestor portraits painted from the 16th to late 19th century depicting ancestors and used by the Chinese as an object of worship. This particular piece was in good condition but at almost 6 figures, rather pricey.
I was intrigued enough by this genre and did more research on the subject. Painted on large scrolls, they were precious family heirlooms that ensured a family’s continued good fortune. I like these paintings for their luxurious costumes and the mixture of sophistication and simplicity in them. The best link for more information on this genre that I found is: Chinese Ancestor Portraits 

Examples of Chinese Ancestor Portraits

Ancestor portrait painting gradually declined with the advent of photography.

These paintings were done in watercolor on 140# Arches watercolor paper. I also used gold gouache paint for accent. I matted the paintings to fit a standard 8" x 10" frame. On the painting of the female, I wrote the Chinese character for Harmony and on the male painting, the Chinese character for Happiness.  since those characters go well with the marriage theme of the paintings. I am selling these on my Etsy shop and I thought they were going to be an excellent shower or wedding present and hope that they bring good fortune to the lucky couple who will receive it. It is also great as an all occasion gift and since the heritage of these paintings make them fit for any decor, be it traditional or modern, they are in tune with the mixed cultural styles popular today.

Male Ancestor detail
Female Ancestor Detail

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