Yu (Fish), have been the principal subject in artworks and sculptures for many millennia in China, including the fine arts works and classical literature. These elegant Yu have been found on Chinese artifacts. The words for “fish” and “abundance” are pronounced the same in Chinese. Therefore, Yu in the Chinese culture have symbolized wealth, since recorded history. Yu also symbolize harmony and marital happiness as many of the Yu are seen swimming in pairs.
As far back as 1162, the Empress of the Song Dynasty commissioned the construction of a beautiful pond to collect and admire the red and gold variety of the delightful specialized fish. Yellow being the Imperial color, citizens outside of the Imperial family were forbidden to keep fish of the gold or yellow variety. Now, people around the world prize the dazzling fish in their own personal fishponds.
But Yu (fish) are more than simply beautiful. They invite wealth and prosperity, especially in business and personal affairs. Throughout the history of Chinese customs, the constant movement of the blissful Yu encourages growth of money, stability and peace. Symbolically, if you have an abundance of Yu , you have a double abundance of gold. A gift of the propitious Yu is a gift of great fortune.
Yu (fish) represent not only elegance and beauty, but endurance, perseverance and swimming against the tide; symbolic of showing no fear when presented with life’s challenges and overcoming great obstacles that lie in ones’ path.
A most auspicious Yu (fish) and one worthy of the enormous attention we place on carving the flowing Yu on our handbags. The water drops formed by the swimming Yu are expressed with natural pearls, embedded into the leather. The delicate pearls suggest purity, dignity, nobility and of course, wisdom.
Privations and affluence, neither unsettles me, as I silently observe the beauty of nature’s blossoms; Time extends equally forward and back as I contemplate the dancing of the glorious clouds.
A Chinese couplet, using only a few words, tells the author's attitude toward life. It is only when you are indifferent to the admiration of others and your status in society, can one become resilient, with an irrepressible spirit. Only then can you find your inner peace.
This was the couplet from which our master designer found inspiration to create the glorious Clouds Collection.
In China, clouds, also called auspicious clouds, represent a good omen and "good luck" as the Chinese word for cloud is pronounced quite similarly to the word YUN meaning "luck" or "fortune". The stylized cloud is commonly seen in various forms of design, which is often pictured embroidered on apparel, carved into jade and sculptures and in numerous ink drawings and paintings. When clouds are repeated in a pattern, the sentiment expresses best wishes for the future and symbolizes never-ending fortune. Stylized cloud patterns have appeared for thousands of years in Chinese history. The iconic cloud motif conveys enthusiasm, happiness and inner peace.
We scrupulously hand carve and delicately paint into luxurious, rich, vegetable tanned leather the classic Chinese clouds that have been an iconic image for thousands of years. This seamless blend of ancient symbolism and modern fashion create a perfect philosophy of balance.
The Book of Songs is the oldest existing collection of Chinese poetry, comprising 305 works dating from the 11th to 6th centuries BC. It is said to have been compiled by Confucius himself. These ancient works have been studied by scholars in China and on a global level for over two millennia. This celebrated literary tradition of classical Chinese poetry could not have been established without bamboo calligraphy. Thousands of years ago, before the invention of paper, Chinese scholars tied slips of bamboo together to form a type of bound book. This allowed written and recorded ideas, which was the earliest form of books in China. The crafting of bamboo slips was a major tool in cultural preservation and dissemination of information before the development of paper. In ancient China, it was the first time that bamboo slips had liberated characters from the top circle, so that the contemplations of Confucius, Lao Tzu and many other famous luminaries could spread so far across the continents, to be shared with all people.
In China, calligraphy is regarded as one of the highest forms of artistic expression. For more than 2,000 years, China's literati, have studied endlessly to become connoisseurs and practitioners of this art form. Calligraphy is created by combining stylized strokes, executed with a brush and ink, to form the characters of Chinese writing. Chinese characters, unlike Western phonograph, evolved from ideographs, a picture or sign representing a thing or concept.
In the formal tradition of Chinese calligraphy, it is not simply what you write, but how it is written. We endeavor to immerse our handbags in this glorious, elegant appreciation of the art of Chinese calligraphy. Even if one cannot read the characters, bamboo calligraphy is an abstract art and can be admired simply for its beauty. Look for the graceful, fluid, yet bold lines. The finest calligraphy embodies balance, geometry and expressiveness. It is with these virtues that we embellish our handbags.
GATE OF GUARDIAN
Our master designer was inspired by the magnificent history of the ancient Beijing gates. A truly wondrous story, the ancient city of Beijing is composed of four sub-cities: the inner city, the outer city, the Imperial City and the Forbidden City. Construction of the Forbidden City started in 1406, at the 4th year of the Yongle reign of the third emperor of the Ming Dynasty, and was completed in 1420 which was during 14 years. It was said that a million workers including 100,000 artisans worked to create the masterpiece of architectural engineering and superlative beauty.
Each sub-city was built within the city walls. These were merged within a number of gate towers of immense fortification that sat atop rectangular platforms, 39 to 42 feet high. Each gate entrance structure was centered upon a tower platform, and had two giant red wooden gates that opened outwards. Massive copper doornails were fitted on both the exterior and the interior sides of the gates. When the gates were closed they were locked with giant tree-trunk-sized wooden beams. This was a highly efficient security system of ancient times.
The Imperial City has four gates. Each gate has eighty-one metal studs with nine placed horizontally and nine placed vertically. Nine is the most auspicious number in ancient China, representing the supreme power of the emperor. The two door knockers of the gate are ferocious beasts heads, safeguarding the gate from evil spirits and bringing happiness and good luck to all those who enter.
Motivated by the awe inspiring fortified gates of Beijing, our designer then added the auspicious beast, Pi Xiu, who is known as the divine accumulator of wealth to this incredible design. Security and prosperity are the symbolic focus of this remarkable handbag collection.
There are many legends about the origin of folding fan, someone says it originated from the Northern and Southern Dynasties of China, some historical data demonstrate it had appeared at the Eastern Han Dynasty of China, while there was another saying that the folding fan had showed up at Song Dynasty of China, etc. In any case, there is over one thousand year since the folding fan has appeared in China. The elegant, iconic folding fan is now a universal symbol of China’s refinement and grace. It has been recorded, as early as Song Dynasty, that ministers of the Imperial Court carried the folding fans not only as a means to cool off during the hot summer months, but also as personal adornment and a mode of cultural exchange. The innovative folding fan quickly became a favorite accessory to the court nobility, including the Emperor himself.
Initially constructed of readily available and simple materials, such as bamboo and paper, the popular folding fan took on an additional virtue. Besides cooling one during a sultry summer day, it became an important fashion embellishment. Concubines and the Chinese nobility commissioned precious folding fans to be created by master craftsmen. Artistic images and sublime landscapes were painted by renowned artists. Poetry applied in graceful calligraphy was inscribed by the leading scholars of the day. Folding fans so increased in importance that a regulation was created dictating that folding fans crafted for the Emperor were required to be produced with gold and decorated with distinguished poems and paintings by the finest artists.
Folding fans have henceforth evolved into an important cultural symbol, notable within Chinese literature and the arts; an expressive and graceful gift to exchange with friends and relatives. Our Exquisite Fan Collection of handbags artistically reinterprets the rich cultural heritage of the propitious Chinese folding fan and highlights outstanding Chinese art and cultivated refinement. The silhouette of the folding fan is skillfully recreated into the body of the bag. With hand-carved and intricately painted peacock feathers, the leather handbag transforms into a functional piece of art. Expertly worked with incisions and twists to the leather, a three dimensional masterpiece is fabricated into a glorious fashion accessory.