Feng-huang Picture

The feng-huang is a mythical Chinese bird similar to the phoenix of the western world. It was one of the four celestial creatures that the Chinese believed created the world (the other 3 being the dragon, unicorn, and tortoise). After the creation of the world, each of the 4 celestial creatures took over a quadrant of the heavens. Feng-huang ruled over the southern quadrant, which represented summer and the sun. In some legends, the bird actually lived in the sun.

Unlike the phoenix of Western mythology, feng-huang is actually two birds (feng is male, huang is female). Many Chinese animal names are the combination of the male and female names. Another difference between the feng-huang and the phoenix is that feng-huang is a true immortal bird. It does not grow old and die to be reborn again.

The feng-huang is a symbol of peace, prosperity, virtue, and grace. It also symbolizes the unions of yin and yang, and male and female. When the male and female birds are seen together, it is a symbol of everlasting love. In my painting, I tried to make both birds look genderless, but each with a hint of femininity.

Anyway, this is a birthday present for my dear friend Amber, who I've been friends with since middle school.

Acrylic on 16x20 canvasboard, probably about 8 or 10 hours.
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