Newsletter No. 498

06 # 4 9 8 | 1 9 . 0 5 . 2 0 1 7 雅 共 賞 / ART iculation 呦呦鹿鳴 漢代仙人騎鹿(上)及駕鹿車(下)畫像石拓片 Han rubbings showing immortals riding on deer (top) and immortals on a wagon pulled by deer (bottom) 嵌綠松石青銅卧鹿 西漢或以前 通高52厘米、長26厘米 江蘇省漣水縣三里墩西漢墓出土 「仙境之鹿—南京博物院藏中國古代鹿文物展」 現於文物館展出,展期至2017年5月28日 Bronze Deer Inlaid with Gems Western Han or earlier Height (including antlers): 52 cm Length: 26 cm Unearthed in the Western Han Tomb at Sanlidun, Lianshui County, Jiangsu Province The Bronze Deer is on display in the Art Museum of CUHK in the exhibition ‘From the Realm of the Immortals: Meanings and Representations of the Deer from the Nanjing Museum’, until 28 May 2017 The Deer Call With sounds of happiness the deer Browse on the celery of the meads. A nobler feast is furnished here, With guests renowned for noble deeds. The lutes are struck; the organ blows, … And with my spirits rich crown all, The cups to cheer the festive throng. The poem Lu Ming , from The Book of Songs , portrays a picture of harmony between humanity and nature. A herd of deer foraging in the meadow ‘call their companions upon the discovery of delectable food’. The call is comparable to the hospitality of a host who entertains his guests with fine wine and music. The beauty and tranquility of the deer must have touched the hearts of the ancients. From as early as the late Shang dynasty, the Chinese were using jade from Khotan to carve deer accessories. One of the few who owned jade accessories back then was the wife of Emperor Wu of the Shang kingdom, Lady Fu Hao, who also served as the high priestess and general of the army. A common feature of the jade deer artefacts dating back to the Western Zhou dynasty is their elongated antlers. And it is worth mentioning that the logo of the Fine Arts Department of CUHK is inspired by the antlers of the Western Zhou jade deer. 「呦呦鹿鳴,食野之蘋。我有嘉賓,鼓瑟吹笙……我有旨酒, 以燕樂嘉賓之心。」每當吟詠《詩經.鹿鳴》,一幅人與自然 和諧相處的畫面便躍然眼前:鹿群在原野上「得食而相呼」, 而「我」以美酒、音樂款待「我」的貴賓。 鹿的美麗、祥和想必深深地打動了先民,早在晚商時期已開 始使用珍貴的和闐美玉雕琢鹿形飾品,而玉鹿的主人是商 武王愛妻、集祭司與將軍於一身的婦好。西周玉鹿特別彰顯 高聳的犄角,香港中文大學藝術系系徽即以西周長角玉鹿作 為祖形。 在先人心目中,優雅而輕盈的鹿,最適合作為仙人的坐騎, 漢、唐詩文多有吟詠,例如「浮雲霧而入冥兮,騎白鹿而容 與」、「仙人騎白鹿,髮短耳何長。導我上太華,攬芝獲赤 幢」、「身騎白鹿行飄颻,手翳紫芝笑披拂」。詩句傳達出的 那份自在和逍遙,着實令人神往。鹿因沾「仙氣」而被認為能 壽長千年。道家經典《抱朴子》云:「虎及鹿兔,皆壽千歲」。 至晚從宋代開始,鹿便已成為藝術品中常見的寓意長壽的吉 祥圖案。鹿還是傳說中天性純良的瑞獸,只有聖主經世才會 出現。誠如《瑞應圖》所載:「夫鹿者,純善之獸,五色光輝, 王者孝則至。王者承先聖法度,無所遺失,則白鹿來。」 文物館「仙境之鹿—南京博物院藏中國古代鹿文物展」展 出的青銅臥鹿,出自西漢貴族墓中。此鹿作踡臥小憩狀,犄 角槎枒高聳,溫順、閒適中透出機敏,姿態、神情捕捉準確, 殊為難得。鹿脊、臀、頸、耳等部位預鑄的凹槽內,鑲嵌水滴 形綠松石,相連成線勾勒輪廓。綠松石性脆,加工如此之薄 且形態、大小相若的心形綠松石片,頗見功力。儘管這件青 銅臥鹿表面因年久而鏽蝕,松石鑲嵌亦有脫落,遙想兩千年 前成器之時,黃燦燦的金屬表面點綴心形松石,其奢華之色 定曾令墓主着迷,以至去世之後,仍以之陪伴左右。 The ancient Chinese considered the elegant and agile deer as perfect mounts for fairies, evidence of which abounds in literary works dating back to the Han and Tang dynasties. Below are some examples: Floating on the cloud and mist, We enter the dim height of heaven; Riding on the white deer We sport and take our pleasure From Zhuang Ji’s Songs of the South , Western Han dynasty The immortal rides a white deer, His hair is short and ears so long. He leads me up the grand Mount Hua, I pluck the magic mushroom, obtain a crimson Insignia streamer. Anonymous, Long Song Ballad , Han dynasty On two white deer astride, Holding the lingzhi fungus of immortality. Li Bai, Tang dynasty The carefree spirit expressed in the verses above is truly fascinating. Deer are regarded as a symbol of longevity because of their association with mythology. The Taoist classic Baopuzi reads: ‘Tigers, deer, and rabbits live a thousand years.’ Starting from the Song dynasty or earlier, deer have been a symbol of longevity in artwork. In Chinese mythology, deer are auspicious, gentle-natured animals, and their sightings are often thought to foretell the emergence of a just ruler. Such a belief is reflected in An Account on the Illustrations of Auspicious Omens , written by Sun Roushi in the sixth century A.D., which says: ‘A deer is the best of pure virtue, which radiates five different colours. If the ruler is pious, it appears. If the ruler follows the law of the ancient sages meticulously, the white deer appears.’ The exhibition ‘From the Realm of the Immortals: Meanings and Representations of the Deer from the Nanjing Museum’, organized by the Art Museum of CUHK, features a bronze deer unearthed in a Han tomb. The recumbent deer with elongated antlers emanates meekness and composure, as well as alertness. To be able to present its posture and countenance with such life-like accuracy is a rare feat. The incisions on the deer’s back, haunch, neck, and ears were inlaid with turquoise gemstones, which outlined the contours of the deer’s body. Turquoise breaks easily, and therefore processing the gemstone into such thin and evenly-sized flakes would have required excellent craftsmanship. The flakes have long come off, but some two thousand years ago, the deer, whose surface is patinated, must have captured the imagination of the master of the tomb with its glittering splendour and turquoise décor, which is probably why it was laid in the tomb to accompany the deceased in his journey into the afterlife.