Condition: Excellent

Chinese Shiwan (Shekwan) Ware | Yawning Damo | 20th/Century

A yawning Domo Bodhidharma representing of of his long periods of meditation and captured in a humorous mud figure. It can be humorously interpreted Domo was awakening from a long sleep, or yawning in hunger for food. Damo settled in the Song Mountain in Henan Province, the site of the Shaolin Temple, where he spent nine years practicing meditation in a cave nearby.

A favorite subject matter of Shiwan potters, Damo was an Indian Buddhist missionary of royal descents who reached Guangdong sea, and preached the Buddhist scriptures in Foshan, in A.D. 526, becoming the first patriarch of Chinese Buddhism. In Quin dynasty, when China, was ruled by the foreign Maonchu government, Damo became even more popular in Shiwan as the founder of the Shaolin branch of martial arts, which was practiced in Guangdong in preparation for the overthrow of the Quin.

Here we see him yawning with a wide-open mouth, with his teeth prominently displayed. His eyes are wild and crazy, as he encourages his followers to “press forward”, for enlightenment is not far off. His robe that covers his head is in a mottled ochre blue glaze. The only exposed portion of his body is his unglazed head, which is very expressive and detailed, and his exposed foot

Condition: Pristine and excellent: no chips or missing elements, repairs or crazing. Piece has no impressed stamp was made between 1890-1919. Dimensions: 4-1/4”w x 5-1/2”h (10.7cm x 13.9cm).

Additional Information: 

Please refer to our Discovery section for historical information on Shiwan Ceramics | Mud Figures, and our Book section, for out- of-print books for sale on the subject.

 

Site revisions and maintenance by Max Cheswick