What are the hidden meanings of a bamboo in Chinese painting? – Музей китайской каллиграфии и живописи
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What are the hidden meanings of a bamboo in Chinese painting?

Bamboo has always occupied a special place in Chinese painting. It does not matter whether bamboo attracted with its natural properties or conquered with its subtle and modest, but refined taste, simple meaning that it carries, its extremely modest appearance – people have always had a special passion for from ancient times to the present day. It is better to go without meat than to live without bamboo, because it is so suitable for painting and is very popular with educated and cultured people.

So why do people like to depict bamboo so much? This is because it has a particularly interesting hidden meaning. All people dream of a prosperous, happy and peaceful life, and bamboo is a beautiful allegory of all this.

There are the following meanings contained in the image of a bamboo:

1. An image of a noble man. In Chinese painting, “plum, orchid, bamboo, and chrysanthemum “are called “the four noble ones”. Chinese bamboo culture embodies a spiritual, moral image that symbolizes “aspiration and restraint”; “not to strive for brilliance and not to cling to strength” (approx. translator’s note: meaning: don’t fawn over the powerful); since the bamboo is empty inside, it also symbolizes modesty and restraint.

2. “Report that the bamboo is growing peacefully” is one of the popular expressions. The people also have special paintings of bamboo, also called “report that the bamboo is growing peacefully” (approx. translator: that is, to inform in a letter that everything is safe and peaceful).

3. Gradually become higher and higher. A very good meaning, which, on the one hand, implies an increase in the official position, and on the other – applies to children in the family, means that the child grows every year healthier and stronger.

In addition to this, the meanings that originated from the three above are also very popular.

1. Symbol of longevity. The life span of bamboo is considered very long among plants, so people like to use bamboo as an allegory of longevity and quiet life.

2. Symbol of endurance. Bamboo has long been known as an allegory of direct and firm will, strong character and modesty.

3. Symbol of honesty and integrity: the bamboo will not break even if you bend it.

If you hang an elegant Chinese painting of bamboo in ink at home, whether it is a living room, bedroom or study, it can demonstrate the refined taste of the owner. Such a picture carries a sense of beauty and creates an artistic atmosphere!