The dragon throughout history has been a prevailing symbol denoting strength and superiority. In addition to China, it is reflected in numerous art sculptures, paintings and other motifs in Japan, Taiwan and Korea. These countries all have the common belief that the dragon is a representation of all things mystical and divine.
Although there is much talk about the different kinds of two dimensional dragon art originating from China actually the dragon has been featured in three dimensional mediums as well. Ancient Chinese architecture is full of examples of the dragon being used as a design motif as well as various statues and sculptures.
Today dragon sculptures can be found all around China. They are taken as a means of artistic expression by modern sculptors and are used for the purpose of decorating homes as well as public places. Since the Chinese dragon is a unique oriental creature the statues have gained popularity all around the world who find them to be highly creative and unique.
Delving deep into what the dragon means to the Chinese people one finds it to be the most highly revered creatures of the culture. In fact the Chinese people often refer to themselves as descendants of dragons. The dragon in general is taken as a good luck symbol and it is believed that keeping a dragon sculpture or painting in your home will ward off evil.
The Chinese dragon is identified by its five claws unlike its Japanese counterpart that has only three claws. The sculptures and statues that archaeologists have managed to uncover reveal the imperial power that the mythological creature was believed to possess. Archaeologists are confirmed that the sculptures date back to the times when history wasn’t even recorded in written form. That’s how ancient the Chinese dragon tradition is.
History tells us that most of the dragon sculptures, paintings, and architectural designs were created during the Ming Dynasty. There is a vast assortment of dragon art forms that were produced during this period because of the emperor’s connection to the dragon itself.
Perhaps the most magnificent depiction of the dragon is the “Nine dragon wall” which consists of a screen wall with various images of nine dragons in total. Usually found in temples, imperial gardens and palaces, the most popular one is located in Beijing China. It serves as host to many visitors each year who come to admire and appreciate its historical beauty.
Unearthing these dragon works of art through the years has been a daunting task. One of the more popular depicting a dragon can be seen painted on the ceiling of the Sokoku-ji Temple in Kyoto.This particular site has become world renowned for its mystical and magical qualities produced by the painting which is mesmerizing to all who enter the temple.
In ancient times, it was not difficult to find dragon works of art in all locations around China. The more ornate dragons were usually found in temples or in the palaces kept on display for the emperors’ pleasure. Those lucky enough to acquire a statue or painting of their own proudly exhibited it in their home.