Meanings and Symbols in Chinese Paintings
Chinese culture is very rich in symbolism
and throughout its long history each aspect
of life has been represented by a suitable
collection of symbols. The Chinese have
long been gifted with a vivid imagination
which, through the use of symbols, is both
enriching psychologically and helps to
ensure the essential health and happiness
of the people.
Chinese Paintings have long been designed
to express ideas and this has tended to form a kind
of language that can be used to express hopes,
beliefs and convey good wishes to others.
Paintings have long been chosen as gifts by the Chinese.
They can also be enjoyed as a focus for meditation in which
the symbolic meanings and the harmonising yin/yang balance
is conveyed to one's self.
As most Chinese believe in sympathetic magic, good
symbols are believed to be quite capable of
producing good fortune.
Symbols portray a purposeful
foray into the enchanted world of the
imagination and Chinese paintings have long been
considered an excellent medium for their
On one level all Chinese paintings are
meant to be viewed as symbols, each
different theme has its own significance
and meaning, a short description of which
can be found by using the links in each of our
Their characteristic themes - tigers, mountains, bamboo, horses etc. - represent
not only themselves, but also something
another level, Chinese paintings are also
loved purely for their beauty. So Chinese
paintings are both works of art intended as
an expression of something, to be enjoyed either as a focus
of meditation or as a means of
transmitting a message, and simultaneously
to give aesthetic pleasure and a balanced
attitude to all who see them.