The Pink Princess
No other figure in the Chinese pantheon appears in a greater variety of images, of which there are said to be thousands of different incarnations or manifestations. Quan Yin is usually depicted as a barefoot, gracious woman dressed in beautiful white or even pink flowing robes, with a white hood gracefully draped over the top of the head and carrying a small upturned vase of holy dew. (However, in the Lamaistic form, common in bronze from eighteenth-century China and Tibet, she is often entirely naked.)
She stands tall and slender, a figure of infinite grace, her gently composed features conveying the sublime selflessness and compassion that have made her the favorite of all deities.
She may be seated on an elephant, standing on a fish, nursing a baby, holding a basket, having six arms or a thousand arms, and one to eight heads, one atop the next and four, eighteen, or forty hands, which she strives to alleviate the sufferings of the unhappy.
• Title: The Pink Princess
• Subject: Mythology
• Location: Maui, Hawaii
• Completed: 2001
• Pieces: One
• Style: Visionary
• Colors: Blue, Brown
• Signed: Yes
• Frame: n/a
• Purchase: Giclee, Original
She is frequently depicted as riding a mythological animal known as the Hou, which somewhat resembles a Buddhist lion, or Phoenix and symbolises the divine supremacy exercised by Quan Yin over the forces of nature. Her bare feet are the consistent quality.
On public altars, Quan Yin is frequently flanked by two acolytes, to her right a barefoot, shirtless youth with his hands clasped in prayer known as Shan-ts’ai (Golden Youth), and on her left a maid demurely holding her hands together inside her sleeves known as Lung-na (Jade Maiden).
Her principal feast occurs yearly on the nineteenth day of the second lunar month. However, she is fortunate in having three birthdays, the nineteenth of the second, sixth and ninth months.
There are many metamorphoses of this goddess. She is the model of Chinese beauty and to say a lady or a little girl is a Kwan Yin is the highest compliment that can be paid to grace and loveliness.