‧Jadeite Cabbage moved to exhibition "Nature and Human in Unison – the Smart Carvings of Jade and Beautiful Stones" in gallery 302 on December 31, 2009.
Jadeite is a type
of jade found in the mountains stretching
from Yünnan to Myanmar. It comes in
ochre to brilliant green, echoing the
colors of the kingfisher bird, hence
the alternate name "kingfisher
jade". This piece of jadeite carved
into the form of a bokchoy cabbage was
a decorative object in the Yung-ho Palace,
but it was originally "planted"
into a small enameled basin in the shape
of a crab apple blossom with spirit
fungi carved from red coral by its side.
Rendered from a piece of half-grayish-white,
half-green jadeite, the craftsmen cleverly
used the original coloring of the mineral
to carve it into a true-to-life stalk
of bokchoy cabbage with leaves and veins
clearly articulated. Also rendered at
the top are a locust and its relative,
a katydid. The katydid is commonly referred
to as a "lady spinner". Due
to its great propensity for procreation,
in antiquity this insect family was
considered an auspicious symbol for
having many children and grandchildren.
Even in the "Odes of Chou and South"
from the ancient Book of Poetry,
it is written, "Oh, winged locusts
collecting in such great numbers, how
fitting is it that your descendants
are so many."