Thursday, April 17, 2014

Jin Chan "Golden Toad" (Kathie Salazar)

            The Jin Chan or “golden toad” is a Chinese object of religious expression in an everyday material culture. The toad is a type of Feng Shui object of Chinese ancient art and science that creates balance and harmony in its surroundings. Moreover, the “golden toad” represents a Feng Shui charm for prosperity. There has been said that Jin Chan was the wife of one of the eight immortals and was turned into an amphibian because she had stolen the Peaches of Immortality where she then runs away with them to the moon.
            Therefore, because she was seen as greedy, she is a powerful wealth charm that can bring blessings and money luck. The Jin Chan is all gold as are the coins surrounding its body that signifies money accumulation. Occasionally, the toad would have a coin on its mouth like the one in the first figure. There is also distinctive detail on the coins that makes them look as if they were real. It is not seen in the photograph, but the toad actually has only three legs which symbolize the Holy Trinity of heaven, earth, and humankind.. There is much detail as well on its back that looks scaly. The toad has bright fiery red eyes that capture the human eye.
            This particular Jin Chan (second photograph) is next to a plate of mangos, onions, a standing Buddha holding a money bag, a smiling sitting Buddha, and more food or drinks. Comprehensibly, the people that place these objects believe in giving the Jin Chin and Buddha offerings to give them good health, wealth, and prosperity. The presence of the Jin Chin and the rest of the objects suggest that cultural religious artifacts can be placed anywhere and are respected. This specific Jin Chan is located inside of a nail salon where as soon as you enter through the door the artifact is displayed to give a strong sense of religious belief. Ironically, the way the Jin Chan is placed; it goes against the laws of Feng Shui. It is said that a Jin Chan should not be facing out toward the main door because that gives direction to where all wealth and good fortune would go- in this case out the door. But as you enter the nail shop it is evident that the business is thriving. The owners and workers are Chinese that mostly serve African Americans and few Hispanics. The shop is almost always filled with people.

No comments:

Post a Comment