The cicada has been celebrated in China since ancient times. It is a symbol of harvest, purity, nobility and rebirth. To the ancient farmers, the cicada is also the most accurate "weather reporter" and "messenger of God", as the higher the temperature is, the louder it sings.
The male cicadas sing their love songs throughout summer to attract their female counterparts, subsisting solely on the fluid of trees. Ancient poets and scholars in China were inspired by the noble, soulful and self-contained being of the cicada and thus, the little insect became a symbol and a beloved metaphor in Chinese art and literature.
A young cicada passes the first few years of its life under ground, after that it comes out in the form of a mobile pupa, splitting down its back to appear in its grown state. The ancient Chinese took this as a sign of resurrection and created jade cicada carvings to be placed in the mouth of a corpse in order for the deceased to reincarnate smoothly and quickly.
Jade is a stone most valued by the Chinese people, and a token of a gentleman's virtues: humanity, justice, intelligence, bravery and purity.
Exquisite jade of imperial quality is transformed into the cicada's body, its wings are made wafer-thin, a luxuriant green jade (15.5x17.10mm) is placed in its embrace, and a cabochon lavender jade (13.5x14.70mm) is set to surprise. Jade beads are embedded using the tenon-and-mortise technique. The overwhelming green of the cicada is the result of Wallace Chan's jade-thinning-and-luminosity-enhancing invention patent in 2002.
Believed to be 300 million years old, the spider is a symbol of creativity and predation. It is a trapeze artist feeding on cicadas and other insects, and a hardworking weaver of virtuosity. It waits quietly, silent in sparkles, it has no idea - the playful creator has made it a clasp, the cicada can be set free by nothing now but the spider's one smart move.
Yellow is a color of the sun and earth, and the color for royalty in Chinese culture. The yellow diamonds' powerful sparkles make an interesting contrast to the humble, smooth texture of the jade, narrating the magic of East-meet-West.
The pigeon-blood ruby eyes see all that is beauty in a mortal world; however, no earthliness can tempt a soul as calm and green as the cicada's. The eye sees desires, but the heart remains Zen -wisdom is a filter for the soul; it explains the truth of enlightenment.
In Chinese language, Cicada (蟬) and Zen (禪) also share similar sounds.
Growing through the country, the bamboo is known as "the friend of China". The bamboo made one of the oldest form of books as the ancient Chinese wrote on bamboos before paper was made popular. An evergreen plant of longevity, stability, growth and durability, the bamboo is crowned "the gentlemen's plant" in the Chinese culture.
Thunder & Rain
Carved on the bamboo leaves are "cicada patterns" found on ancient Chinese bronze vessels dating as far back as the Shang dynasty (1600-1046 BCE). The meandering thunder-pattern-like motifs, joined and elaborated, signify the importance of rainfalls to the agricultural people in ancient China.
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