If you are looking for a suitable painting to hang on an empty wall at home, and feng shui is a factor that you are considering, then you might have come across the painting of 100 birds.
This painting concept is one of the most auspicious popular types of painting (that does not depict people) to have in the house as artwork.
If you have indeed shortlisted this painting for the living room, you might be held back from pulling the trigger as you are unsure of what the 100 birds painting means.
Pictures tell a thousand word. Oriental paintings can often be so deep in symbolism that it’s no exaggeration that many tell ten thousand words.
The 100 birds painting is actually a reference to the story of the phoenix, and how it came to be such a revered celestial creature through a period of coming-of-age.
To summarize the story, the phoenix was an ordinary bird which collected food to store (maybe in a just-in-time warehouse) when food was aplenty. When the great drought arrive and devastated the land, all other birds were starving and the phoenix graciously distributed the foodstuff to them and became a humanitarian superhero.
From then on, every year on the phoenix’s birthday, birds of all kinds would flock to the phoenix to show their gratitude and appreciation.
The 100 birds painting (百鸟朝凤图) is a depiction of the birds paying homage to the phoenix. It is after all the king of all feathered animals.
This is why paintings of the 100 birds always have the phoenix taking up the most real estate within the painting itself.
This can be in the form of illustrating the phoenix significantly large than the rest, have it positioned at the center of the artwork, or giving it the brightest vibrant colors, etc.
This also implies that a 100 birds painting would not be telling the above mentioned mythical story should the phoenix be excluded from it. It would therefore, not carry the auspicious symbolism that comes with it.
Over decades and even centuries, artists and designers might have painted painting of 100 birds using their own interpretations of what it represents and left out the phoenix. They might even replace the phoenix with the peacock to cater to the western market.
Ultimately, the 100 birds painting symbolizes recognition, leading, group-think, mentors, and blessings in general.
Placement of 100 birds painting
While the south is acknowledged as the recognition sector of a house, placing this painting in this area by default is not the way to place it.
Consider that there are 100 birds in the painting. They bring yang energy and needs a lot of space.
Such paintings are therefore best placed in common areas like the living room where there is enough space to accommodate such a huge number of birds.
They are also appropriate for office areas like living rooms, reception areas, and waiting areas, etc.
Finally, there are times when big paintings are generally not suggested in the house. But for this painting, it is alright to go big. Just remember to keep it’s size at a good proportion to the size of the living space.
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