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Liu Haichan

Liu Haichan



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Hanging scroll; ink and color on silk

Image: 105 x 38 cm (41 5/16 x 14 15/16 in.); Overall with knobs: 182.8 x 59.1 cm (71 15/16 x 23 1/4 in.)

Edward L. Whittemore Fund 1982.29.2



Escaping to a Better World: Eccentrics and Immortals in Chinese Art (Chinese art rotation)

Did you know?

Because the immortal Liu Haichan is usually depicted with bangs, his eponym, liúhǎi 劉海, means "bangs" in Chinese.


Liu Haichan is a Daoist immortal sometimes included in the Eight Immortals. He is often shown as a young man wearing bangs across his forehead. He was said to have lived during the Five Dynasties period (907–979) and left his position as a grand councilor to become a hermit. Usually depicted carrying a string of coins and accompanied by a three-legged toad, Liu Haichan became a god of wealth and his toad symbolizes wealth as well. In this scroll, Liu is teasing the three-legged toad with a string of coins tied to his waist

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