An image of Ceremonial painting - Hangsi (The Administration)

Yao people

(China  – )

Ceremonial painting - Hangsi (The Administration)

Other titles:
Heng Fei
Not on display
Further information

Hangsi means the 'Full Altar' or the 'Administration' and is a depiction of the whole Daoist pantheon. Strongly influenced by Chinese tradition, this painting shows a group of Daoist gods and celestial worthies whom the Yao view as a 'Cosmic Fraternity' that was considered to have control of the whole universe. Some Buddhist influence is evident with the inclusion of Guanyin.

The Daoist pantheon depicted includes:
Top row: The 3 Pure ones in the middle l to r: Daode, Yuanshi, Lingbao, flanked by the Jade Emperor (r) and the Master of Saints(l)
Second Row: believed to be attendants of the Jade Emperor and the Master of Saints
Third row: in the middle the Buddhist Bodhisattva Guanyin
Fourth Row: the middle 3 headed deity with many arms is thought to be the Buddhist Goddess of Light Marichi, whom the Yao have appropriated as Tai Sui, God of the Year.
Fifth row: the 6 Marshals; the 3 matrons of Daoist religion in a circle.
Sixth row: Haifan (The Sea Banner) and his horsemen
Seventh row: Taiwei (The High Constable) with horsemen
Eighth row: At middle a ritual furnace to burn paper money for the ‘Celestial Treasuries’; offerings (smoke) reaching the top
Ninth row: Five orderlies mounted from l to r, on a buffalo, white elephant, lion, unicorn and tiger; left is the God of Soil

Reference: Jacques Lemoine, 'Yao Ceremonial Paintings', 1982.

Asian Art Department, AGNSW, 2007.

Place of origin
Yunnan Province, China
Cultural origin
circa 1850s
pigment on paper
118.5 x 49.3 cm
Gift of Dr John Yu and Dr George Soutter 2006
Accession number
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