Jade Cong – 漢來大飯店 (The Grand Hi Lai Hotel)

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Made in the late Ming dynasty, the jade cong is copied from a style of the Central Plains during the Shang and Zhou Dynasties. It is not tall, and does not have sections. It has four sides, neither swollen part nor sophisticated decorative pattern for each side. Simplicity on each side is the typical style of the Central Plains. Simplified “beast face” pattern symbolizes gods, ancestors and divine and spiritual animals.  A grinding method is adopted to carve the jade. External screw in relief, drilling, polishing etc. are used as techniques of jade carving. In the late Neo-lithic Period, jade cong was a very significant instrument for sacrificial ceremonies. The basic design is a square pillar and a circular hole in the center, reflecting ancient Chinese conceptions of the universe: square shape for earth; circular shape for heaven. Jade also symbolizes the communication between human beings and gods.

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