Fu, Lu, Shou (Three stars)
Fu, Lu, Shou, also known as "three stars", are often seen together in China. They represent good luck, prosperity and longevity. The statues in Shanghai XinTianDi are carved in an artistic way rather than the traditional look. The Lu star holds the old Chinese money (YuanBao) in the hand and is widely worshiped. It shows a nice combination of tradition and modern art, as is the style of XinTianDi area.
The "Fountain of Blessings" stands on the North Block Square of Shanghai Xintiandi. It was created by Dutch-Chinese sculptor Ms. Wu Chingju and is based on the traditional Chinese folklore figures of 'Fulushou'. Sculptress Ms. Wu Chingju explains her design concept: "The 'Fulushou' figures bear the human wishes for a better life, such as happiness, good luck, fortune, prosperity, reputation, longevity and so on. 'Fu' embraces the wind and embodies joy; 'Lu' looks skyward and bows with hands clasped, symbolizing wisdom; 'Shou' leans lightly on a cane and smiles, representing the continuation of life. Shanghai’s skyline is instantly recognisable by its magnificent towers. Embarking on my Wendy Wu Tour this most populous city of 24 million delivers a multitude of surprises. First stop is the Shanghai Museum whose architecture is reminiscent of the famous bronze Ding (a tripod pot with handles) inside. Displayed are one million pieces of ancient Chinese art; many are national treasures. Categories range from bronzes, ceramics, paintings and sculpture to exquisite jade, classical furniture and artefacts of ethnic minorities. Shiny dragon heads on the balustrades entice you up to more galleries. To the Western tourist this can be bewildering especially if you are unfamiliar with China’s cultural background. But the wandering is worthwhile to discover such things as their 8,000 year history of jade carving. The spade-shaped coins cast by the Jin State in 376 BC fascinate me when practically all coinage today is round. There’s also a collection of coins used along the Silk Road. This ties in with my holiday reading of Colin Falconer’s Silk Road, an historical novel following the route into China. Just as other cities of the world have a Chinatown, Shanghai has a Western town. Catering for the 20% of resident foreigners, menus are in English. There are Italian and German restaurants and the aroma of coffee wafts amidst expensive shops selling designer clothing. However, a colourful fountain where bronze Chinese figures swirl reminds us of our Asian location. Etc.