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4 Guardians Oakland by estria 4 Guardians Oakland by estria
4 Guardians painted with help from a ton of people, including 357, Bam, Vogue TDK.

Jose "Peps" Garcia and I are
pleased to present our mural concept.

This is our interpretation of the four Chinese celestial creatures. They are from left to right: Qilin (Kirin/unicorn), Fenghuang (phoenix), Dragon and Tortoise. Our goal here was for the larger shapes to be easily identifiable from the highway, and if people walk up to the wall, then they will see the details in each one. We have incorporated elements from contemporary hip-hop art forms within the body of each creature with the intention of connecting the younger generation with the old myths, culture, and ways. Within the creatures can be seen arrows, turntables, spray cans, and adidas shoes.

Here is the traditional meaning behind each creature. Many pardons if we have butchered this!

QILIN (Kirin/Unicorn)
It ate fire in its ravenous fury, but it was specially praised for being able to discriminate between good and evil, and that it would gore the wicked whenever it meets them. Appearing only when there was a wise and virtuous ruler, and that it had a discriminating mind that it enabled it to know when benevolent rulers or wise sages would appear in the world. It was considered to be able to walk on water, and that it had a perfect goodwill, gentleness, and benevolence to all living creatures. It is so gentle that when it walks it is careful not to tread on the tiniest living creature and will not even eat live grass but only what is dead. The span of this animal's natural life is a thousand years. In Chinese mythology, the Qilin was an animal of good omen that came to humans only on important missions.

FENGHUANG (Phoenix)
In Chinese mythology, the phoenix is the symbol of high virtue and grace, of power and prosperity. It represents the union of yin and yang. It was thought to be a gentle creature, alighting so gently that it crushed nothing, and eating only dewdrops. It symbolized the Empress usually in a pairing with a dragon (the dragon representing the Emperor), and only Empress could wear the phoenix symbol.  The phoenix represented power sent from the heavens to the Empress. If a phoenix was used to decorate a house it symbolized that loyalty and honesty was in the people that lived there. Jewelry with the phoenix design showed that the wearer was a person of high moral values, and so the phoenix could only be worn by people of great importance.

DRAGON
The Chinese New Year Dragon is the emblem of guardianship and vigilance. The Chinese dragon has long been a potent symbol of auspicious power in folklore and art. The Dragon is a beneficent and gracious creature and is worshipped as the divine ruler of Lakes, Rivers and Seas. It is the powerful yet gentle 'Loong" that brings rain to the earth, hasten the crops and cools the toiling framer. The Chinese dragon is traditionally also the embodiment of the concept of yang (male) and associated with the weather as the bringer of rain and water in an agriculturally water-driven nation. Its female counterpart is the Fenghuang.

TORTOISE
The tortoise represents longevity, of steadfast effort, of deliberate action that inevitably leads to success. The combination of the Dragon and Tortoise combines the qualities of both animals into a potent symbol of success and longevity. Dragon Tortoise symbolizes good fortune and longevity.
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:iconakse-p19:
Akse-p19 Featured By Owner Apr 1, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
Awesome Production!
Reply
:iconom-nom-nomnivore:
Om-nom-nomnivore Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
I know the first three are a Qilin, Phoenix, and a dragon, but what is the last one called?
Reply
:iconsasukeissohot97:
sasukeissohot97 Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
3rd from the right.... gyarados? XD
Reply
:iconbata4:
BATA4 Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012
Your setting the standard.
Reply
:iconestria:
estria Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012  Professional Artist
Thanks. Just trying is all.
Reply
:iconkisanaru:
KisaNaru Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012
Ohhhhh
Reply
:iconcravenlunatic:
CravenLunatic Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012   Digital Artist
Ooh, that's in Oakland? Where? I must go see it.
Reply
:iconestria:
estria Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012  Professional Artist
It's facing the tracks. Enter the gate in the fence of the parking lot next to East Bay Asian Youth Center. It's at E. 12th St at 20th Ave. I have another wall next to it on EBAYC. Both murals face towards the bay.
Reply
:iconcravenlunatic:
CravenLunatic Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2012   Digital Artist
Wow, it's actually visible from google maps street view. XD But I think I'll still go see it in person one of these days.
Reply
:iconestria:
estria Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2012  Professional Artist
Awesome, I didn't know that.
Reply
:iconskarletfeather:
SkarletFeather Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012  Student General Artist
Now that is some serious street art! I wish there was more of this on our walls where I live rather than the lame attempts of some punks. Any who fantastic illustration style and great use of colors.

This is just completely freehand? no use of stencils? did you use organic wheat paste or the old school paint can? ;P also how long did it take to do this painting? :meow:

sorry to ask so many questions :blush: but it's just super cool!
Reply
:iconestria:
estria Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012  Professional Artist
Thank you. Yes, no stencils, all freehand, all spray paint. I think it took us a month using ladders. Would have been much faster with a boom lift.
Reply
:iconskarletfeather:
SkarletFeather Featured By Owner Mar 30, 2012  Student General Artist
:highfive: thats amazing! it is a very unique illustration, the colors just make my eyes go crazy. Great job to you and your team :)
Reply
:iconicy-tempest:
Icy-Tempest Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012
byakko, suzaku, seriyuu and genbu??
Reply
:iconmushroma:
Mushroma Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012  Student General Artist
wooow super kl, i love the tortoise especially <3 :happybounce:
Reply
:iconant-artistik:
Ant-artistik Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
this is marvelous work, bravo!
Reply
:iconnoname2431:
noname2431 Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012
I am Chinese and I think your 4 guardians is awesome...
Reply
:iconestria:
estria Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012  Professional Artist
Wow, thanks! I'm not Chinese, but I tried to paint it proper.
Reply
:iconorngeturtl:
orngeturtl Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012
super cool. kudos to everyone involved
Reply
:iconsetsume:
setsume Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012
I love the detailing. Very Beautiful.
Reply
:iconchibisuke-hikaru:
chibisuke-hikaru Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012
awesome ^_^ ME GUSTA
Reply
:iconstone2gold:
Stone2Gold Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012
Are these of the 9 dragon sons?
Reply
:iconblu-kitsune:
blu-kitsune Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I can never remember the names of the tiger and the turtle! Or is it tortoise?
Reply
:iconsetsume:
setsume Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012
The tortoise is called Genbu, and the tiger is called Byakko. At least from what I remember that is what they are called. It has been a few years since I first learned this, so my memory is kinda iffy.
Reply
:iconblu-kitsune:
blu-kitsune Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you!
Reply
:iconsetsume:
setsume Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012
No problem. Though i believe if you look online there are tons of different names for them. Those 2 are the only ones I know by name.
Reply
:iconflygonmaster66:
flygonmaster66 Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
That's amazing! Nice job!
Reply
:iconeok73:
EOK73 Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012
wow! ... niiiiice wall!!
Reply
:iconnickdart:
NickDart Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012  Professional Interface Designer
outstanding job!
Reply
:iconcitizenxcreation:
CitizenXCreation Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012  Hobbyist
Wow...You did a really great job. I imagine it took a long to to complete.
Reply
:iconestria:
estria Featured By Owner Mar 29, 2012  Professional Artist
Yeah the dragon alone took 10 days.
Reply
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