Black and white photograph showing a view of intricately carved wooden shop signs. The signs use attributes of the Taoist Immortals, each of whom was commonly associated with a particular item. For instance, the lotus and the fly whisk (bottom sign), the crutch and the gourd (third sign down), the fan and the flywhisk, and the ribbon and the cloud. The links between each sign refer to Buddha ('Buddha's hand upon peach').
These signs are made of medallions carved with legendary Daoist beings. The characters read 'baiguo yougao', signifying a cake shop. The intricate carving and the combination of traditional symbolism and advertising make these signs an interesting subject of study. This photograph was taken in Chaoyangmen wai in the Tartar inner city. The cake shop was demolished in 1988.
This is one of a large number of photographs that were taken by Hedda Morrison (1908-1991) during her years of residence in Peking (Beijing), China 1933-1946.
Exhibited in 'An Asian experience: 1933-67', organised by the Asian Studies Association of Australia, Fisher Library Foyer, University of Sydney, 12-30 May 1986.
Gift of Mr Alastair Morrison, 1992