"Green Mountain Rolling Coins"
In 2006, Chi-Jen Liu created "Green Mountain Rolling Coins," a painting which reveals his expert knowledge on the feng shui practice of the "Flying Stars." This is the astrological calculation of the dominant energies of a particular annual cycle. He teaches that these annual patterns of positive and negative influences can be experienced as timely opportunities or unexpected obstacles in one's life journey. The calligraphy on both sides of the painting elaborate on these principles. He writes, "Open your fishing net when big fish pass by. Close your net when negative energies transpire. Intelligent ones catch good luck and thwart bad luck."
A large Chinese coin is the focus of this piece, but just as important are the mantra charms that surround it. Mantra charms are ancient Taoist symbols that are known to bear and transmit various vibratory qualities. These qualities cover a vast spectrum of human desires, such as happiness, love, wealth, fame, and health – to name but a few. Over a dozen mantra charms are embedded in "Green Mountain Rolling Coins." They are inscribed on the coin, and along the contours of the sun and moon in the upper corners. They specifically promote business growth, wealth, and harmonious relationships. At the bottom, Chi-Jen Liu illustrates a vignette from the I-Ching that announces the meeting of a master to guide you toward achievement. His calligraphy proclaims, “The rooster heralds your time has come to stake your flag of victory… The Taoist shaman guides your way to wealth... with mantra meditation, develop your subconscious power."
It is important to note that as a respected teacher, Chi-Jen Liu does not promote blind faith in mantra charms. He encourages dedicated meditation upon the charms, being mindful of their purpose, practicing mantra chants and mudras, and living a healthy and balanced life. Mantra charms are more than decorative talismans or lucky objects. Chi-Jen Liu – as well as many of his patrons – can testify to the tangible power behind these ancient symbols when they are properly applied.
In the time of imperial China – more than 2,000 years ago – silver or gold ingots, called "yuanbao," were the accepted form of money. With the arrival of standardized currency, the coin became most common. The ancient Chinese coin was round with a squared hole in the middle. A cord could be threaded through the coin holes, allowing payment or gifting to be efficient and easily carried.
The coin is universally accepted as a symbol for wealth. In feng shui, ancient Chinese coins and ingots are strategically placed around the home or workplace because they are regarded as magnets of financial success and monetary reward. Chinese ingots and coins are displayed during Lunar New Year festivities to represent the arrival of good fortune in the year to come. Sculptures of ingot-bearing deities can be found inside temples as well as household altars. In honor of one's ancestors and to wish them a rich afterlife, gold or silver ingots made from folded paper are burned as offerings during Chinese festivals.
In response to the wishes of his clientele during his many decades of work as a feng shui master, Chi-Jen Liu created an extensive series of paintings that embody blessings for the attainment of fortune. The "Coin Series" is laden with ancient Chinese symbols of prosperity. Coins are arranged in Taoist astrological patterns, given center stage like a radiant sun, or pictured as a manifestation of beneficent powers. This ever-growing series currently includes paintings from the past 20 years.