Foo Dog tattoo by Vegas tattoo artist Fernie Andrade
A symbol of protection, or the protection of fortune, these Chinese Guardian Lions or Imperial Guardian Lions, are know traditionally as Foo Dogs. Sometimes referred to as “Shi” in the Chinese culture, the appearance and pose of the Foo Dogs did not become formalized during the Ming and Qing dynasties.
For those who practice Feng Shui, they understand that the the correct placement, delivery times and location are all equally important to ensure their beneficial effect. When looking out of a building through the entrance to be guarded, looking in the same direction as the lions, the male is placed on the left and the female on the right. So when looking at the entrance from outside the building, facing the lions, the male lion with the ball is on the right, and the female with the cub is on the left.
Whereas traditional English lions depict realism on their lion sculptures, the Chinese lions are intended to reflect the emotion of the animal as opposed to the reality of the lion. The claws, teeth and eyes of the Chinese lion represent power. Few if any muscles are visible in the Chinese lion whereas the English lion shows its power through its life like characteristics rather than through stylized representation.