Painting, ancestral portrait (male)

Portraits of father of Mr Shichang as inscribed on the painting. Such ancestral portraits are called qiankun xiang; the male represented heaven (qian) and the female represented the earth (kun). This dichotomy, based on yin-yang theories, defined the parameters of behavior and responsibility of the two sexes. These portraits are hung in lineage halls and in homes during special occasions such as the death anniversaries of the deceased ancestors.