In East Asia, the peony is the flower of flowers, the queen of flowers. It was referred to as the flower of abundance, representing ‘wealth and honor,’ and also the flower that means the guarantee of long life. It was a common theme for folding screens, paintings, grayish-blue-powdered celadon, and blue and white porcelain in palaces and the main rooms or women’s quarters of the mansions of noble families.

The peony was depicted as large or as realistically as possible, so as to suggest the wish for wealth as abundant as the clouds, or it was designed putting stress on the leaves and keeping the blossom as small as possible. Sometimes, in my designs, only the contour line is transcribed onto a soft background, or is extracted to give the sense of indented images like a copperplate print. Sometimes it is printed as an actual image, keeping a sense of the embroidery of a hoetdaebo (wrapping cloth), and sometimes placed on jacquard by making the best use of the thick texture.

* Peony