All About The Foo Dog
Also known as a 'Fu Dog' or 'Lion Dog,' foo dogs did not start out as stylish home accessories. These statues are actually known as shishi, or Chinese guardian lions (though they may also be referred to as imperial guardian lions, komainu or shisa in other cultures). In fact, 'foo dog' is an incorrect western term for these statues.
Traditionally, these dogs are created in pairs: a female and a male. The name itself comes from the western interpretation of the Chinese 'fo' or 'fu,' which means is understood to mean buddha or prosperity. That being said, these are actually lions, not dogs; which causes a good deal of irritation to Eastern cultures who employ the shishi in their homes.
This information aside, the official placement for this dog in the Eastern culture home is at the entrance way of the home. The female lion should be on the left with the male lion on the right, when looking outside (and in reverse order when looking inside).
How to Incorporate a Foo Dog Into Your Home Decor
The hunt will begin by finding the right foo dog to compliment your existing home decor. That means finding a foo dog statue that is the right color, shape and style. Remember, these home accessories come in a variety of sizes, shapes, styles and colors so you should feasibly be able to find one to compliment your space. That being said, it could be time consuming trying to find the right one so be sure to keep your eye out. Never settle!
Once you've found the right dog, you can use it just about anywhere in your home decor: on a bookshelf, as table decor next to the sofa, on a foyer table, next to the TV, or even flanking a fireplace. The opportunities to display your prized dogs are truly endless. Enjoy this home decor trend, as you may find it's a keepsake you'll end up treasuring for years.
As the saying goes, what's old is new again. That's never truer than when it comes to home decorating. Buddhist art in general - and Foo Dogs in particular - has become increasingly popular with professional and amateur decorators alike. Many people were first exposed to Buddhist art when feng shui - the Chinese art and science of arranging space in harmony with the environment - first became popular. Although feng shui has is roots in Taoism, the Chinese incorporated Buddhist art, such as Foo Dogs, into the design of their buildings from the second century B.C.
Foo Dogs, sometimes known as guardian lions, are generally placed on either side of a building's entrance. According to Buddhist tradition, Foo Dogs are the guardians of Dharma, or the Truth. Typically displayed in pairs, the male lion has his paw on a representation of the Earth, and the female has her paw on her cub. Male Foo Dogs protect the actual building, while female Foo Dogs protect those inside the building. Historically, they were placed at the gates of temples, at the entrances to tombs, and at the front of altars. Today, replicas of Foo Dogs are often used outdoors as decorative elements at the bottoms of driveways or indoors near the front doors.
Foo Dogs are not the only forms of Buddhist art that are popular with decorators and collectors. A bronze Buddha or a laughing Buddha is often displayed in living rooms, studies, and master bedrooms. The peacefulness and tranquility that a bronze Buddha or a laughing Buddha radiates is a welcome respite after a stressful commute or a long day at the office.
Buddhist art isn't the only form of ancient art that has increased in popularity. Both Egyptian art and Greek art have enjoyed a resurgence of interest. For example, plaques depicting Isis or Anubis adorn many modern walls. In ancient Egypt, Isis was worshipped as one who protected her son from danger and who would protect mortal children as well. Anubis, typically depicted as having the head of a jackal, is known as the God of the Dead.
As with Egyptian art, many people are choosing to decorate their homes with replicas of Greek art pieces. Vases, wall sculptures, busts, and friezes are all being used as decorating elements in today's homes. Many women feel empowered when they see sculptures of ancient Goddesses, and are giving such sculptures places of honor in their homes.
As testaments to their faith, Christians are embracing the concept of incorporating Christian art into their homes. Christian art may take the form of depictions of The Last Supper or The Ten Commandments, or may even include statues of angels and saints.