The Qilin represents the element earth and the central position, and is frequently depicted in yellow; hence it is also known as the Golden Qilin. The lifespan of this mythical creature is said to be two thousand years. The male is called qi, and the female lin; both are a composite of a deer, horse, cow, and fish. The Qilin is noted for its gentle disposition, and is so benevolent that it carefully avoids treading on greenery of any kind. A traditional symbol of prosperity, the Qilin is said to bring bumper crops and progeny.
The Qilin in this piece is embedded within a hollow sphere representing the universe, and is depicted leaping out of the water, with its bushy mane flying in the wind. It’s resolute expression and dynamic posture exude confidence and strength.
Associated with the four quadrants of the vault of heaven are the Azure Dragon of the East, the Vermillion Bird of the South, the White Tiger of the West, and the Black Tortoise of the North; in the center is the Qilin (unicorn). Each region corresponds to one of the five elements: metal (west), wood (east), water (north), fire (south), and earth (center). Moving across the night sky, the stars connect all life to the five elements. When the universe and elements are aligned, harmony ensues.
麒麟， 五行属土， 方位对应中央、麒麟属黄，亦称黄金麒麟。麒麟是中国古代神话传说中的神兽，据说能活两千年。雄的名麒，雌的名麟，合称麒麟，集结鹿、马、牛、鱼等吉祥动物美好象徵于一身，性情温和，不伤人畜，不践踏花草，故称为仁兽，麒麟使天地年年五谷丰收；又麒麟送子，代表代代兴旺。
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