This Qing Dynasty Chinese Kuan Yin Goddess of Mercy was possibly a temple or alter piece or placed on an open Chinese shrine. This deity is also referred to As Guan Yin, Goddess of Compassion or Bodhisattva. She is seen here in the attitude of royal ease with some remnants of the original coloured pigments, the wood more than likely camphor wood, a wood that has been used in China for centuries. Camphor wood is easy to carve and has a reputation for resisting termites, it is light and is still used in carvings today.
The Kuan Yin according to the sutras is the female counterpart of the male Bodhisattva Avalokiteshwara, although there are other stories from myth and legend regarding her beginnings.
Kuan yin (Guanyin) literally means “One who observes the sounds or cries of the world“, and is revered in most Asian countries where the Chinese have migrated to and a deity of the Mahayana Buddhist School.
Guanyin symbolizes love, pity, compassion, empathy and kindness of an enlightened being. She is an important deity in the teachings and principles of Feng Shui. It is believed that she answers all prayers. She is sometimes seen holding a child or a vase. The vase is believed to hold divine water which will eliminate the sufferings of the poor and to free the mind from bad thoughts. She is also seen holding a lotus flower.