Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Plum tree

On this short poetic film, a pair of Plum Flower deers  is separated by a violent act of man. The dead deer becomes the Plum tree and the blood tears of the surviving deer become the flowers. The Plum Flower deer is one of the best known precious animals of China. In ancient times, it was regarded as "a divine creature".

by Yoho Hang Yue and Queenie

Plum flower deer or Sika deer
This film shows two important symbols of the Chinese culture, the Plum tree and the Plum Flower deer also known as the Sika Deer. 
Red Plum tree covered with snow (China)
The Plum tree blossoms in hard winter conditions, for example, under snow and much 
before any other flowers appear. 
That’s why, the Plum flower is a symbol of:
Yellow Plum tree (China)

  • winter
  • the coming of spring
  • beauty
  • pureness
  • ability to withstand adversity
  • resilience and perseverance in face of adversity  

The colors of the flowers can be pink/red, white, and yellow. The pink/red variety is used often for the Chinese New Year in late January and early February.

Plum tree blossom (China)


TO BLOSSOM /ˈblɑsəm/ (verb) : if a tree blossoms, it produces flowers.
BLOSSOM (noun): 1. the flower or flowers of a plant.
                                 2. the period of flowering.

TO BLOOM /blum/ (verb):if a tree or plant blooms, it produces flowers that have opened.
in (full) bloom: if a tree or plant is in bloom, it is covered with flowers
The Plum tree is in full bloom.

Cherry tree (Japan)
In Japan, the most favorite flower is the Cherry flower, in China it is the Plum flower. The Plum tree and the Cherry tree are very similar, but they’re different trees. Not only their fruits are different, but their flowers are diffferent as well.

Some differences:

Plum fruit

Sakuranbo (Cherry)
Most flowering Japanese cherry trees do not produce edible fruits. Instead, the edible cherry fruit was introduced to Japan from the West in the beginning of the Meiji Period (1868-1912).

Cherry Blossoms have 5 round circle petals that generally have a split at the end.
 It blooms from late March for 2 weeks.
Plum Blossoms have 5 oval shaped petals. It blooms from late February to late March.

Now talking about the deers, on the film the deers are white, it’s poetic.  But they represent the Sika Deers, they’re brown with lots of white dots on their bodies. The dots are like plum flowers that are shining in the sunshine. That's why, the deer is also called “plum flower deer” in Chinese. In winter, its hair turns dark brown and the white dots are not so evident. So the color of the deer’s body looks like that of withered twitch-grass, which serves as a perfect camouflage. 

The film; in a very beautiful and poetic way; calls attention at  the Chinese tradition and art.


by Vivian Barone

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