This mud sculpture features a playful monkey riding on a horse. This artwork comes from famous Fengxiang mud sculpture artist Hu Xinming. The sculpture is hand cast and painted. In Chinese, monkey has the same pronunciation as regional kings (Hou), and riding on a horse can also mean soon or at once. So people give this as gifts to wish for career advancement soon.
The craft of making painted clay-figurines of Fengxiang has a recorded history of more than 3,000 years.
The figurines are made of local Fengxiang clay, which was mixed with pulp and painted after it was shaped. The images on the clay figurines typically included flowers, birds, fish, insects, as well as birds and beasts, reflecting cultural characteristics of ancient China. The figurines are painted with such bright colors and traditionally each color has a special meaning. Green represents longevity; red means a flourishing year. Also each painted pattern design has meaning: pomegranate represents happiness and prospers offspring; butterfly brings good fortune; peony represents fortune and luck.