Guan Yin Porcelain Figurine
Guan Yin is the goddess of mercy, kindness and love in Chinese mythology. She is considered to be the physical embodiment of compassion. She is an all-seeing, all-hearing being who is called upon by worshipers in times of uncertainty, despair, and fear. Along with Buddhism, Guan Yin's veneration was introduced into China as early as the 1st century AD. Buddhism came to China from India and had spread to Japan via Korea by the 6th century AD.
Guan Yin originated as the Buddhist Avalokitesvara, which is her male form. Later images might show female and male attributes, since a Bodhisattva, in accordance with the Lotus Sutra, has the magical power to transform the body in any form required to relieve suffering, so that Guan Yin is neither woman nor man. In Mahayana Buddhism, to which Chinese Buddhism belongs, gender is no obstacle to Enlightenment.
In the modern period, Guan Yin is most often represented as a beautiful, white-robed woman, white being the symbol of purity. These are mid to late C20th representations of Guan Yin. 38 cm tall. Supposedly originated in China.