Going, Going, Gong

Chinese gongWind or Feng Gong

Good vibrations. Sweet sensations. It seems a lot to expect of home décor, but ancient Asian peoples have looked to gongs to bring just that.

Gongs were the first musical instruments. Although they were used in Asia for the functions of European bells—to announce, to warn, to call to prayer—their uses went far beyond being the popular mass communication medium in the pre-radio ages. Gongs were said to be endowed with powerful, other-worldly, mystical properties. Their good vibrations would resonate in the atmosphere and surrounding bodies, spreading the good vibes, quieting the mind, effecting relaxation, healing, and even enlightenment.

Gongs were also considered good luck, even to just touch them, and countless families in Burma, China, Annam, Java, and the surrounding territories were proud to have these objects in their homes.

People still want gongs in their homes, and not just in Asia. Nowadays, gongs are as coveted for their aesthetic appeal as for their powers, and have become just as much for skeptics as for mystics. Their beauty, symmetry, and history make enough good vibrations to bring satisfaction and sweet sensations.

Fine detail in a Thai gong

Feng Gong

Some gongs are shaped flat like discs (above) and make crashing cymbal-like sounds, while some are nippled or bossed (below) and make rounder sounds with less “shimmer”.


Some gongs are hung, as in the case of this nippled gong.


These gongs from Southern Philippines are laid flat on the floor or placed on wooden mounts.

Drummer Steve Hubback makes his own instruments and creates these magnificent gongs and other sound sculptures

Another Steve Hubback creation

some gong music:

Steve Hubback

Kulintang, Philippines

Gong and singing bowl, Tibet

Posted in Culture, Design, Travel | Tagged , , , , ,

One Response to Going, Going, Gong

  1. Pingback: Гонг, гонг, гонг

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