White Tiger represents the element gold, the western direction, and autumn. This mythical creature also functions as a virtuous god of war who supports the righteous and punishes the wicked, and who bestows a variety of blessings, including safety, wealth, and conjugal bliss.
In this piece, White Tiger is portrayed as a combination of the imposing strength of a real tiger and the majesty of a deity. The element of wind traditionally associated with the tiger—extremely difficult to express in sculpture—is represented by the streamers briskly fluttering behind. White Tiger is depicted on top of the world, poised for a leap, roaring into the distance, ready to overcome any and all challenges.
Associated with the four quadrants of the vault of heaven is the Azure Dragon of the East, the Vermillion Bird of the South, the White Tiger of the West, and the Black Tortoise of the North; in the center is the Qilin (unicorn). Each region corresponds to one of the five elements: metal (west), wood (east), water (north), fire (south), and earth (center). Moving across the night sky, the stars connect all life to the five elements. When the universe and elements are aligned, harmony ensues.