Despite some success of my 2015 painting Waft, which was recently published by Pomona Valley Review (Volume 11, Summer 2017), I clearly saw rooms for improvement, and recently I made a new version of the painting, titled Wafting — much darker and more dramatic, with additional whimsicality and humor, lent by the black flakes, resembling playful butterflies, darting above the little girl, who was, as in the 2015 version, running away from the viewer, holding strings tied to floating human balloons, all in the shape of young women dressed in pure white, against much darker and more ominous background, as if in the process of awakening or drowning. I believe that the latter effort was psychologically more penetrating and indeed a big improvement.
Human history is sadly saturated with sorrow and suffering, a theme resonates strongly with me. In 2003, I made a diptych of oil paintings, titled “Sorrow and Suffering”, to record the pain people suffered and will suffer at the hands of ruthless and/or reckless political leaders, when George W. Bush was brandishing his excuse to invade Iraq.
Since that fateful invasion, the unstable Mideast became ever more explosive and the human suffering ever escalated. Yesterday a series of concerted attacks on civilians in the great city Paris shocked and saddened the civilized world and this diptych expresses my feeling aptly.
My latest oil painting, Quest, is a mystery piece – whose underlying message, even evades my own grasp, as the painting was, once again, built upon an image visited my mind when I was in the state of between sleep and awake, repeating the experience inception of another featured painting, Father and Son.
The focus of Quest was a blurry figure, either a man or a woman, who gingerly and wearily treads on a bridge or a pathway, which could be floating on a vast body of water, or suspending in the sky. The weary traveler’s situation on the pathway was quite precarious, and he or she was in danger of slipping off the bridge; yet the traveler pressed on, hands raised, head bent and steps hesitant. Therefore, this painting could be interpreted as either a cautionary story, or a depiction of a spiritual journey, a journey or penance, a quest for truth, or relentless self-discovery. A quest.
The starry sky, in vibrant blue, decorated with moving yellowish green lights, was highly dramatic and textured, reflecting the turmoil inside the traveler; down below, there was a large body of smooth green water, interlaced with bright long red waves, soothing and seductive, pacifying yet can be just as dangerous as Narcissus’s pond.
This ambiguous, elusive and dichotomic piece reflects the perpetual anxiety of self-conscious human kind.