Nov 19, 2009

但願人長久 Wishing Us Long Life

I am very attracted to some concepts which are almost too big to deal with, such as: Time. I would not force myself to touch it, though, let alone to analyse it, to design how to express Time through arts...etc.. I dislike using analytical mind and thoughts to start my artwork. I enjoy letting it flow to me, effortlessly. So, I usually do not understand fully my artworks until they are finished. When it first came to me, it cames as a vague idea, with blurry outline. And along the process, like lotus, it slowly opens up its petals and finally shows its full picture to me.

And that is the case with 但願人長久 (Wishing Us Long Life). It first came to me as a ticking clock, and developed itself into the highs and lows of life segments, with reflections of memories and stories.

The name comes from the famous poem by the great Chinese poet So Tung Po in 1076. His poem lingered in my mind when I was sculpting this piece.

How rare the moon so round and clear!
With cup in hand, i ask of the blue sky,
I do not know in the celestial sphere
What name this festival night goes by?
I want to fly home, riding the air,
But fear the ethereal cold up there,
The jade and crystal mansions are so high!
Dancing to my shadow,
I feel no longer the mortal tie.
She rounds the vermilion tower,
Stoops to silk pad doors,
Shines on those who sleepless lie.
Why does she, bearing us no grudge,
Shine upon our parting, reunion deny?
But rare is perfect happiness
The moon does wax, the moon does wane,
And so men meet and say goodbye.
I only pray our life be long,
And our souls together heavenward fly!
(Translated by 林語堂)