The Chinese Phoenix or fenghuang’s body is a composite of many birds and it symbolizes the celestial bodies: the head is the sky, the eyes are the sun, the back is the moon, the wings are the wind, the feet are the earth, and the tail is the planets The fenghuang is said to have originated in the sun. Its body contains the five fundamental colors: black, white, red, yellow, and green
I’ve been a bit busier recently as I’ve started working on my first solo art exhibition. The reality of it is still sinking in as I didn’t plan for it but when the time feels right and the door opens, I felt confident enough to venture into the unknown.
The exhibition is still a long time away. It’s next February 2018 but i need to pull myself together and have a full body of work by year end. That’s just 4 months away! So I have been trying to get into work mode which is easier said then done.
What does an artist do all day?
I’m not sure what other artists do all day but I think a lot. I think and read more than I create. I’ve spoken to a few of my artist friends about this and they are similar.
The thought process takes up most of the time and the actual execution of the artwork is the easiest part. I let ideas perculate in my head. It rolls and bounces around when I’m awake, when I’m asleep, when I’m talking to people. It takes on a life of its own. Finally when it’s ready, it emerges like a newborn. Crazy as I am, I consider all my artworks my babies. It comes from within me, it is me.
My daily sketches have helped in the creative process. By sketching daily and doing the homework subconsciously has helped me formulate ideas and concepts faster. By retrospectively analysing my sketches, I have uncovered the reason for them. What started as a challenge, became my therapy, to learning about myself and a sense of nostalgic interest in my heritage. In essence a philosophical question of finding who am I.
My ideas may change by year end. Let’s see what comes out of this.
Sketch of the day in my moleskine art journal is of the Peony and bird. A symbol of a Happy and properous union. This is a common pairing in Peranakan furniture as furniture was commissioned from Chinese artisans for weddings.
Sketch of the day no 1111 in my moleskine art journal is a gilded wood carving of a Dragon fish 螭吻
The Dragon fish (螭吻 chiwen) in Chinese is literally translated as Hornless dragon lips.
The mythological creature is one of the Chinese dragon’s nine sons and is believed to ward of evil and swallow fire.
Another legend is about the carp that jumped over the dragon’s gate. It is believed that once in a while, a carp through perseverance and determination manages to swim up river and successfully jumps over the dragon’s gate, turning the carp into a dragon.