Friday, March 13, 2009


"Trip" is the title of my 2nd piece for the exchange, which is my response to Artist X's first piece in the exchange.

When we met in early Feb for our 1st exchange (during which I gave her a printout of Prosperity Soup to be Eaten in the Dark), my initial response to her piece was "oh, wheat!"

So there I go again, it's always about food, isn't it? (Yes, I do spend an extraordinary amount of time thinking about, consuming, and then trying to burn up food.)

As we chatted about her piece, her intentions became more clear and it was so NOT about food (although she said she was happy to hear that my first reaction was "wheat"). The idea of the zipper came to me at the time and I stuck with it. Part of the thing with the zipper is that I have been having trouble with my winter coat which has a broken zipper that needs to be repaired. It's sometimes very frustrating trying to put on my coat, trying to zip up the darn thing.

And I looked up "wheat" as a symbol, and ta-dah, it's also a symbol of prosperity, in Christian traditions (the peony being prosperity in Chinese traditions). So of course I had to do this image—the queue being caught in the zipper that's trying to hold it together. The zipper that moves along a predefined track also references the idea of progress (or perhaps the illusion of progress in this particular case). I wanted the hourglass shape to signify time passing.

Artist X and I met on Thursday to review our images, and where I saw hourglass for time passing, she saw a female form. Which in hindsight is of course obvious, but until she said it, I saw it first as just an hourglass, and second, as a very stylized head on drooping shoulders (and a very skinny neck). Very much like some of the Chinese peasant paintings of recent years with the women depicted with large heads and skinny necks. Like this image from Boxing Dragons:

I might fuss with the mountains on the upper right some's starting to look like a pyramid to me. (And now that I'm thinking about it, one of my first reactions to the piece she brought this time was "minaret"...hmmm.)

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