XI GUO NWS NNWS 

WATERCOLOR 

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        Artist's Statement

                       Let life be beautiful like summer flowers and death like autumn leaves-Tagore


                       I was an eccentric child. The question I often asked my mom was “do you think it’s amazing if you are dead but your soul can drift 

                       anywhere you want?” Sometimes I wondered if it was the reason my parents sent me to my grandmother’s house in a small village. 

                       There was a graveyard beside the village. went there alone often and hoped I could encounter a ghost to give me the answers to 

                       my questions. Sometimes I brought a book with me to read but most of the time I stared at gravestones and meditated on the 

                       stories and personality of those remains beneath the ground. Unfortunately, until I was forbidden to go there I found no evidence 

                       of ghosts.


                      Reading books, including some philosophy and religion works, didn’t much help with my quest for an answer concerning the 

                        meaning of life and the form of being after death. It seems the moment you are able to get the answer is only while you are dying. 

                        How tragic and disappointing that is! Therefore, just like everyone else, you live in the moment. You linger on pleasant sensations

                        the flesh brings to you. Those happiness, sadness and pain make you feel you are alive although you are very aware that everything

                        is a material form, and everything is a transient moment of the universe. You are alive but you don’t  know what the meaning of 

                        being alive is, as if you are on a mission but you don’t exactly know what it is for!


                       One day, I got an insight towards life. I read a story about Zhuangzi, the most influential taoistic philosopher in ancient China. 

                       Zhuangzi seemed very happy when his wife just died. He was playing instrument and singing. People asked him why? He said, life 

                       and death are the alternation of seasons. Death is more meaningful than birth because it is the way to go back to the universe so it’s 

                       much closer to the “Tao”. Birth and death are like coming from the “Tao” and going back to the “Tao”. There is no essential difference 

                       between life or death, you or me, since everything is physical; except for Tao that is metaphysical and the law of the universe.


                    “  Heaven and earth share the same root, and I and the myriad things are the one." As a Taoist, via my projects, I’m looking at my 

                       life-long obsession with vulnerability, destruction and death and digging this conception. Some of them are ambiguous, and some 

                       are more straightforward. Some are violent and some are ritualized. Some have a sense of humor and some are romantic. I’m not

                       seeking a particular emotion intentionally in every painting. Spontaneously, there it is, my hesitation, bewilderment and eagerness 

                       to learn of destruction, death and the form of being after death, which is complicated but at the same time genuine and visceral.