H23 × W23 × D100
1987 (360 days)
After ten months of pregnancy, birth can be given to a new life with the ability to imagine, move and grow. Similarly, this work, born to the artist after twelve months of gestation, expresses maturity of thought, completeness of technique and conveys a message of the era.
The half abstract, half concrete design of this work is most appropriate for expressing the Zen philosophy that the artist wishes to convey. A shiny, smooth, distorted and transfigured head with several wounds and incomplete features demonstrates that what is sensed via the mouth, ears, nose, tongue and body lack credulity. The several holes in the head attest to the emptiness within. Butterflies can fly freely into and out of the holes, as if they have discovered a new pristine heavenly realm. Is this an imagined existence or a delusory idea? It conveys that what belongs to the world of mortals is limited, but derivative thinking is limitless. There are six works in this series that use butterflies as thematic material to express philosophical thinking: “Dreaming of Butterflies”, “Man or Butterfly?”, “Emptiness”, “Affinity of Life, Affinity of Death”, “Grief and Joy Intermingled” and “Dharma Bliss”. This work, “Dreaming of Butterflies,” more completely reminds us of the view of life as fleeting, transitory, illusory and vacuous. All that is beautiful, free and dazzling shall pass as alluded to in the Former Red Cliff Ode of Song-era poet Su Shih: If you look at the aspect that changes, heaven and earth cannot last for a blink; but if you look at the aspect that is changeless, all things and you are never ending. Whereupon the many years during which this series took form and the instant of creativity are both elements spontaneously arising from my own mind to not take life’s vicissitudes to heart or let them hinder creativity in hopes of obtaining indelible artistic value that is thus worthy of being that everlasting world!
Working eight hours a day, it took a year to complete “Dreaming of Butterflies.” It is a work that spiritually relies on the teachings of Chuangtzu. A considerable portion of the time during which it was created involved abstruse and deep thinking, and then the penetrating joy of a sudden eureka: That expressed the encouragement that life is limited so we must make the most of cherishing it, allowing it when created to enlighten more people about the sense of mission to cherish the time we are here and the things we encounter. Using the inherent properties of carved boxwood to bear witness to the melting away of man and, with the challenge of a high degree of difficulty in attaining the requisite thinness and delicacy, to express the sense of transparency and vivid color to the butterfly wings, so that no matter which angle the work is viewed, it elicits deep reflection.
＊ October 1991 Taipei Fine Arts Museum “Wu Ching Gold Sculpture Grand Exhibition”
＊ September 1, 1995‒January 30, 1996 National Palace Museum, Taipei, “Innovation Amidst Tradition” special exhibition
＊ October 1992‒1993 Wu Ching Exhibition, Apollo Art Gallery
＊ March 2003 “Wu Ching’s Sculpture World” touring exhibition throughout northern, central and southern Taiwan at the invitation of the Shin Kong Mitsukoshi Cultural and Educational Foundation
＊ May 2004 Chiayi Municipal Museum, “Wu Ching 2004 Sculpture Art Exhibition”
＊ 2006 Xingang, Chiayi County Cultural and Educational Foundation
＊ 2007 National Center for Traditional Arts “Nationwide Wood Sculpture United Exhibition”
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