H28 × W28 × D55
1991 (450 days)
The idea for this work intimately bound up with a life came to me while watching the wedding of a friend. I wanted to elicit reflection on and explore what affinity brings two people together and what ultimately parts them, the destiny that makes two people a couple for life. It is an affinity of passion and a worldly affinity of being life partners. This is determined by heaven, but is also a decision each makes to rely upon the other. The morning glory is a creeping plant; it has a tenacious clinging trait. The bride said that when she learned of the groom’s background, she knew that this man was the prince charming she had sought all her life. A background that can bind a woman to you for life, to contribute for life is an affinity of passion that is very moving. However, such worldly passion only lasts but brief moment in the scale of the universe. A lover no matter how trustworthy is in the long river of time but a transient guest. The morning glory expresses inseparable love primarily because another name for it is morning visage since its brief lifespan involves blossoming in the morning and withering by mid-day. Compared to this fossilized skull of 10,000 years, the once in a lifetime morning visage clings to a fossil that cannot wither in 10,000 years, overcoming limitations of time and space. It shoots forth its roots and blossoms in all its vitality. The root lives, passion lives, rooting deeply, sowing deeply, and through this kind of cause and effect positive affinity, who could bear to tear them apart?
A vividly real looking skull fossil might appear terrifying. Although it makes us think of life ending, a fact we are not willing to face, it displays greater tensile strength. The skull has gone through thousands and tens of thousands of years to finally become a stone, but the headstrong morning visage, oblivious of how long it can sustain itself , and no matter how weak or fragile its life may be, it still wants to live and so tenderly and sorrowfully clings to old ways. The kind of technique that can carve out of a block of hard and stiff boxwood thin and transparent morning glory petals, curled up seed pods, delicate palmate leaves, and coiling creeper stems, required a level of concentration integrating hands, brain, heart and mind. Spending 450 days on the work without complaint or regard is a profound investment of artistic passion on the part of the wood carver. How can this not be a perpetual and unchanging worldly affinity between man and object, as well as creation and art?
＊ October 1992‒1993 Wu Ching Exhibition, Apollo Art Gallery
＊ 2006 Xingang, Chiayi County Cultural and Educational Foundation
＊ 2007 National Center for Traditional Arts “Nationwide Wood Sculpture United Exhibition”
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