The Rhapsody of Nüwa: Odes I, II, III
Acrylic and Oil on Gessobord
“The Rhapsody of Nüwa” is an ongoing series that uses insights from Chinese mythology to respond to our present-day climate crisis. Specifically inspired by the myth 女娲補天, or Nüwa Mends the Sky, “The Rhapsody of Nüwa: Odes I, II, II” empowers us to use our creativity to counter climate change and cultivate a more sustainable world. In the myth, the world teeters on the brink of collapse as the four pillars holding up the heavens crumble and a hole rips open the sky. Nüwa, one of the Mother goddesses and creator of humanity, uses her power of creation to counter the destruction. She patches the hole in the sky with a mixture of five-colored stones and bolsters the heavens with the four legs of the ancient giant turtle. It is her creativity in concert with her compassion that sustained the world. I see the earth after Nüwa’s remedy as a rhapsody: a tapestry of sublime flaws and marked resilience. In creating "Ode I”, “Ode II,” and “Ode III,” I envisioned myself as Nüwa. I hand-mixed oil paints representing the five elements and created a landscape teetering between hope and doom. How can lessons from lore shape our future relationship with Mother Earth?