Monday, November 23, 2009

Images for Chinese folk tales series

When I told a Chinese friend I was doing a series of paintings based on stories I learned while visiting in China, she asked if I was going to do the illustrations in Chinese style. I told her no, I am not Chinese. I can only do the illustrations as I see them through my own western eyes. My purpose is to share my experience of China through my silk painting, not to copy Chinese art. 
Here is the line drawing for Peacock Princess, a famous story of the Dai people in Yunnan Province in Southern China. I saw this story, which came originally from India,  celebrated through dance and illustrated in stone at Xishuanbanna forest preserve just outside of Jinghong. In this scene, her husband the prince has been falsely reported killed, and the kings advisor has accused her of being a witch, saying she must die. The princess says with her husband dead, she does not want to live anyway, and asks to perform one last dance with her peacock cloak. With her cloak on, she can fly, and flies away home to her father the sun.

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