Refracted Beings

2012, Paintings, Oil on Linen

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe said, “Colors are the deeds of light. Colors are light's suffering and joy”.  That is to say, color can only be seen because light lost its freedom by being hampered and refracted against the substance of the atmosphere. 


In Chinese, there is a strong relationship between color and desire. “色” (se) is a word with multiple meanings.  It means “color” and at the same time means “lust”.  Even more, in Buddhism, “色界”(Se Jie) which literally translates into “color world”, is used to describe the material world.


There is a famous sentence from the Heart of Prajna Paramita Sutra that says, “色即是空,空即是色 (Se Ji shi kong,kong Ji shi Se)” which means, “All things of visible form and substance are empty, emptiness is form and substance.”


I think people are the light and desires are the colors. As people are impeded by the material world, socially they refract several colors, while at the same time they lose their freedom. All the desires are causing people’s joy and suffering. 


A rainbow is an optical phenomenon caused by refraction. In my paintings, I use rainbows to represent human desires. In some works, desires have been fulfilled; in others, desires are withering away. In questioning relationships among people, desire, and society, I paint hypotheses to explore my ideas.