A powerful lion with a sad face leaping out of a cave by 17th century Italian master sculptor Giovanni Bellini I saw at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2012 is an artwork that left a memorable impression in me and that lion is the saddest I’ve ever seen.
A leading figure of the Italian Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci held serious interest in polymorphs and ratio, and created a series of manuscripts on the subject matter, which was quite fascinating to me due to my applied math and architecture background. Da Vinci saw polymorphs as an enigma waiting to be solved, and for celibate Christian friars, the study of mystical multifaceted celestial stars projected a symbol for desires that they were supposed to be abstinent from. This artwork was originally supposed to be a metallic multifaceted star echoing with the black diamond star in the installation, Black River. However, I had unknowingly shaped the star into the shape of a lion’s head, with it quickly taking on resemblances of that unforgettable lion I had encountered before; however, replacing its grief-stricken expression is a sense of boundless hope for the future.