My mother is the prototype behind this artwork, Holy Mother. As a seamstress, my mother not only creates beautiful garments but she also links together every memory I have for my family.
In addition to the admiration I already have for the aesthetics found in the Christian faith, upon returning to Taiwan from the U.S. I began to come into contact with Asian religions, especially Tibetan Buddhism. At the one hand, I began to seek a sense of spiritual calmness, and the religion also helped to broaden my horizons in regards to my fascination with mythology. Holy Mother is my first artwork in the human form. It combines images of the Holy Mary with the Virtuous Devi, a celestial goddess, often depicted on thangka, or Tibetan Buddhist paintings. The Virtuous Devi is a Buddhist guardian, and is often depicted looking quite stern while riding on a four-eye mule. The Vistuous Devi is a goddess originating from Shaktism, a denomination of Brahmanism, that focuses worship upon Shakti or Devi – the Hindu Divine Mother – as the absolute, ultimate Godhead, which created and controls all beings. In many paintings of Western Christianity depicting the black plaque era, Holy Mary is often depicted baring her chest to how her maternal energy as protector of children.
This artwork is also inspired by the iconic two-piece painting, Virgin and Child Surrounded by Angels, by early French Renaissance painter Jean Fouquet, and it is also my favorite painting of the Virgin Mary. The religious matriarchal symbol combined is juxtaposed with complex physical components and an embellished horse, with the facial expression of the Holy Mother intentionally made indistinct. To me, although my mother is concerned about how her face looks, this does not affect my love and need for her. I dedicate this artwork to my mother, my beautiful mother.