L4 Tai Chi - Work at Shuttles on Both Sides (中华太极之左右穿梭 )
Oil on Canvas, 100 x 5 x 200 cm
About the artwork
Taken from the intriguingly named "Fair Lady Works at Shuttles' position of Tai Chi, the name is derived from a story of a Jade girl who had to work by turning shuttles, as she was a serving maid to the Taoist immortals. The Chinese believed that the world was square and the heavens were held up by the four legs of the tortoise. Its legs represent the four points of the compass, like the four corners of the earth. This sequence is also connected to the theory of the Five Elements. The four corners of the earth are represented by four mythical animals. The Earth is in the centre, with the North (Black) linked to the Snake and Water element, the South (Red) linked to the Bird and Fire element, the West (White) linked to the Tiger and Metal element and the East (Green) linked to the Dragon and (Wood) element. The Fair Lady position mimics the movement of turning a wooden shuttle smoothly and repeatedly, such as the movement of turning a water wheel. There are four turns, which represent the number of seasons in a year. When used in self defence, one hand blocks an offence whilst the other pushes forward.
About the artist