Flirting with the lotus - Anthony Van Lam

Anthony Van Lam

Flirting with the lotus

Framed: 50 x 50 cmWater colour and ink on archival paper
In traditional Chinese art and culture, black, red, qing (青) (a conflation of green and blue), white and yellow, are standard colours. These correspond to the five elements: water, fire, wood, metal and earth, as taught in traditional Chinese physics.

The Yellow River is the cradle of Chinese civilization and was the Emperor's colour in Imperial China. It is the symbolic colour of the five legendary emperors of ancient China, like the Yellow Emperor. A peacock symbolizes long life or immortality. In every sense, the peacock signifies purity to the Buddhist, so their feathers are often used in purification ceremonies.

This painting of the golden Lotus shoe is in all its beads and glory. Small in size but filled with beads and gemstones! The colours are of Imperial China. In the background is a peacock in its fullness flirting with the shoe, while a silhouette watches over the shoe. The message: everything has its value in gold, especially to those who want something from you.