LE MAL DU PAYS
Oil on canvas, 54 x 40 in., Private Collection,
and also as an
Archival print available in multiple sizes
This image can be seen two ways: with the
figures upside down while the landscape on
the bottom is right side up, as shown here, or
with the figures right side up while the
landscape on the top is upside down. Either
way they are recognizable as a mother and
child. The psychologist Carl Jung said images
like the mother and child that transcend the
boundaries of culture and time, are archetypal
images, symbols common to all humankind. In
this work the archetype of the mother and
child are shown as a Chinese-American woman
and her son. Because archetypes are easily
assimilated into our consciousness, I have
been able to take artistic liberties and show
them here as flying and upside down. Even as
a child I liked flying and being upside down.
Also if you can fly and defy gravity, then right
side up and upside down have no hold over
you. I started the work as right side up and
only later turned it upside down about midway
in its process. Some people prefer to see
images right side up and so I have made the
print to be viewed in both ways. The English
translation of the French title is Homesickness
because there is always a longing for our inner
home.