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 right side up while the landscape on the top is upside down, as shown here, or with the figures upside down while the landscape on the bottom is right side up. 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.