Dream, Music, Space
#73010 29 X 42″ mmp
This painting is so overtly yin-yang that Chen has placed its Chinese symbol glaring from the sky, as another moon, a sun, or an eye. The male yang component is red and is an emblem of life, heat, light. Yang is active, positive, dynamic, spiritual. The female yin component is an emblem of death, darkness, and cold. Psychologically, culturally, esthetically, yin is passive, receptive, terrestrial, material, and negative. The combined symbol is t’ai-chi, the Great Absolute.For Western eyes a more accessible evocation of man/woman lies in the Klee’s “Great Dome”, which Edmund Burke Feldman calls, “a striking illustration of two major types of shape – the biomorphic and the geometric. In addition to its visual interest, The Great Dome constitutes philosophic statement expressed through modest, unassuming lines and symbolic shapes in the guise of architectural description ….. the dome is the architectural expression of the female breast, the symbol of maternal nurture. In the right half of the picture Klee portrays a tower, symbol of the male principal….” (Varities of Visual Expression).The t’ai-chi, the dome, and the tower overlook the figure of Venus asleep, which, says Lionello Venturi, Giorgione painted simply for the pretext of painting a nude figure. Giorgione reveled with three Venetian noble companions (one of whom owned this picture) in musical and social pleasures. Chen appropriately has Venus dreaming of Mozart.
A Henry Moore-like figure suggesting maternity – resting on an inverted Egyptian pyramid with roman column stripes – a polyhedron, and flying buttresses complete the composition.
– Lawrance Jeppson