A New Horizon
Self-portrait
2016
Acrylic on linen
91 x 122cm

According to the Chinese classic, ‘Mountains and Seas’, Qúru is a Chinese mythical creature from the South. It is a bird with three claws and a human face. The only sound it makes is the call of its own name.

I left China for Australia in 1988 seeking an unrestrained life and artistic freedom. I interrogate social phenomena in my works. Reflecting on the refugee issue that faces our world, I use this seemingly wild figure to reexamine profound freedom and belonging, and to paint myself was a means of exploring the interrelationship between self and other.

As I reflect on those who lose a place they call ‘home’, I pose a question of where they will go. However, the pursuit of freedom should not be abandoned, as symbolised by the broken bars on the middle claw.

Portia Geach Memorial Award 2016

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