Cycle of Life (2004)


“Cycle of life. ‘May we be born and die a deaf person, with our gender and nationality.’. Oil on canvas. 2004.

The Death on the left shows small-sized faces floating in the underground, and all their eyes are closed. The underground world is introduced by a proud upright mummy who holds her/his hand up to friends. While they are asleep, their faces are alive and full of emotions.

The Life on the right shows people in their various emotional states; some of their eyes are closed and some of them open which shows the transition between the Life and the Death as we do not know which one is real.   We see also a pregnant woman which symbolizes the continuance of the cycle in our existence.

The Awakening is the transition between the Death and the Life, when we go down or up. The Life in its turn become the Death, or vice versa. It is like a ladder back and forth or forth and back in its cycle.

Does the Awakening occur when we dream, and our subconscious mind tells a story? The great Taoist master Chuang Tzu once dreamt that he was a butterfly fluttering here and there. In the dream he had no awareness of his individuality as a person. He was only a butterfly. Suddenly, he awoke and found himself laying there, a person once again. But then he thought to himself, ‘Was I before a man who dreamt about being a butterfly, or am I now a butterfly who dreams about being a man?’

There is the Death, the Awakening and the Life. What is real? Perhaps we are the Death on the world and the Life is elsewhere, and the Awakening occurs between spans of time or vice versa.   The superficiality in the nuance of power becomes worthless when we are faced with the depth in the meaning of humankind and its existence across the space.

This brings us to the point of the title Cycle of Life, that we are born deaf along with our gender and nationality. Let it be left alone in its nature, and should it not be so, so, so awing. We were always deaf, even before L’Abee de L’epee found us. The reason why I chose the word Life is because there goes a saying, ‘that is life’!”

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