Interviews with Artists Featured in the "Uncompromising Courage" Art Exhibit: Oil Painting - "The Shining Lotus Hearts"

PureInsight | August 2, 2004

Oil Painting "The Shining Lotus Hearts" by Xiao Ping (51 in x 51 in.), 2004

Reporter: Zhu, Qingming, reporter for Zhengjian/PureInsight Net
Xiao: Ms. Xiao, Ping, painter

Reporter: You have a painting, "The Shining Lotus Hearts", which has attracted a large audience during the exhibition. The sharp and nice contrast between light and dark in this painting easily catches people's eyes. Could you please talk a little about the creation of this painting?

Xiao: The inspiration for this work came when I came here last year to participate in the "7-20 Candlelight Vigil" before the Washington Monument. I sat in the first row with a candle in my hands and a feeling of holiness and solemnity in my heart. Sitting there, the glorious atmosphere frequently gave me an impulse to cry. I saw so many practitioners, each having a candle in his hands. A candle is simply a bright lantern in the dark, so warm and so touching.

In this painting, every lotus is a heart. She holds the lotus just like holding a heart. Every lotus lantern represents a golden heart of Dafa practitioner, which has been dedicated to the common people to light up this world in the dark. Imagine if millions and millions people all had such a heart! People use candles to express their tribute and cherishing the memories of people who have passed on. Therefore, I have combined them together. Cruel tortures have been presented in the lower part, letting people know that she is cherishing her memory of those practitioners who were tortured to death. That practitioner is unfolding a banner with words "truthfulness, compassion and tolerance" on it, which, like a bright lantern, sends out light to light up the dark. Indeed, different forms were used to express the same idea.

Reporter: Could you please talk about the composition of this painting in more detail?

Xiao: This kind of composition is relatively a traditional one, which has the figure in the middle to form a composition in triangle style. Historically, this kind of composition had been used in many oil paintings, especially in those paintings with religious subjects. Putting a figure in the middle, is a way to express the feeling that the figure is solemn and holy, which can confer such an atmosphere. I feel this kind of composition is the best one to express my feelings. Someone told me that the lantern seems alive and is moving. The lantern is in a warm tone. Because of the effect of lantern light, a face will be different from what people commonly see when the lantern shines on it. That girl's pure and dignified face, together with the cruel persecution, forms a sharp contrast, bringing people a shock. A kind of inner strength comes out from her tranquillity, very touching. I have used one figure to represent all the practitioners.

Reporter: When I saw this painting from a distance I was attracted. The lantern in her hands is very warm. I first saw this lantern and then saw the girl's face lit up by this lantern. Finally, I saw the surrounding and the lower part. That lantern is very attractive and it is hard to draw light. Do you have much experience drawing light, or this is the first time?

Xiao: All the light I drew before was sunlight. All the watercolor paintings I drew before were bright and splendid landscapes under the sunlight, with sunlight bouncing on a human being's body. It is my first time to draw candlelight. Then, I had a strong feeling: I surely can draw it well! Indeed, I feel quite satisfied with what I drew, and the effect is quite remarkable. At that time, I lit up a candle and held it with my hands, having my picture taken. There was another reference for the lotus. The background has been simplified. The artistic treatment is to draw many lanterns, representing millions and millions Dafa practitioners' hearts.

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[to be continued]

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