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mortal immortal
Details from "Mortal Immortal" (right)


"Mortal Immortal"

Created on traditional stretcher frames, “Mortal Immortal” is based on an original photograph of two monks entering a temple in Kyoto, Japan. Various symbols, within the painting, suggest a struggle between ideologies with the bamboo railing acting as a psychological scale. In the original photo, each monk holds a fan printed with ghost-like characters. The painting adds the Ling Zhi mushroom in the foreground. Known in Asia for its anti-aging effects, Ling Zhi is often called the immortal mushroom. The cherry blossoms, peaking through the darkness in the upper left hand, become a large abstract symbol in the foreground. In Japan, the cherry blossom is a symbol of mortality due to the short life span of its bloom. The monks are painted in silver suggesting a mercurial presence. In ancient alchemy, Mercury was thought to prolong life. In the Western tradition, it also is the Messenger.