This illustration is inspired by one of the first stories I remember being told as a child, a Chinese myth about Chang’e (嫦娥), the wife of Hou Yi (an archer who saved all life on earth, by shooting down 9 of the 10 suns that were scorching the earth). Chang’e was warned never to touch the immortality ‘pill’ (more like a medicinal ball) of immortality that was awarded to Hou Yi in a gourd bottle, but she could not resist and ate the pill. She started to float higher and higher, until she reached the moon – where she was fated to spend the rest of her now immortal life. Her only company was a jade rabbit, and in some versions of the story, a woodcutter cursed to cut down the ever-growing cassis tree for eternity. The shadowy shapes on the moon are said to resemble Chang’e, next to the cassis tree, with her rabbit companion. I used to look at the moon and wonder what she’s doing up there.
For me, growing up with more Western tales than Eastern, this certainly seems to ring a few bells of similarity. A woman…opening a container she was forbidden to open…eating something she was not meant to…and being banished. Sound familiar?
As you will see, I have developed a growing fascination with hair..
I will write more about the finished work when it is done 🙂