Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Loneliness of the King

This is a painting of 孫悟空 (Sun Wu Kong) from 西遊記 (Journey to the West).

click for larger view

齊天大聖的孤獨 (Qi Tian Da Sheng de Gu Du)
The Loneliness of the Great Sage Equaling Heaven (literal)
The Loneliness of the King

Thoughts behind the painting:
I dug up the novel to read and spent many days thinking of what to paint for this one. I was reminded of many interesting events of the story but I really didn't want to do a straight narrative. I discussed this with my parents during meal times (being Chinese we were all familiar with the story) and just out of the blue one day, a thought came to me and I said to my dad, "Hey... Sun Wu Kong didn't actually have any real friends."

I suddenly realized what a lonely creature he was. I went back to read Chapter 27-28 - this was when Tang San Zang expelled him and he went back to Hua Guo Shan (Mountain of Flower and Fruit), which was mostly burnt down by the great war caused by his mischief 500 years ago. My heart literally ached for him when he cried for his master, which I feel did not deserve his loyalty and respect at all.

Tang San Zang, the historical figure, might have been a great man, but the fictional monk in the story was a hypocritical, cowardly and selfish bastard of a man. He's the character that I loath most in the story, much more so than any demon the group came across.

To see if anyone shared my thoughts on Sun Wu Kong's loneliness and to make sure that I wasn't being overly sentimental about this (xD), I googled around and actually found quite a few things... some blog entries and the lyrics to a song by Mayday. My painting isn't based on that but I thought I'd mention that here. [link] [link]

Here's the complete English version of the novel in PDF format, if anyone's interested: [link] A very entertaining read.

Photoshop CS3, Painter IX, & Gesso (textures)

Link to deviation:

I hope my next painting will be a happy one.