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October 20, 2012

Papillon - "蝴蝶"(butterfly)

Artistic depictions of butterflies have been used in many cultures including Egyptian hieroglyphs 3500 years ago.

The ancient Greek word for "butterfly" is ψυχή (psȳchē), which primarily means "soul" or "mind".

The Russian word for "butterfly", бабочка (bábochka), also means "bow tie". It is a diminutive of "baba" or "babka" (= "woman, grandmother, cake"), whence also "babushka" = "grandmother". (Research from Google, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Butterfly)

(Please click the image to enlarge)

In our Chinese culture, two butterflies flying together symbolize love. Also, Butterfly Lovers is a famous Chinese folktale.

In some old cultures, butterflies also symbolize rebirth after being inside a cocoon for a period of time. My birthday again, and I would love to share my butterfly story and captures with viewers, also I feel reborn as well:)!

When we were kids, of course we enjoyed experimenting with everything. I looked forward to growing up, but each year was too long. Maybe it was a good thing for me to get enough time to learn and grow. Once, when playing with the older kids in the yard when I was about four years old, they caught a butterfly. She was so beautiful; I instantly fell in love. I was told she could live if I kept her in a container and covered it with a piece of paper with holes letting air in. I was so excited, and begged them to let me have her, brought her so gently and carefully home. I would love to keep her as my first pet. My grandma brought me an empty jar and assisted me in putting on the cover properly.

I did everything and followed her direction. Then, she asked me if I would love to hear a butterfly story, certainly... She told me that this butterfly had her own family, it was getting dark. If her family could not find her at home, they would be so worried. This butterfly girl would cry for not being able to go home to be with them either... Grandma told me that it was not too late to send her home yet. I cried realizing I should not be too greedy as to keep her just because I loved her. I set my lovely butterfly free with tears in my eyes...

Now, each year passes so fast, I feel that I could never keep the time as long as I used to. There is so much I would love to accomplish, while I desire to be loved for what I have, I find it especially satisfying when my creativity is encouraged and inspired. Meanwhile, butterflies are still one of my favorite insects, not only because they are beautiful, but because they brought me memories with all the stories and literature I have listened to or read. They are one of most important creatures of my creative imagination. I still remember what my grandma had taught me, though I've known a little bit more how butterflies live.

Life has changed dramatically. It is not because my birthday that I have to brought my old story up. I read about An Artist's Show Kills 9,000 Butterflies: http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/damien-hirst-art-show-killed-9-000-butterflies-211840872.html . I am an artist, I would never create any project by harming any living thing. My grandma's stories and my experiences in life all have taught me that killing directly or indirectly are not the right thing to do. Here is a thread that we have discussed about it in the Fine Art America: http://fineartamerica.com/showmessages.php?messageid=904692. We all want to live in a healthy and happy environment with our loved ones, right? Agree or disagree, time is the best judge!


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