Tuesday, April 3, 2007
This was one of my last projects at UCLA, and my 2 classmates and I had the privilege of consulting with Brian Kite, a fine director at UCLA, to create our unique designs for the play. It was difficult for me to get into the story at first, so finally, after much thought to the story, I decided to go back to my roots and place King Lear in the Qing Dynasty, since Lear reminded me so much of the fierce Shihuangdi (Qing Emperor), whose stories I grew up hearing, and fearing. This take afforded me the opportunity to learn so much about Chinese history, since I hadn't taken any classes prior to this. Also, my mom got excited about my project and found a handful of historical figures from the same time period who somehow had similar personalities or relationships to each other--I ended up using their names for the other players in the story.
The project enabled me to get back into Chinese brush-painting, but I hadn't really painted people before--I only knew how to do the brush writing in 1st & 2nd grade back in Taiwan. Anyway, it was challenging but I'm pleased with the results.
Here are a few paintings I did on authentic rice paper (very different from watercolor paper, esp with the Chinese watercolor I used, the renderings came out very much muted).