Pien Fu  by Michelle Samerjan

35.5" (w) x 31.25" (h) unframed
90 cm (w) x 79.5 cm (h)

43" (w) x 39" (h) with custom frame
109 cm (w) x 99 cm (h)

Acrylic and metallic paint on heavy watercolor paper, mounted onto museum board, veiled over with Japanese rice lace, bathed in a mixture of archival beeswax and UV-resistant polymers, bordered with insets and border panels of hand-loomed silk from the famous mills of Varanasi, India, with border accents (left and right panels) of early 1800s Buddhist black papyrus and gold ink manuscript pages, with four silver images, one at each corner, of one of the Eight Immortals, from a late 1800s Tibetan silver inlaid hat, adorned on far right border panel with late 1800s Chinese bat charm, affixed with holy wax collected from temples and monasteries, with vintage Chinese tassel, wrapped at top with small piece of late 1800s Tibetan thangka canvas from a religious painting.

In China, the bat is emblematic of happiness and longevity, and red bats are the color of joy. Here, bearing a strong resemblance to butterflies, these two bats lovingly hover over a mischievous fu dog. Such joy could have even cracked a smile from the late Tzu Hsi, the legendary dour Empress Dowager.

Michelle Samerjan

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