Allegory
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'Allegory' — A Solo Exhibition by Jolene Lai.
Published:
Allegory

The Concoction | Oil on canvas | 30 by 24 inches


Dance of the Magpies | Oil on canvas | 30 by 24 inches


Honey Roasted | Oil on canvas | 30 by 24 inches


The Perfect Face | Oil on canvas | 24 by 30 inches


Dear Diary | Oil on canvas | 40 by 30 inches


Daphne's Toys | Oil on canvas | 40 by 30 inches


A Moonlit Meadow | Oil on canvas | 40 by 30 inches


The Butcher | Oil on canvas | 48 by 36 inches


The exhibition, Allegory showcases a series of paintings depicting female characters from various traditional Chinese mythologies and classical literature such as Pu Songling's Liaozhai Zhiyi - The Strange Stories from a Chinese studio.

Inspired by her traditional Asian upbringing, the artist attempts to trace the wealth of traditional Chinese folk stories to understand the characteristics that make Chinese people the way they are today. Aside from the well- known celestial beings such as Guanyin and Zhao Jun (kitchen God), characters such as Pan Jinlian (Jin Pin Mei - The Plum in the Golden Vase), Meng Po and Hua Pi too entertain us with mocking tales of scandalous sexual affairs, romance, justness and humility.

As known in numerous Chinese folklore, these heavenly folks are after all deified humans; thus, they are prone to making mistakes just like we do. Based on their virtues, peppered with lots of subtle humors, Jolene re-tells their stories in contemporary setting, creating familiar everyday scenes, yet, ones that still retain their dreamlike quality.