In Chinese mythology, the dragon is regarded as a guardian creature. It guards the realm between heaven and earth and it has been said that dragons come down to man with helpful messages. In this painting, Chi-Jen Liu combines the dragon with the constellation – a vision he calls "Dragon Constellation." He says when golden dragons are formed by the alignment of the stars, it is a blessing from heaven. The poem in this piece states: "Meditate on this... Dragon Constellation holds secret codes. Blessings of fame, leadership and genius unfold."
The deities in the sky and meditating monks on the islands remind us to reach our goals with mindfulness, morality, understanding of karma, mental focus, and clarity. Flying birds and sailboats are symbolic of smooth sailing in our endeavors. The year Chi-Jen Liu made this piece (2014), the dog was considered an auspicious sign in accordance to the Chinese lunar calendar. Therefore, a pair of dogs are depicted on each their own mountaintop, gazing upward to guide our eyes to look toward the Dragon Constellation.
The pine trees that dot the floating islands are symbolic of longevity and wisdom. These types of trees are sturdy and survive in harsh environments. Pine trees prevent erosion by the depth of their roots inside the stone they live on. Chi-Jen Liu often portrays pine trees in his work because they are nature's way of reminding us to cultivate moral character and physical strength so that we, too, can withstand challenges and gather life wisdom from our obstacles.
Before devoting himself full-time to an artistic career, Chi-Jen Liu cultivated over 55 years of feng shui wisdom and Taoist practices. Today, he continues to inspire people from all walks of life by expounding his philosophy through his art and poetry.
In 2014, he created the "Cloud Series" with a special theme in mind: blessings from the heavens. Chi-Jen Liu wanted to emphasize the importance of a global family, and therefore visualized these works from a bird's eye perspective. This series features imagery such as constellations personified as flying dragons and mountainous structures emerging from watery surfaces or rocky cliffs framed by billowing cascades. Scattered throughout these mystical sceneries are enlightened personages and sacred creatures that live in harmony with nature.
Each painting is accompanied with lines of handwritten calligraphy. Chi-Jen Liu delights in merging poems into his artwork. His verses describe his hope and purpose behind each piece. He welcomes you to explore this handpicked selection from his "Cloud Series." It is his sincere hope that the star-studded dragons soaring through the swirling clouds will reveal their heavenly message to you.