Autumn is a season when nature begins to retire. Leaves fall and flowers fade. What was green and lush becomes dark and brittle. The lotus, too, sheds its dried petals and curls its leaves. Is it dying? It may seem to be, but the pulse of life inside the lotus continues to beat; its vitality has retreated into the seeds and roots. As a matter of fact, the lotus was originally grown as food and for medicinal purposes. Each part of the plant is edible and can be used to treat various gastrointestinal and blood related disorders. In China, lotus seeds are regarded as nutritious and rejuvenating for the body.
Artist Chi-Jen Liu reveals his background as a master of feng shui by the way he arranges the lotus leaves and seed heads to correspond with constellations. According to Taoist astrological texts, our planet is influenced by the stars and planetary alignments. To complete the cosmic analogy of lotuses as stars, he adds a golden glow around each head. When speaking about his work, he often refers to these kinds of patterns as "galaxies." He describes the ones in this piece as "health and longevity galaxies" which reflects the health-giving qualities of the lotus. In "Lotus Autumn," Chi-Jen Liu focuses on the benefits that can be found in seemingly bleak periods of life. Just as the lotus has so much to offer despite the season, there is always something useful to be found in challenging times.