The lotus plant thrives in full sun and warmer temperatures and reaches its peak foliage during summer. It is an aquatic plant which starts as a humble seed under muddy waters. Once the seed germinates, the young shoot reaches toward the surface in search of sunlight. As it grows upward, it also develops roots. Gradually, the lotus rises from the dark depths and emerges as a pristine bud above the water's surface. Being born in darkness and blossoming in the light is why the flower of the lotus is seen as a symbol of spiritual evolution in eastern cultures.
Chi-Jen Liu celebrates the lotus at its height of growth in "Lotus Summer." He embellishes the lotus scenery with symbols to underline the message of blessings for the viewer. In Chinese culture, red fish are auspicious symbols for prosperity and the butterfly is a symbol of marital harmony. To clarify the summer theme, he illustrates the preceding season with pink spring lotuses at the bottom of the piece, and autumn's approach with dried lotus leaves at the top. Chi-Jen Liu's perspective of the past, present and future allows us to glimpse into the life cycle of these flowers.
According to Taoist astrological texts, our planet is influenced by the stars and planetary alignments. Chi-Jen Liu does not hide his background as a master of feng shui by the way he patterns the wilted autumn leaves and new spring blossoms in specific configurations. Their placement is far from random – they are constellations! He adds a golden glow around each lotus to complete their cosmic analogy. He refers to these patterns as "galaxies" and describes, "Galaxies promote prosperity. Summer brings happiness." Artist Chi-Jen Liu continues to teach the feng shui philosophy that man's lasting success and well-being is dependent on his ability to live in harmony with the laws – and cycles – of nature.