Saturday, November 24, 2012

Allegory — The Concoction

The Concoction
The Concoction | Oil on canvas | 30 by 24 inches

"The figure that stands below the bridge.

This was a character of rare beauty during the ancient times of China. She was formed from one of the leftover fragments which was used by Nu Wa, the creator of earth when she was repairing the skies. The fragment became a grass stalk that attaches itself and grew under the bridge in hell. It eventually became a spirit that assumed human form.

The beautiful grass spirit later fell deeply in love with and married a young and aspiring scholar who went on to take the imperial exams. She made him promised that he would not be unfaithful during his departure, but afraid that he would fall for another woman, the spirit cast a spell on her husband. Should he break his promise to be faithful, he will lose his life. Unfortunately her worst fears came true. Her husband passed the exams, married a new wife, and never came back. The spell worked, and all breath was taken away from him.

Realizing what she had done, the spirit knelt before the King of Hades, and pleaded for a chance to see her husband once more. Seeing how broken she was, the king allowed her to serve soup to her husband. Not wanting to let her husband remember her evil doings, the spirit pulled a strand of hair from her head and cast a spell into the soup. Upon drinking the soup that tasted sweet, sour, acrid, bitter and salty all at once, her husband soon loses all his memories and passes on to the bridge that led towards reincarnation.
The King of Hades was furious at what she had done, but also realized that it was a good thing for re incarnating souls to forget everything to start anew. As a punishment, the spirit was made to stand under the bridge to serve soup to every soul that will be passing the bridge for reincarnation. 

This Chinese folklore gave rise to the character Meng Po who is also widely known to many as Granny Meng today."

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