The Oxherding Series
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Around 1993 I got the urge to do a series on the Easern Oxherding story. This story concerns a young person who becomes lost. The person then sees traces of a way out, follows the traces, and discovers a black ox to be the source. The person battles with the ox, overcomes it, and becomes one with it. Harmony is restored.
This story is about the basic pattern of life. We are born innocent, become lost in illusions and delusions as we grow older, and then if we are lucky we begin to see traces of our true nature. If we follow those traces and do battle with our artificial side we may discover authenticity. If we do we discover an important truth about life that can set us free.
Below is the series in order of the story from top to bottom.
I intentionally did the paintings with thick oil paint, in a rough manner to express what is known as the 'uncarved block' in Eastern philosophy.