1970/14 Nü-Kua as a Child with the Ox-Calf
Height 6 ¾" x 7 ½"
Bronze (green patina)
Exhibited Royal Academy Summer Exhibition 1979 Catalogue No. 367
Royal Academy Summer Exhibition Illustrated 1979 page 61
Exhibited at The Royal Academy of Arts London at The Royal Scottish Academy, Edinburgh 1979 Catalogue No. 43
Modelled between 4/11/1970 and 13/11/1970 and originally intended as a ceramic group
Nü Kua, Goddess of Order
There is a Way
and I am that Way
the Way of Nature that moves in
In the beginning
I created the universal pattern
the Way things are
the Way things flow
the Way things need to be
I sequenced the seasons
harmonized the hillsides
organized the oceans
till all was auspiciously arranged
I am the natural order of things
I am the Way
In the beginning, according to Chinese mythology, there was a cosmic egg filled with the darkness of chaos. A giant named P'an Ku was formed in the chaos and he slept, while developing, for eighteen thousand years. When he awakened he broke the egg and the darkness poured out, as well as the light which had been hidden by the chaos. The dark pieces fell and created the Earth, while the bright fragments joined together and floated up creating the heavens. Fearing chaos would return if the brightness above fell into the darkness below, P'an Ku made it his mission to keep the sky and Earth apart until he was certain the world was safe.
Tens of thousands of years passed until P'an Ku was sure his task was complete, with everything in place as it should be. He sunk down to the Earth in exhaustion and died. His expired breath became wind and clouds. His body and limbs formed the mountains and hills, while the blood flowed as streams and rivers. The hair took root as vegetation and his teeth fell to the Earth as precious jewels. By bringing order to chaos and sacrificing himself in the process, the giant P'an Ku created the foundation for all life.
The dragon goddess Nü-Kua (also referenced as Nu Gua, Nu-Kua) emerged from the heavens to see the remains of P'an Ku. Described as a beautiful creature, half-woman half-dragon, she roamed the Earth and marvelled at its beauty. Lamenting the world had no one but herself to enjoy it and its offerings, she decided to create humans so P'an Ku's sacrifice was not in vain. Scooping up clay she lovingly made scores of men and women and lined them up in front of her. As perfect as her creations were, they were inanimate. Her heart reached out and she picked them up. One by one she breathed her Divine breath into their bodies, whispering the secrets of love and creation into their ears inspiring them to populate the Earth and create on their own.
Nü-Kua is also credited with teaching people art and passion, in addition to the importance of irrigation and agriculture. Her male consort Fu Xi, who was also half-dragon, later taught the skills of hunting, fishing and tending of flocks. He was a teacher of music and is credited with introducing the eight diagrams from which the I Ching was developed.
Upon realizing we have been animated by the Divine breath and given the gift of creation, we are empowered to evolve spiritually while still maintaining respect for the body of P'an Ku, our earthly home.
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