Drypoint etching, 100×150, May 2021
Series: Chinese divine beasts
The Fenghuang (in Japanese, Hō-ō) is a traditional bird of Chinese mythology. There are many stories about it all over East Asia. It has been revered as an auspicious bird. There are various theories about its figure according to the country. This time I adopted the modern Chinese version: the head of a golden pheasant, the beak of a parrot, the neck of a dragon, the front body of a Mandarin duck, the back body of a Kirin, the legs of a crane, the wings of a swallow, and the tail of a peacock. (I couldn’t find space for the Kirin.) I read that the Japanese version’s tail is from a fish…
Its colours are the five fundamental colours in both Japan and China! I used sort of vivid colours, so while I was printing it at a drypoint etching session, before I added the black, they said it looked like the Olympics.