Qin Fengling, Bagua Diagram (detail), acrylic on canvas, 59" x 59" [150 x 150 cm], 2008
This symbol, called "Ba Gua" or "Eight Symbols", is an ancient sign of Taoist cosmogony; in effect an ideal diagram of the order of the universe, and humanity's place in it. Eight symbols surround the "yin-yang" pattern in the center. The eight symbols are actually four pairs of opposites, held in balance: fire vs. water; earth vs. mountain; sky vs. wind; lake vs. thunder. Ms. Qin composes each symbol of hundreds of little people, as if to comment that the purity of philosophy with always be complicated by the inevitable "human element." This work is a companion to "Dizzy."