Marie Koo

Here Hare Not Here

Oil on canvas 82" x 34" (2009)
Nirvana for a dearly departed pet; the title is a riff on the Zen quote “To see the hill as a hill, to see the hill not as a hill, to see the hill still as a hill” and “Here, Hare Here” from Withnail and I. That is to say, I’m not sure if death is part of a continuum, or if it’s “nail on the coffin”, that’s all folks.

The structure of this painting references the Chinese painting by Song dynasty painter Zhang Zeduan (1085 -1145) “Along the River During the Qingming Festival” (Qingming Festival is a day to visit cemeteries and pay respects to the departed) and the color references Japanese Ukiyo-e (translates as “pictures of the floating/temporary world”) woodblock prints. In my nirvana, the line between animal and human is blurred, and no one has to wear shoes.

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