The Origin of the Creation of The Story of the Stone
When I was young, the reason why I loved reading The Story of the Stone, for it's a very beautiful book. The novel told a group of girls with both beauty and talent but they had different personalities. However, when I get older, I realised that maybe "the darkest base" gave the girls more brilliant. It seems that all the good has a tragic ending, and all the eternal thing has a short life. Also, the missing of latter 40 chapters of the novel adds more artistic charm to it, like Venus de Milo has no arms but no one can deny it's a classical artwork. Many years later, the more I read it, the more beautiful I find it is; the deeper I read it, the greater impressive it gives me; the more careful I read it, the more helpless I feel it. The author described a very beautiful and poetic female world with a unique writing technique. In this bit of the purist universe, from flowing water and fallen flowers to a group of young girls in the Grand View Garden (where was the exclusive residence for the ladies), all of beauty you can see that was fleeting.
Unlike the philosophy of approving the survive that we are familiar with, all of prosperous, bright or appealing parts were mentioned by the book were as if they were flickering stars that couldn't run away from the edge of the dark night. The death had used to be a taboo subject, but it was throughout the novel as the darkest backdrop to The Beauty of the Soul. It's just like the way of special narrative of the novel, the distinctive feature of The Story of the Stone is neither to tell a sad and beautiful love story, nor an encyclopedia which listed Chinese history and culture, but it was an autobiography from a soul. As artists, in front of such a soul work, we'd like to devote ourselves to creating these beautiful girls, even if only for the aesthetic we resonated with the novel.
The Creative Impulse Is the Most Important
The Story of the Stone was the first group of art dolls we created. Before that, we had only created bas-reliefs which are wall hangings. However, I yearned for seeing a real three-dimension sculpture which would be more impressive than base-reliefs. So my talented mother finally agreed to try such a 3D art form under my great encouragement. Normally we shouldn't have explored a new art form with the subject that we loved the best like The Story of the Stone, but both of us think that creative impulse and passion are far more important than techniques. An artwork without passion couldn't touch people and it would be forgotten at all no matter the techniques how perfect they would be. Actually, the fact proved that our decision was right. It's been several years so far, but they are still our favorite works. Although our experience was not enough and parts were not very perfectly in techniques, we both knew that if we did it again, techniques would be more and more perfect of course, the most impressive part of the artworks would be hard to express without the artists' initial passion and expectation.
Certainly, there are 12 pieces of the set, and the most important figures, Lin Daiyu and Xue Baochai, were created at the last, for each of figure was finished with one breath after going through it for a long time. Especially for Lin Daiyu who was the soul of the book, I can say without exaggeration that we hardly dared breathe during the whole creation so as not to blow her away.
Lin Daiyu (Part)
Xue Baochai (Part)
The Classic is Always Controversial
Although The Story of the Stone has been published over 400 years, Lin Daiyu as the heroine of the novel is still a controversial role. I think no one wouldn't love her, but they might not understand her, just as no one would deny Xue Baochai's sophisticated talent, but perhaps they don't agree with her "Philosophy of Existence". Lin Daiyu and Xue Baochai are considered not so much talented girls with entirely different personalities as they actually represent the complete opposite of values -- Being and Existence. Lin Daiyu could get rid of the fetter of the death to despise the so-called rules of survival with an independent attitude of freedom for seeking the Truth, and Xue Baochai strove to prove the Death is nothingness but even gave up the right of freedom to make herself to be a model of virtues for protecting herself and her family's safety. Lin Daiyu brought readers a beauty which is not only impressive but it's also precious. However, there was only a sigh while Xue Baochai sacrificed the beauty for the cruel reality.
Someone said that Xue Baochai was the final winner. I'm sure of that he made such a conclusion what he wanted from the standpoint of the Existence. Personally, I prefer Lin Daiyu because my personal values are inclined to independent and freedom, and I even totally denied Xue Baochai for a long time. It's like some who seek truth cannot stand all of lies and false hopes, and those who have to lie and employ trickery also hate the ones who take everything too seriously never understand a feeling of lifes helplessness. Whatever our values incline to be, as a human, Being and Existence are impossible separated in life. The greatness of The Story of the Stone is that it actually tells a story which is no winner. No one can avoid all of problems of survival when we are alive. Also, without independence and spirit freedom, we would be the walking dead. Certainly, The Story of the Stone is a tragedy, but it actually criticized a declining era rather than figures of the novel.
Sorry for Daiyu, Sigh for Baochai
The most classical scenarios describing Lin Daiyu and Xue Baochai in the novel were "Daiyu burying fallen flowers" and "Baochai capturing butterflies" . I didn't think about them carefully why the scenarios became classical before creating this group of the works. I just simply thought that they were not only the most impressive moments, but they were also showed the most authentic themselves. However, when I had finished all of pieces, and I suddenly realised that the reason why the moments were classical, it was because they showed what they really yearned for, which they never have throughout their lives. Most importantly, as a human, the real part of Daiyu and Baochai was revealed. One of them was a poet whose talent was beyond comparison, and another was a graceful lady whose virtues were matchless. If there were something what they really wanted, I think there were nothing Daiyu more than regretting her short life, and there were nothing Baochai more than yearning for freedom. Daiyu not only pitied those fallen flowers so that she was burying them as if they were real lifes, but she also sighed for her own short life which she could foresee like the fallen flowers. Also, Baochai was not only capturing butterflies, but she also treasured and loved such the happy moment that she should have owned as a young girl.
There are twelve main figures in the novel, each of whom had a poetry to imply their destinies, except one to describe both Lin Daiyu and Xue Baochai. The poetry expressed sorry for Daiyu and gave a sigh for Baochai. Sorry for nothingness of death and sigh for helplessness of lifes happened to compose the tragic life, which the author wanted to criticize.
However, the author left us such a beautiful and eternal soul and spirit. That's the very what we wanted to express in visual art form.