The Celestial Bird

Medium: Acrylic and ink on canvas
Size (cm): 160 x 100

The Celestial Bird portrays a mythical creature of Malaysian folklore known as the Cenderawasih. It is believed that this bird had descended from heaven itself. It drank only dew, and ate only clouds. It was so divine that it would spend its entire life in the air and only to touch the ground to meet its death. Its feathers would turn into precious jewels when touched the earth. During the Hindu-Buddhist era of Malayan history, royal palaces owned these rare birds. It is said that whoever finds the bird, is granted mystical powers, success and fortune.  

 

The bird is shown clawing a venomous snake. This is in reference to Ular Naga Bora, a beast that symbolises evil. This painting reflects the negative traits of human culture today as societies are consumed by the longing for wealth and power, much so it becomes a life purpose.

The painting expresses the spiritual presence of this ethereal creature by portraying its metaphysical form. Its movement symbolises the transition between physical and spiritual boundaries. The painting interprets the fluidity of a celestial energy using the random motions of acrylic pouring. Unpredictable and dynamic, these forms dictate the imagery and outcome of the concept. This subconscious motion creates a life and energy of its own, challenging the idea of what painting is, and how a story can be perceived.

© 2015 by Haseef Rafiei. 

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