Mind Labour

Mui-Ling Teh

Joined February 2008

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Artist's Description

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I currently have bulks of postcards on hand of this image among various others that I can sell cheaper to customers within the Greater Toronto Area. Learn more here

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Physical work may strain my behind
But the heavier labour is in my mind
But the cow stays strong pulling carts all day
I too will get through; I will find my way

Back in 2009, during the period of my internship in London, UK, I watched a series of performances at Trafalgar Square on Chinese New Year. In the opening, the hosts welcomed the Year of the Ox. As that was a period after the recession began, the hosts talked about how the ox is a strong animal that endures hardship, and that during this difficult period we too have to be strong. Although our hardship is perhaps more commonly in the mind while the cow endures physical labour – hence I use the pencil to represent the labour and hardship in the mind.

As the idea came up in my head, I thought it would look like the sculpture just outside of the Pantheon in Rome, Italy. The statue, designed by the Baroque sculptor Gian Lorenzo Bernini (and carried out by his pupil Ercole Ferrata in 1667) is called Pulcino della Minerva (Minerva’s Pulcino), which features an elephant carrying an obelisk on its back:

Coincidentally enough, Alexander VII, who commissioned the sculpture, was thinking along the same lines as me – the Latin inscription on the base of the sculpture is said to represent that “..a strong mind is needed to support a solid knowledge”. (source: Wikipedia) – I was in Rome just before the London internship and have seen this in person.

For a better idea of scale

Cow was folded from a 15×15mm piece of paper. Pencil is taped to a piece of foam core with the cow tucked underneath it as it would’ve been physically impossible to balance a pencil on the cow. And yes I did use that pencil right to the end; it is the same one I drew for Drawing Day 2008

Taken with a Canon PowerShot ELPH 300 HS on macro mode; natural lighting.

559 views as of June 24, 2012

Featured in:
The Group
Black and White Photography
Art in Math
Sculpture
The Power of Simplicity

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VISIT MY WEBSITE:

Mui-Ling Teh – Art and Words from the Heart


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Copyright notice:

© Mui-Ling Teh. All rights reserved.

MY IMAGES MAY NOT BE USED OR PUBLISHED ANYWHERE ELSE WITHOUT MY PERMISSION.

My art and writing do not belong to the public domain. Materials may not be reproduced, uploaded, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, copied, edited or published in any form or by any means without my permission. Any site using my images against my conditions have not sought proper permission and should be reported or brought to my attention immediately.

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Artwork Comments

  • ArtChances
  • Mui-Ling Teh
  • Mui-Ling Teh
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  • George Parapadakis (monocotylidono)
  • Jonathan  Green
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  • Hugh Fathers
  • Mui-Ling Teh
  • © Helen Chierego
  • Mui-Ling Teh
  • cherylc1
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  • © Karin Taylor
  • Mui-Ling Teh
  • © Karin Taylor
  • Gwoeii
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