The painting inspired by a poem or vice versa

The Dream of a Butterfly

Acrylic, Leaf on Canvas

30” x 40”

2015

Corcoran Gallery of Art 2015

胡蝶之夢     荘子

昔者荘周夢為胡蝶。栩栩然胡蝶也。

自喩適志与。不知周也。俄然覚、則蘧蘧然周也。

不知、周之夢為胡蝶与、胡蝶之夢為周与。

周与胡蝶、則必有分矣。此之謂物化。

The Dream of a Butterfly        Zhuangzi

Once upon a time, I, Zhuangzi, dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly.

I was conscious only of my happiness as a butterfly, unaware that I was Zhuangzi. Soon I awakened, and there I was, veritably myself again.

Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man.

Between a man and a butterfly there is necessarily a distinction. The transition is called the transformation of material things.  (As translated by Lin Yutang)