The Lost Gods of Ancient Asia
The Lost Gods of Ancient Asia
Last edited by Matt Dixon; December 14th, 2003 at 05:16 AM.
Have you had time to think of your Asian God yet? I'm lost right now, probably won't get my act together until after Christmas.
Hey, I´m looking foward to seeing what you guys come up with. You got a good topic.
Thanks Paper Slayer. I know Matt and I have been really busy with our jobs, but we still plan on submitting.
By the way, Matt, I have found my Ancient Asian God for the topic. He's a Filipino god that was worshiped by some remote tribes in Mindanao. His name is Melu, the most powerful of all spirits. Here's his story:
In the very beginning there lived a being so large that he can not be compared with any known thing. His name was Melu, and when he sat on the clouds, which were his home, he occupied all the space above. His teeth were pure gold, and because he was very cleanly and continually rubbbed himself with his hands, his skin became pure white. The dead skin which he rubbed off his body was placed on one side in a pile, and by and by this pile became so large that he was annoyed and set himself to consider what he could do with it.
Finally Melu decided to make the earth; so he worked very hard in putting the dead skin into shape, and when it was finished he was so pleased with it that he determined to make two beings like himself, though smaller, to live on it.
Making the remnants of the material left after making the earth he fashioned two men, but just as they were all finished except their noses, Tau Tana from below the earth appeared and wanted to help him.
Melu did not wish any assistance, and a great argument ensued Tau Tana finally won his point and made the noses which he placed on the people upside down. When all was finished, Melu and Tau Tana whipped the forms until they moved. Then Melu went to his home above the clouds, and Tau Tana returned to his place below the earth.
All went well until one day a great rain came, and the people on the earth nearly drowned from the water which ran off their heads into their noses. Melu, from his place on the clouds, saw their danger, and he came quickly to earth and saved their lives by turning their noses the other side up.
The people were very grateful to him, and promised to do anything he should ask of them. Before he left for the sky, they told him that they were very unhappy living on the great earth all alone, so he told them to save all the hair from their heads and the dry skin from their bodies and the next time he came he would make them some companions. And in this way there came to be a great many people on the earth.
Wow. Cool! Very eager to see how you tackle that..!
I'm up to my neck in dusty parchments and stone tablets doing my research, but I'm fairly sure my deity will be Hindu in origin, and utterly fictitious to avoid any possibility of offense to practising Hindus. Something should turn up mid-January...
That's good we have different dieties. It would suck if I said, "Mine is a Hindu, too"!
As far as fictionalizing some aspects, I plan to do the same. However, my reasoning is just to enhance certain aspects of the composition. Thankfully, since my piece is more myth-based, I don't have to worry about offending anyone.
Like yourself, I have been swamped with work. I don't expect to post until mid-late January. BTW, is there a deadline for this competition?
I'm glad we held off on the WIPs. It will be a surprise to see how extreme our directions went.
By the way, I definitely took some re-imagining with my god:
1. I thought it would be better if he had servants that continually bathed and scrubbed him.
2. The legend states that he had gold teeth, I thought golden eyes looked better.
Considering posting, we agreed Sunday would be the day. I will probably post in a few minutes. I believe in a few more hours it will be Sunday in England. Hopefully, I'm right. In any case, I will post momentarily.
Melu: Pinoy God.
Last edited by Helzer; January 17th, 2004 at 11:12 PM.
That's beautiful, Dan - excellent job! I love the painterly quality you've acheived. It's great how it really has a flavour of religious iconography ( partly due the symmetrical composition, I think ) - was that a conscious decision?
You're right about the WIPs - I'm really enjoying watching work develop in other threads, but not knowing exactly what you were up to has been exciting. Plus, my works-in-progress would have made this a very ugly thread indeed..!
Last edited by Matt Dixon; January 18th, 2004 at 07:06 AM.
Yama, lord of the underworld.
Yama features in the text of the Rig Veda, the earliest of Hindu writings from around 1,000 BC; he is the master of knowledge, god of justice and the messenger of death - as the first mortal to die, he became the first to travel the paths to the realm of the dead and enter that domain, where he became lord of the underworld. Yama guides the soul to the regions of hell where it must remain until karma determines it's fate. He is described as green in colour, wearing red garments and riding a bull. He carries a mace in his right hand and holds a noose in the left, which he uses to pull the soul from the body of the deceased.
" He who gathers men together, who has travelled to the heights above, and who searches out and shows the path to many. "
He's seen here leading departed souls along the paths that he was first to tread, towards the realm of the dead...
Big thanks to Dan for encouraging such an interesting topic! I really enjoyed my research. The stories connected with the Vedic pantheon of gods and their relationships to other Asian faiths are fascinating - well worth looking into if you're vaguely interested.
Wow....just amazing, Matt! Such brooding atmosphere and drama. Particular admire the three point light source, the kinetic energy described by the whipping hair and swirling debris and the perspective used on those to be judged. Apparently, quite a long line! Awesome work!
Yeah, I'm glad we waited, it's definitely a surprise. And, yes, you're right, I went with the old school style with the symmetrical/symbolic composition. I was inspired by some old renaissance painters like Masaccio and Mantegna. Here's a couple of links if your interested.
Despite it taking me forever to start, I really enjoyed this competition. I don't know what happens now, but it would be fun to do this again.
Hear from you later,