Hearing the very name Yin-Yang or looking at a picture of it instantly reminds us of its association with Taoism, one of the oldest religious practices rooted deeply in Chinese philosophy. Some may, of course- ironically though- might remotely get reminded of the symbol of Pepsi that shares striking similarities with the former, differing except for the absence of dots and different colour combination.
The Yinyang (or Yin-Yang) is one of the earliest concepts that emerged in Chinese philosophy that has multiple interpretations as perceived by different school of thoughts and point of views. However there are some of the fundamental interpretations that are common to observe.
Yin-Yang is the coherent existence of nature and mind. The symbol of Yin-Yang represents the duality in every aspect in the cosmic existence. Light/Darkness, Hot/Cold, Day/Night, Feminine/Masculine are some of the common examples that strikes our mind the moment we think about duality. On the other hand it symbolizes the coexistence of polar aspects that stay together despite being antonymous. This philosophical approach has deeply influenced the Chinese tradition- its cultural history, traditional medicines, religious philosophies and thus the social history.
The idea of this piece of writing is actually not to ponder over the Yin-Yang philosophy but just a brief introduction to what we are about to take up for reflecting. Recently I came across French illustrator and concept artist David Revoy’s work titled ‘The Out of Balance Yin-Yang’ that has fetched the title for this post. To better understand the work one has to have a brief picture of the philosophy behind it.
This illustration upholds the possibility of interpreting it in more than one ways and that makes it interesting to engage with. The concept of out- of- balance is prominent and glaringly visible. But we get to see an obese white man obviously taking a larger space denying it to the weak and malnourished black man. He has a plate with a piece of pizza on it and a remote control in his left hand. On the contrary the ultra skinny starving man is neither able to withstand the oppression thrust on him nor is able to oppose it.
But what does it symbolize?
Is it the White dominance over the Black? Is it the representation of economic imbalance where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer? Or does it symbolize the arrogant and self centered expansion of the capitalistic world suppressing the working class? Could it symbolize the mindless consumerism? In fact, it could be all. And each aspect thus mentioned could logically be substantiated. A work of art reaches its zenith while it houses the possibilities of multi layered understanding and this piece of art achieves it.
Apart from the main theme(s) the television remote is yet another interesting integral part of the work. It might symbolize the dominance of media in one’s life and its quintessential role in influencing one’s general opinion.
This out-of-balance Yin-Yang if balanced to what it really ought to be then we might stop dreaming of heaven for we might already be living in it.