Fully aroused yin,


fully aroused yang


What is the personality of a tree, the hidden energy of a mountain or the underlying nature of things?

How can you see this and express this in art?

The Taoist artist moves into a state where her yin and yang energies are fully aroused, becoming highly creative and dynamic yet also focused and receptive. In this state of extreme aliveness and awareness she communicates the essence of force that she sees.

Taoists believe that life is about the interaction of opposing yin and yang energies to create a harmonious whole. Rather than yin and yang energies creating harmony through passive co-existence, Taoists value the energies being fully aroused. It is their dynamic interaction that create a fulfilling life. Taoist art aims to teach these principles and thus they use many symbols which represent yin and yang energies.

This lady is holding a Big Mac. The dragons on her dress have come to life - one blows flames on the hamburger, another's tail wraps around her leg. The bottom of the dress contains a scene filled with mountains, waterfalls, a lake and instead of a temple on a hillside - a Macdonalds. So what does it all mean?



The Dragon: mediator between Heaven and Earth, physical and spiritual. In my sculpture there is a female dragon and a male dragon. The spikes and claws represent yang, the scales yin.

Water: represents spiritual or emotional states. Falling into receptive hollows in aroused yin.


Mountains: associated with the higher self or aspirations. These mountains are fully aroused upwardly thrusting yang.

Tree: tree of life. The thrusting branches are yang, but the round leaves are yin.

Bridge: connection between two states of being.

Clouds: yin energy

The five elements: air, water, earth, metal, fire. All these elements are represented in the painting on the sculpture as well as in the very process of making it.


The sculptural piece was inspired by my sister-in-law, Lisa, who has emigrated from Singapore. She is trying to remember and reclaim her culture, but her roots are hidden.  Childhood memories include eating Big Macs while watching the Chinese New Year dragon dance. I made this piece for her tea ceremony—the Chinese tradition of giving tea to in-laws as part of the marriage ceremony.



The East and West is often seen as a dialectic, and we have a poor way of dealing with dialectics. We give one status over the other, or find an average position, or try and juggle them in such a way that no-one wins. 

We can learn to see dialectics as wonderful creative potentials when we allow full interaction to occur between the opposites. Perhaps this is the challenge of living in a multi-cultural society? Creating a harmony not born of averaging but from experiencing diversity, rubbing our shoulders with it and allowing our hearts to be the place where new potentials grow.

When the dragons are restless we know we are fully alive.



 Gallery Exhibitions Artist at Work

Contact Sue Stack at sue.stack 'at' bigpond.com   (replace 'at' with @)         Available for commission