My aunt, Joan Jue Yen, has recently created some wonderful new artwork that I would like to share. Please click on each picture to enlarge. Each artwork includes Chinese poetry. Auntie Joan has provided the translation of the poetry which I have included below each piece.
"Thinking of my Little Sons"
The first is called "Thinking of my Little Sons", and is a tribute to Jue Joe, San You and San Tong. After making his fortune in America , my great grandfather Jue Joe returns to China , marries Leong Shee and fathers his two sons, San You, and San Tong. His plan is to remain in China and farm and raise his family. Unfortunately, he must return to America to remake his fortune . He leaves China when his boys are just babies and does not see them or his wife again for 12 years. They are finally reunited in 1918.
Pony Boy, It's a Spring and we're still parted.
The orioles sing, as if to warm away our troubles.
Parted from you: suprised as your birthday passes.
Not a one to brag to of the clever things you do.
Water falls, there, by the empty mountain road.
By bramble gate, at Ancient trees, the village where
I think of you, and sleep's the only antidote for grief.
I toast my back, bent, bowed,
Beneath the smiling sunlight on the porch.
---Tu Fu (712-770) Tang Dynasty
"Gaze to the West"
Auntie Joan's second piece is a tribute to Leong Shee. Leong Shee marries Jue Joe, a returning "Gold Mountain Man" in an arranged marriage in China when she is only 17 and he is 42. She has two boys , San You and San Tong but soon after SanTong is born , her husband leaves once again for America. She is left a "Gold Mountain widow" and has to raise her sons herself for 12 years until she is finally reunited with her husband. America, however, is a very strange and lonely place for her at first and she dreams of China, her home.
A night of meditation,
streams and valleys,
frozen fish and dragons,
sweeping past the river bank,
all swell and billow,
though heaven has loaned me it's bright moon,
flying above the jade clouds,
still I cannot see my home,
broken hearted ,
turn my gaze to the west .
---Li Po (701-762) Tang Dynasty