A series of illustrative works exploring the essence of healing in solitude. The story-like depictions present a lonely and treacherous process of healing and understanding one’s inner conflict. The objective nature of these works presents a combination of storytelling and esoteric symbolism, laid out like tarot, resembling the layouts of familiar cards, such as The Lovers, The Hermit and The Ace of Cups. Though consistent with traditional tarot, their meaning and symbolic elements reach beyond the rules and logic of such. From this, a more personal and meaningful story is captured, in which the necessary wisdom is intended to surface. Objects, found and uncovered, are symbolic of their connection to the underlying forces that guide and protect the alchemist in their solitude. Depicted within the illustrations, they provide a bridge between the inner and outer worlds. This installation series is intended to capture the solitude of exploring one’s inner conflict—the experience of outgrowing our shadow version by transmuting our pain into love.

A faulty mystic with misguided intentions once told me, in her own words, that you will never get off this ride. It is a life you must understand and manage with grace and strength. Your lessons are yours alone, so live them with courage and dignity. Use your intuition to pass them, so no such lesson need be learned twice.

Love will come through, though it is only the sword of a coward that will bring you to your knees. Though you mustn’t give up when heartbreak reaches the surface. You must feel it with your entire being. For life is led with loss. To suffer is to live, and to live is to love. Love others despite their troubles,  for their lessons are theirs alone. Be the kind observer, and lead with a merciful head and a loving heart. 

You have been battered and broken many times, and it seems the gods have scarcely shown mercy, though your strength shall keep their cruelty at bay. Since love for another free of condition is the most powerful gift one can possess in this human life.

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Jasmine Duong