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Date: 01 December 2003
Medium: Gouache on Watercolor paper, Adobe Photoshop 7.0 for digital imaging
Actual size: 15 x 11 inches

      This piece combines high art, low art, and a non-western aspect. The high art aspect is the reference to John Everett Millais's painting, "Ophelia Drowning," the low art aspect is the character of Alice from the game American McGee's Alice which is based on Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, and the non-western aspect is the Chinese foo dog. In the piece, Ophelia and Alice are dynamincally related in terms of age and lifetime trauma, except that Ophelia has taken the path of suicide (as in the story of Hamlet by William Shakespeare) whereas Alice struggles in her mind to conquer her problems, mainly by slaying those who wish to hold her back, and to continue through life. The Chinese foo dog serves as a guardian, as to Chinese mythology, in place of the Cheshire Cat, and stands by Alice in her path to hope and survival, in contrast to Ophelia's path of giving up.

      This project was done both by hand painting with gouache and drawing and painting on the computer using Adobe Photoshop 7.0. The elements of Alice and Ophelia in the water were created digitally, and the foo dog and the frame were scanned in images printed and pasted onto the background, which is entirely done in gouache.

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