Hou Yi Threatens Surya

Hou Yi Threatens Surya – 2007, collage, 75cm x 100cm/30in x 40in, © 2020 Dixon Adair


This collage is a fanciful blend of unrelated myths and devotional practices and beliefs.  Hou Yi, a Chinese archer, came to save the world from scorching by shooting down nine of the ten suns that once lit up the sky. Here, the tenth sun is being preserved by Karna, son of Hindu Sun Surya, who stands atop Teotihuacan, the Aztec pyramid of the Sun!

Behind Teotihuacan pyramid sits the Hindu wheel of life and its eternal cycles, just as, at the top of the panel, there is a layering of time-keeping: an Aztec stone calendar, an Egyptian pyramid, and a large Indian sundial from Jantar Mantar (Jaipur).  Immediately above Karna, a Christ figure in an Incan sun god mask beams rays of light onto the horses that pull Helios’s chariot.

At the base, between mirror images of the archer Hou Yi, a woman seen from behind uses vessels of kidney-purified water to perform surya puja, the Hindu sun salutation. 

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