Monday, May 16, 2016


Li Qin poses for her Goddess-loving father Li Zhuang Ping

These iconic paintings are by Li Zhuang Ping, a romantic-realist artist born 1948 in Szechuan, China. Though technically flawless, Li's compositions can be said to be mostly derivative, borrowing heavily from the work of well-known European masters like Raphael, Renoir and Velázquez. What has brought this particular collection - popularly known as the "Oriental Goddess" series - to international attention is the fact that Li used his beautiful 23-year-old foster daughter, Li Qin, as his model.

"Qin's perfect form and her natural beauty are what I had in mind for the image of a goddess," Li told an interviewer. "I created the 'Oriental goddess' series with her. She serves as both my model and muse. She inspires as well as lends form to the work. In that sense the paintings are a collaboration between us."

"And, yes, my wife approves," added Mr Li with a smile.

Li Qin, herself an artist, said she began modeling for her foster father five or six years ago, and worked closely with him to create the 'Oriental Goddess' series of oil paintings on canvas which instantly gained notoriety in the Chinese art world.

As to be expected, murmurs of disapproval were soon heard amongst the more conservative. Some critics aver that, while there might be no biological relationship between Li and Qin, the paintings constitute a form of "artistic incest."

My personal take on Li Zhuang Ping's "Oriental Goddess" series? I think the paintings are too kitsch to qualify as "high art" but Li Qin's exceptional beauty certainly deserves to be celebrated. And who better than a doting father (albeit a foster father) to do justice to such distinctive feminine beauty? Transmuting paternal affection, aesthetic ardor and erotic desire into art is the most sublime expression of a father's love I can imagine. What a delightful way to mark the end of the long, dark patriarchal era - when fathers traded off their daughters for social or political advantage, sold them to the highest bidder, intimidated, raped, humiliated, mutilated or impregnated them... or murdered "wayward" daughters to save the "honor" of the family.

Li Qin with her proud and doting grandfather

[First posted 14 March 2009, reposted 16 January 2015]


Unknown said...

Hi Antares

For a split second, I thought I'd landed in the wrong website till I chanced upon the familiar woody header.

My initial reaction - *WOW!*


I concur with your view re the kitsch quality of his art. What makes the whole experience breathtaking, to me as a woman, is not the nudity but the fact that Li has embellished her beauty with strokes of his brush and brought to life the nuances of her expressions, the naivety, the porcelain-like quality of her magnolia complexion that is almost flawless. Some of the hidden messages in her eyes leaves me breathless as they seem to penetrate into me as I gaze into the deep dark pools of her eyeballs, alluring and yet innocent.

I don't think I have come across any Chinese painter who has painted in this manner. Think he is more influenced by Raphael than not familiar with Velazquez to make any comment.

Certainly, he has made her larger and more beautiful than life :-) and it is a celebration of her beauty and womanhood - a far cry from the patriarchal stand of mainland Chinese of days gone by.

Thanks for this unusual post, Antares!

Have a lovely weekend!

Monsterball said...

The paintings certainly do great justice to both the artist and the model's beauty.

But the artist painting nude portraits of his daughter creates a lot of troubling issues...

Starmandala said...

MWS - Appreciate your sensitive & perceptive comment, thanks! :-)

Kittykat46 - Tell me more... what "troubling issues"? Confession time! I totally support the liberation of our collective, haunted erotic past from the nebulous zone of Taboo! Indeed, once freed of our sexual hangups, at least 90% of our health & emotional problems will vanish :-)

Anonymous said...

This is friggin incestuous man!!

Anonymous said...

... what? is it me or did he make her breasts bigger in the pictures, is all i wanna know :(

also, the use of big cats confuses me, unless it's some sort of juxtapositional statement of the model's feminine beauty against the predatory "masculinity" (?) of the animals that i don't want to think about because i'm lazy.

Anonymous said...

Is the daughter available ?

Anonymous said...

Yes Antares,

I have to agree with you that once we overcome that so called taboo, we free ourselves from the bonds that bind and imprison us.

I once wondered how great it would be to be able to go to those topless beaches to see God’s creation in all their glory. I also wondered if I could control myself in those circumstances. The chance presented itself in one of my trips to Greece and there on a beach in Loutraki, there were many topless ladies frolicking in the summer sun.

And you know what? When talking to those ladies, my gaze was everywhere except on those things I was supposed to ogle at! And my little brother also behaved quite well too. In fact, I could look beyond the nudity and see the persons behind it. Oh, what a revelation!

Thanks for sharing. Adam.

Anonymous said...

Raphael, Renoir or Rubens, exaggerated in size or not and wild cat or cute pussy, one just cannot deny that Li Qin the model and as depicted in the paintings is simply stunning.

Thank you Antares for this post; a welcome comfort after a torrid week in Malaysia. Your concluding paragraph -
"What a delightful way to mark the end of the long, dark patriarchal era - when fathers traded off their daughters for social or political advantage, sold them to the highest bidder, intimidated, raped, humiliated, mutilated or impregnated them... or murdered ..."
however does have that somewhat haunting ring to it. It could have sounded like what our fetid ruling political elites and the obsequious public institutions could do to us the rakyat (symbolised as daughters here) in the not too distant future.


Anonymous said...

When PR comes to power, things like this wont be a taboo anymore..

...along with sodomising young boys that work for you , and having sex with a malay/muslim aide..

GooOoOOoooo Pakatan!

Anonymous said...

oh forgot.. i meant "having sex with a MARRIED malay/muslim aide" ...


-may 13 thn ni genap 40 thn keris ku tak di pakai-

Anonymous said...

I wonder: what happens if Li Zhuang Ping paints the fat lady Rosmah instead of his foster daughter? Maybe put her naked figure on top of an elephant? Will the fat lady then start to sing? Will Li's nude fat-lady painting rival that of Lucien Freud? Or will Altantuya's ghost come back to haunt all of us? This is scary man, but won't happen, of course, of course!

Ron Southern said...

That's one way to get my attention! Nothing unpleasant about it that I can see. Thanks for the early-morning wakeup!

Starmandala said...

Hey, Fungus! And all this while I had simply assumed you were a species of "fun guy"! Need I remind you of that trusty old adage: "Vice is nice... but incest is best"? ;-)

LowBrow - God(dess)damn, you're right... Li Qin's breasts appear to have enlarged themselves under her father's expert hands. Seems obvious to me that the artist has chosen to paint his model au naturel against romanticized backdrops depicting the wild beauty & passion of Nature. Large cats represent power in repose & the raw sensuality of the feral psyche.

ShadowFox - Don't have Li Qin's email address, sorry. But Teresa Kok's on my Twitter, hee hee :-)

Adam - Good to know you've experienced the sense of freedom one gets when shamelessly naked.
In a nudist community do we need policemen, judges or politicians?

I_Hate_Nazis - Glad you picked up on the political dimensions of this post, not just the visual titillation!

Sharpened Keris - Here's some heavy-duty lubricant for your keris. Now go sit on it, thank you.

Fat Lady Enthusiast - For all we know Rosmah may have vague memories
of having been Messalina, wife of Caligula. Binder dundat! Now all she wants is to be accepted as "human." Well, human or otherwise, nobody (except Saiful & his Uncle Pet) wants to see her evil face ever again on TV or anywhere else.

Ron - Cheers to a fellow connoisseur of morning erections!

Tunku Halim said...

This is what I call ART!

BTW, I've quoted from Tanah Tujuh in my new encyclopedia for kids. Hope you don't mind! (It's on the chapter on Orang Asli)

Knights Templar said...

Where shall you seek beauty, and how shall you find her unless she herself be your way and your guide?
And how shall you speak of her except she be the weaver of your speech?

And beauty is not a need but an ecstasy. It is not a mouth thirsting nor an empty hand stretched forth,
But rather a heart inflamed and a soul en- chanted.
It is not the image you would see nor the song you would hear,
But rather an image you see through. you close your eyes and a song you hear though you shut your ears.
It is not the sap within the furrowed bark, nor a wing attached to a claw,
But rather a garden for ever in bloom and a flock of angels for ever in flight.


Anonymous said...


The oriental goddess and the animal totems are so distinct and detached. She is all a glow while the rest are forceful. There is a lind of disconnect, a kind of cut-and-paste painting.

If her toning is more in tune with the rest yet make it glow, then it would be more forceful.

freeing from taboos? Sure you want that? ;)

Anonymous said...

Antares, since you say there is no taboo here, will you paint your mom's pussy for us to see?

Starmandala said...

Tunku Halim - Long time no comment! Congrats on your latest project. Pleased to hear you quoted from Tanah Tujuh. Always nice to be quoted! :-)

KT - Thanks for the lyrical Gibran imagery, bro. Charming!

Anon @ 11:00AM - Interesting that you pointed out the contrast in lighting between subject & background. Indicates to me that the artist is trapped in the head & his attempt to sing Nature's praises is merely sycophantic & sloganistic. I meet lots of urbanites who speak ardently of "going back to nature" & advertising hacks who wax lyrical about "creativity."

Anon @ 12:29PM - My mother died in July 1995, was cremated & her ashes now reside in a marble urn in Singapore (don't ask me why, since she lived in Malaysia her whole life), and I possess no nude photos of her. She was a celebrated beauty in the small town where I grew up. However, my father left me an album full of B&W images of the pussies of various girlfriends he enjoyed throughout a long & illustrious career as a casanova. If you're turned on by hairy Chinese cunts, do come visit & I'll give you a stack of these useless photos (who needs amateur porn when professionally produced live action is available online 24/7?) In my dad's time, he had to process the film & make the prints in his own darkroom to avoid embarrassment. Well into his 80s he was still interested in sex & had a keen eye for feminine beauty. I'm grateful my dad never once instilled any stupid guilt into me over my libido. Bless his pagan soul!

Anonymous said...

There is no incest relationship between a father and an adopted daughter unless she is from the nuclear family or near-nuclear like first or second cousins etc where a biological bond can be identified.

Incest has been a taboo since ancient times. This has more to do with physical survival of the species due to birth defects of the offspring rather than moral reasons. A bio-social mechanism may have presumbly been developed
in the course of evolutionary adaption that human beings in all cultures generally find incest as naturally disgusting and repulsive.

It is a taboo in our society to discuss openly about incest or rape. Partly it is due to the dark shame of those who are sexually violated. They do not want to be shamed again. There is still a long way to go.

If the relationship between the artist and the model is not biological, then the relevant question,I think, is that of power relationship. Does she willingly do the modelling? Has he exert undue pressure on her due to the naturally unequal power relationship between them? Where do we draw the line of patriarchal exploitation?

I know nothing about paintings. From a layman's point of view,my question is why call Oriental goddess? The paintings look like an instrumental sexualization of the feminine qualities - passivity and submissiveness as a strategy and an instrument to regain the power lost, that of riding on lions. This does not really challenge the hegemony of patriachal power, but to flow along with it at best but to be complicit in unequal power relations at worst.

If our daughters were to be brought up in this submissive sexualized image, then we will have problems of them not accepting what they are, who they are as they are. Do they really need their beauty and sexuality to tame the ghost of authoritarianism? Are they less human for having a smaller breast?

Anonymous said...

Well....I have to draw the line some where la.... :p

Unknown said...

What wonderful paintings, I lack the wordsw to truly express my appreciation of their beauty...

My main problem with them is that I don't know how to be able to see the originals, nor would I be able to buy any of them...I don't have the funds, but if I had Ii would have bought them all.

All the best, and may both the artist and the model live happily and successfully.

Asia Casino Directory said...

This of course will create controversial. I think its better to use other model than her own daughter which I feel weird. But the art is undeniable good. here