Of all the portraits of stunning Chinese women that I have done, this is in my view my least successful – in one sense. In the first place, the woman here represented really
did not turn out looking much like the model herself, and probably
does not fairly capture the model’s truly captivating beauty.
So why post a work I myself deem inferior work?
After all, I had closets full of inferior work
– work not yet consigned
to the midden.
So then why
Well, if I just
forget what the
actual model looked like and
think of this piece as my own inventive effort
at representing woman’s ambiguity, I admit it truly
fascinates me. There was actually something hesitant, tentative,
undecided about her – I am reluctant to fall into cliché and say mysterious,
but she definitely did intrigue me over and above her beauty. To this day, Hsiao
still ‘talks’ to me whenever I look at this, my successful failure of her always eyeing me!