I’ve recently become friends with two weird monsters from Chinese Mythology
Tao Tie and Hun Dun.
Tao Tie has been adorning Chinese artifacts for centuries now. It is a mythical creature, a hybrid of several beings. It has a body of a sheep, with tiger teeth. Its face his human and so are his hands. It has a baby’s voice. What does Toa Tie do? Well, it is considered to be greedy and gluttonous. Tao Tie’s have an insatiable appetite. So much so, that driven by greed the Tao Tie devoured his body and all that was left was the human face.
Incredibly imaginative and powerful.
The sheep is the only animal that can’t defend itself. It’s meek but intelligent with a heightened sense of smell and sight. This meekness has been offset with a set of tiger’s teeth. Tigers have the biggest canines in the big cat family and also ambush other animals by leaping out and seizing their neck in their teeth. Tigers can bite through bones with their powerful teeth and jaws.
Human face and hands could have been used to probably make us understand how our behavior and actions impact our lives and the baby’s voice could mean so many things, the ultimate human vulnerability, the immaturity, the defense mechanism used to justify greed. The hybrid creature poignantly signifies that greed is not human nature but a result of grotesque thinking and insecurity.
Finally, the powerful tale of how self-destructive greed in any form could be.
Tao Tie is provocative, mysterious and effective in getting across the simple and powerful message.
My second friend is Hun Dun,
Hun Dun is a monster that cannot distinguish right from wrong.
Hun Dun is shaped like a huge dog. It has bear’s palm yet no claws; it has eyes yet cannot see; it can walk yet cannot move; it has ears but cannot hear.
Hence, all that he has serves him no purpose really. Hun Dun just remains stuck or is simply propelled into action which is meaningless.
Imagination and creative arts can have such a profound influence in spreading an idea. Our ancestors, I guess were savvier with social media and were much more creative, expressive, imaginative, attuned.
We’ve all become much too educated and equipped with too many facts. The imagination dimmed. We’ve all learned to use words intricately without realizing that words have the least impact on any creature, humans or others.
How I wish, we could come up with creating powerful imagery of new age monsters that could serve to warn us.
If given a chance, how would you like to describe a modern monster?
Maybe, the monster within us, who emerges, fear disguised as anger or vulnerability that masquerades as aggression?
For now, let’s all be friends with Tao Tie and Hun Dun and share their scary tales.