Redefining strength in the Year of the Ox

2021 is the year of the ox: strength and resilience. Check out digital art from creators in Asia Pacific region – what creative strength means to them.

Think of an ox. What comes to mind? Gentility and patience are not likely to be among your top answers, and yet, Asian cultures have valued the humble ox for these exact characteristics for centuries. Art, literature and popular culture often depict oxen as hardworking, kind and loyal throughout the region. A popular Korean proverb even states, ‘It is a bad plowman that quarrels with his ox’, reflecting the significant role that oxen have held in tending to fields alongside farmers for generations.

One thing all cultures can universally agree on is that the ox represents strength. Given the challenges 2020 presented us with, it is apt that in the Chinese Zodiac, 2021 is the year of the ox. As we step into the new year with courage and resilience, there’s no time like the present to tap into our creative strengths to collectively move forward. Stepping out of our comfort zones, facing our challenges head on, experimenting with new mediums and rallying those around us to join in.

We asked creators from around Asia Pacific to create art that represents what creative strength means to them. Here’s what they shared.

Adrianne Walujo, Australia

Motion designer and Illustrator Adrianne’s artwork is a visual paradox challenging the common perception of strength – an ox, a strong and powerful animal, holding a flower, the embodiment of elegance and gentility. This is a rallying call for the audience to find their inner strength to face the upcoming year with grace and gentleness, while confidently growing at their own pace. After all, the best works of art requires the subtle strength of patience and a gentle hand to succeed.

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Yori Narparti, Australia

The ox is known for being calm and patient, two traits we could all use a heaping dose of this year! Melbourne-based illustrator and concept artist Yori takes a fun and light-hearted approach to this artwork to inspire positivity, in her signature whimsical illustration style. It features a looping animation of a girl playing the flute on the back of the trusty ox, illuminated by the full moon, an auspicious symbol of peace and prosperity.

Guoxin Goh, Singapore

Singaporean composite artist and graphic designer Guoxin Goh paid homage to the history and landscape of the world around him, challenging conventional norms with the fusion of his personal futuristic, cyberpunk-inspired style and neon colour palette with tradition. Guoxin’s artwork features the ox in a prominent, powerful stance – the centrepiece in a modern cityscape – surrounded by towering skyscrapers and illuminated by vibrant neon lights. The ox’s horns glow especially bright, a subtle element which emphasises its strength. Guoxin contrasts tradition with contemporary, juxtaposing the history and evolving present and future of art, tying in elements of the old and the new.

Han Rui, China

Artist Han Rui believes that strength is a matter of exploring different forms of creativity and expressing yourself in new and innovative ways. Han’s artwork delicately breathes new life into classic Chinese techniques, tastefully recreating this style with the help of a modern medium and technology while taking care to preserve the elements of this traditional style. He also incorporates architectural design elements into the artwork, injecting his own personal flair and paying tribute to his background in architecture.

Strength represents countless things to different people. What does #StrongAsOx mean to you?

Hear from creatives around Asia

This year, push the boundaries of creativity and innovation, and express yourself in new and exciting ways. Check out the #StrongAsOx hashtag to see the artworks created by more creators, or download free Creative Cloud templates here and make them your own.

Source : Adobe

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