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Jan 25 2021

Artstrology: Aquarius 2021, To the Lighthouse

by Pamela Wong

Illustration by Tiffany Tam for ArtAsiaPacific.

Trying to define Aquarius is like entering the Bermuda Triangle. The sign is symbolized by a vessel, which floats when empty, without a care for its surroundings, and yet, when full, it sinks. Similarly, Aquarians may appear aloof, but when inspired, can embody a multitude of complex emotions urging to be released, resulting in their eccentric personalities and bursts of creativity. 

Arguably, Aquarius represents the ideal community, where individuals respect each other’s personal boundaries. Japan can be seen as an Aquarian nation, not just for their innovative inventions and digital products, but also for their zealous attention to cleanliness, elaborate services, and most of all, their extreme politeness and social detachment from each other. Aquarians can also be very logical, observant, and analytical when it comes to interpreting others, so much so that it can appear like they are dissecting the human brain. My favorite writers are such Aquarians, including Virginia Woolf, who dives into the inner world of her characters via stream of consciousness in To the Lighthouse (1927); James Joyce, who vividly portrays the lives of ordinary Irish people in Dubliners (1914); and Chuck Palahniuk, who reveals the gradual psychological deterioration of a white collar protagonist in Fight Club (1996). These writers provide sharp and accurate (sometimes cynical, if they have their inner planets in Capricorn) insights into society’s composition as well as the nature of humanity. 

Represented by the creative troublemaker Uranus, Aquarius is also associated with new media and technological breakthroughs. In the realms of art and literature, this translates to a focus on extraterrestrial, futuristic experiences. Korean artist Lee Bul, for example, often imagines dystopian worlds via her multimedia installations and paintings. While the root of her creations stems from her personal experiences of South Korea’s dictatorship period, she also takes inspiration from science fiction. Her early silicone sculpture series Cyborg (1997–2011) features deformed, mutilated female bodies in rejection of the objectification of cyborg heroines in Japanese anime. Her latest mixed-media canvases, Perdu (2018– ), comprising mother-of-pearl and acrylic paint, illustrate the hybridity of the organic and non-organic, as well as the endless pursuits for perfect forms.

The volatility of the Aquarius season suggests forthcoming changes, particularly in telecommunication and media industries. As the first Mercury retrograde is expected on January 30, be mindful of your expenditures and investments, particularly with cryptocurrencies as well as investments in software and social media companies. The year 2021 is a major Aquarian year due to planetary transits from Capricorn to Aquarius, which elicits an abundance of renovations and shocking changes, from a possible economic collapse to medical or technological advancements. However, the degree of impact, whether positive or negative, is dependent on the individual’s attitude and actions. Stay rational and allow life to unfold before your eyes.

This article is written for entertainment purposes only.

Pamela Wong is ArtAsiaPacific’s assistant editor.

To read more of ArtAsiaPacific’s articles, visit our Digital Library.