Aug 19 2020

Artstrology: Virgo 2020, Cleaning Solutions

by Pamela Wong

Illustration by Tiffany Tam for ArtAsiaPacific.

While it is still too early to box up our summer clothes here in sunny Hong Kong, Virgo season is the best time to houseclean, both literally and mentally. This is when I get my head on straight, reflect on the outdated items in my life, and clear them out so I can make space for new things. This applies to not only useless objects lying around the house, but also toxic relationships and old beliefs that no longer suit me. In 2020, a year of cycle change (and being stuck at home), housecleaning is an essential step toward self-renewal.

When I think of Virgos I think of the clean smell of detergent. Virgos are notorious for being unable to endure even a speck of dust on the shelf. Actually, they are not necessarily all clean freaks, but they do enjoy having a clear mind space and thinking logically. My Virgo friend summed it up perfectly: “Cleanliness is next to godliness—devoid of impurities, no digressions, no interjections, no whimsical blotch on a painting.” Likewise, most Virgo artists have a minimalistic approach toward their works, often focusing on the composition of geometric shapes, clean-cut structures, as well as the conceptual meaning behind each stroke. The late Hong Kong artist Hon Chi Fun, who was fascinated by circles, produced abstract canvases with a sense of exactness. He discovered the divine in this simple shape, relating it to, for example, the dharma wheel, which represents a phase of transformation in Buddhism. When portraying light and shadow, such as in Secret Codes (1974), Hon was particularly meticulous in spraying the acrylic onto the canvas to perfect the bright spot in the center.

As an earth sign, Virgo is connected to material reality. People born under this sign pay close attention to the details of objects and handle materials with care. Virgo artists understand how to utilize different mediums appropriately and accurately. In Mono-ha artist Nobuo Sekine’s Phase—Mother Earth (1968), a cylinder of earth was dug up manually and presented as an intact column with as little technological intervention as possiblea time-consuming act that demonstrates Virgo’s dedication, precision, and connection with the earth. Also “conveying the richness of nature” is Phase of Nothingness (1969/70), in which Sekine placed a gigantic slab of stone on top of a stainless-steel column that reflected its surroundings, creating the impression that the rock was floating in midair.

For Virgos, everything needs to be in the right place. As such, they are easily dissatisfied and critical, to the extent that their opinions might come across as mocking and offensive without them realizing it. During Virgo season, we might face verbal attacks from others, especially with Transit Mars in Aries rushing everyone to war before the planet’s upcoming retrograde in September. Stay calm and refrain from impulsive acts, not for the purpose of dodging the fight, but to arrive at a state of inner tranquility, and reflect on exactly what you want to do before you act.

This article is written for entertainment purposes only.

Pamela Wong is ArtAsiaPacific’s assistant editor.

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