When I became drenched and tattered in a tempest, my umbrella became useless. I felt I was so small and powerless in such a drenching downpour. I wished my umbrella could extend longer and longer till it reached my feet, and my shoes could rise higher and higher till I jumped out of the water. Thus, I would be in a safe zone.

I regard the area under the umbrella as my protection range. I never think of myself as a powerful person who has the ability to protect everything, but I do want to pay more attention to and protect everything including my friends, family, animals and plants in my small area. To express this idea, I printed some large clovers on my long umbrella.

A clover is a very tiny white flower that grows discretely in the grass many places around the campus. Although it is small and can be easily ignored, I was attracted to its tiny shape, delicate structure, curved vines and white flowers convey its weak appearance. I did not know its name when I first saw it but I felt that the clover had a similar appearance with the lotus that appears frequently in traditional Chinese paintings. The lotus is a symbol of immortality and purity. I drew clovers in the elaborate style that traditional Chinese painters often use to draw a lotus. I believed that the clover has its own specific quality that is similar to that of a lotus. Unexpectedly, I recently found that a three-leaf clover represents hope and a four-leaf clover represents happiness and good luck.  Anyone who finds four-leaf clovers will harvest happiness. When I understood the meaning of clovers, I checked if there were any four-leaf clovers in my drawing. Although these clovers in my drawing are all three-leaf, they represent a sense of hope, at least, in my protection range.

--by Yuanyuan Li--March 2009

Click here to see the sculpture
Click here to see the painting