Published on 2 May 2024 at 20:21

Medium: Watercolor on paper

Date: 1998 

Fight: Exploring the Surrealism and Symbolism

The Enigma of Combat and Duality

For this week's featured artwork, I take you back to 1998, to a piece close to my heart that I titled "Fight”. This piece is an intriguing watercolor painting that captivates me with its blend of surrealism and evocative symbolism. The artwork depicts a figure, remarkable for its three-headed form, each head resembling a different animal. This multi-headed warrior wields a sword, poised as if ready for combat. The background is a subdued yellow, enhancing the foreground’s drama and the simplicity of the creature's form.

Symbolic Interpretations

The tri-headed figure in "Fight" serves as a powerful visual metaphor for the internal struggles and the complex layers of human identity. The presence of three distinct heads on a single body can be interpreted as an embodiment of the multifaceted nature of the self. Each head might represent different facets of one's personality—the emotional, the rational, and the instinctual. These are often in conflict, yet they are part of the same being, constantly vying for dominance and control. This internal battle is a universal human experience, making the artwork deeply relatable.

Moreover, the weapons carried by the figure—a sword and shield—further enhance the theme of conflict and defense. The sword could symbolize the aggressive, confrontational side of our nature, always ready to fight and assert dominance. On the other hand, the shield might represent the protective, defensive aspect of our personalities, highlighting our need to guard against external threats and internal turmoil. Together, these elements suggest a perpetual state of readiness, whether to face one's inner demons or external adversities.

Expanding on this, the composition and stance of the figure also play a significant role in conveying the message of the painting. The stance, aggressive yet guarded, underscores the constant tension between facing our fears and protecting ourselves from harm. This dynamic reflects the ongoing struggle within every individual as they navigate the complexities of life, balancing their primal instincts with rational thought and emotional understanding. Such imagery invites viewers to reflect on their own lives, encouraging a deeper engagement with the themes presented in "Fight." To illustrate, a friend of mine who immigrated from Asia embodies this struggle vividly. Raised in poverty, each step of his life has been a relentless battle to carve out his place in the world and secure his survival. Fear and the pressure to constantly defend himself are ever-present companions. His journey is a powerful testament to the resilience of the human spirit and sharply mirrors the themes depicted in "Fight." While his story is uniquely his, it serves as a compelling reminder that we all face our own battles. This artwork encourages us to contemplate our personal struggles, inviting a deeper connection with the challenges we encounter and how we navigate them.

Artistic Techniques

The use of watercolor in "Fight" adds a softness that contrasts sharply with the sharp angles and defined outlines of the figure. This technique allows for subtle color variations and a dreamlike quality that suits the surreal nature of the painting. My choice of a minimalistic style focuses my attention on the symbolism and emotional impact of the piece, rather than intricate details.


"Fight" offers a profound exploration of psychological turmoil and the ongoing internal quest for balance. It invites me to ponder my own inner conflicts and the complex facets of my personality. The painting stands out not just for the technical skill evident in its watercolor execution, but for its capacity to delve into and visually represent intricate human emotions and thoughts through stark, impactful imagery. This work is a compelling testament to art's ability to probe deep into the human psyche and illuminate the struggles that lie within.



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