Pangu Picture

This illustration was inspired by an ancient Chinese creation myth about a creature named Pangu. Pangu hatched from a cosmic egg holding an ax. He then proceeded to carve away the earth from the sky. Each day he grew 10 feet taller thus carving the sky 10 feet higher. He did this for 18,000 years!

When I first read this story my first reaction was... "What about the ax? Did it grow too?"
I decided that the ax would not grow as all the axes I've ever seen only stayed the same height. Instead I assumed Pangu was born at a super tiny size but just strong enough to use the ax and when he got older the ax would be more of a charm.

The ax blade as a heart was a suggestion from a friend (almost 2 years ago). As I reflect on this story and Pangu's evolution as well as the changes in my life, he became a mascot in my mind. Pangu was the first and only creature alive at his time. All creatures as well as humans were created after Pangu died. Pangu didn't know anyone or had friends or even knew what love was, he only knew he had a job to do. The ax blade being a heart makes complete sense to me as that was his only passion in life. The ax was also his only possession and as we all have probably experienced we tend to personify our belongings, give them names, and treat them as another person. Most importantly Pangu puts his heart into the work he does, he destroys his troubles with a great swing and leaves his worries in the bits of rubble left in his wake.

When Pangu died, it is written that "His breath became the wind, mist and clouds; his voice, thunder; his left eye, the sun; his right eye, the moon; his head, the mountains and extremes of the world; his blood, rivers; his muscles, fertile land; his facial hair, the stars and Milky Way; his fur, bushes and forests; his bones, valuable minerals; his bone marrow, sacred diamonds; his sweat, rain..."

This means that same selfless passion is within us all as Pangu became the earth and all we know. Inside us all is a tiny Pangu with a tiny ax motivating us to work hard and be better people. It isn't easy to let go of grudges, and in this day and age our problems are growing exponentially. I'm learning to let go, let Pangu destroy the troubles within me; any task is surmountable as long as I keep working hard and keep using my heart.

This piece was created entirely in Adobe Illustrator CC
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