THE PAINTINGS OF ANNIE WONG LEUNG KIT WAH
  PAINTINGS - BEAUTIES IN HISTORY & STORIES




Meng Jiangnu

The story of "Meng Jiangnu Weeping at the Great Wall" is firmly rooted in Chinese folklore. It reflects the disillusionment of the people under the rule of Emperor Qi Huangdi, who in his egoistic need to fortify and conquer, had ordered the extension of the Great Wall during the Qin dynasty (221-206 B.C.).

This huge project required the use of many labourers, and Meng Jiangnu husband Fan Qiliang was one of the unfortunate recruits. While her husband toiled away at the Great Wall, Jiangnu decided to make warm clothes for her husband and to brave the long and dangerous journey to deliver them to him. However, when she reached the Great Wall, she learned that her husband had died of exhaustion some time ago, and was buried under the Great Wall along with many other labourers who could not stand the poor working conditions and the severe winters of the North. Shocked and grieved by her husband death, she wept bitterly for ten days and ten nights. Legend has it that her great love so moved the gods, that a long section of the wall collapsed, exposing her husbands remains. She caressed her husband skull, and in the midst of the howling and freezing winds, she turned briefly to look at the Great Wall winding its way into the distance, a monument to lives lost. Full of sorrow and utterly helpless, she drowned herself in the sea.

Meng Jiangnu is regarded as the ultimate wife, showing extreme dedication to serving her husband, expressing a selfless love that knows no bounds, and remaining ever faithful.





MENG
JIANG NU

設色紙本
INK & COLOUR
ON PAPER

184.5 X 189 cm , 1996