vesica piscis 鱼膀胱

Vesica Piscis is created by two intersecting circles, each of whose centers lie on the other's diameter. The name Vesica Piscis can apply to the whole design, or simply the central shape, also known as a "mandorla" (meaning: "almond"). 

Vesica Piscis directly translates to "fish bladder."

In Latin, Piscis means "fish" (or "fish-shaped");

Vesica means "bladder"- not strictly organic- it describes any empty vessel with the capacity to contain and be filled.  

The vertically-oriented Vesica Piscis (one circle above the other) creates a horizontally-oriented mandorla, resembling the shape of an eye, or a fish. It is known as "the eye of the vortex" to the Greeks, and "the eye of Ra" to the Egyptians. As the upper circle represents the realm of heaven (mind), and the lower circle represents the realm of earth (body), the Vesica in the center represents that which exists in between- the realm of humanity (spirit), or the passage to and from that world. The horizontal mandorla, sometimes considered chalice or grail, is also recognized as Ichthys ("fish"), the window through which Christ ascends/ descends.

The horizontally-oriented Vesica Piscis (meeting of two circles, side-to-side), resembling a solar eclipse, creates the vertically-oriented mandorla known as the Pagan Yoni, universal symbol of the Feminine Divine. It existed in early Mesopotamian, African, and Asian civilizations and has been described as the Goddess vulva, flanked by waxing and waning moon, representing power of birth and creation of life. Artists throughout history have used vertical mandorla to depict aureoles, the halos of holy figures, in religious artworks from various practices- from medieval Christian frescoes to contemporary Tibetan Thangkas. 

In the study of geometry, the Vesica Piscis construction is the mother form preceding all regular polygons and polyhedra. 

If the Vesica Piscis catalyzes creation, then what, in turn, catalyzes it-  that is, what introduces the Vesica?

In ancient traditions, circles symbolized the Supreme Being.

Circles, the most elegant and simplest of forms, are singular and infinite loops, perfect in symmetry. 

The appearance of a second being creates dichotomy of yin to yang, God to Goddess. 

Their intersection brings forth the Daoist "myriad of all things."

Therefore, the precursor to birth is communion, a conversation between two. 

Consider the Venn Diagram, or the logo of the Unitarian Universalist church (two overlapping circles, with a lit candle in the center space, representing common God-ness).

At Lijiang Studio, we investigate the ways entities connect and converse, and observe what new ideas all interactions give arise to. Studio activities may be seen as meeting-and-convergences of cultural spheres.

Vesica Piscis (July-Dec 2014) contemplates themes of: 

intersection, translation, mutual agreements and disagreements; mutual truths as "truest," inaugural iterations, the sacred and/ or the profane, and examination of feminine divinity and its necessary role in the processes of creation and [re]-generation.

-Frog Wing

王艺澄 (青蛙)


Out of nothing, came one.
Out of one, came two.
Out of two, came three.
Out of three, came the myriad of all things…
— DaoDeJing, Lao Tzu