The Many Headed “Monsters” or is it The Many Headed Gods ?｜王鴻川 ONG Hong-Chuan Solo Exhibition
The Many Headed “Monsters” or is it The Many Headed Gods?
In Greek Mythology, we remember Zeus as the father and king of all Greek’s gods, many of his heroic off springs killing monsters to save mankind. So where do all these monsters come from? Who created these monsters? Then the name “Echidna” appears.
‘Echidna, divine and iron-hearted, half fair-cheeked and bright-eyed nymph and half huge and monstrous snake inside the holy earth, a snake that strikes swiftly and feeds on living flesh…’
Echidna the mother of monsters in Greek mythology. With Typhaon she gave birth to a wide range of multiple headed off springs. Many of their off springs were accounted in many major Greek mythology as monsters. Like Cerberus the multi-headed dog that guard the gate to Hell, Hydra the sea serpent with multiple heads and Chimera a beast with heads of lion, goat and tail of a snake.
Typhaon lead the war against Zeus as the last Titan but lost in the process which mark the end of the Titans. Have these resulted the disfiguring of all Typhaon’s off springs in all of Greek mythology? And brand their mother as “The mother of monsters”. All of them growing multiple heads, labelled as monsters to be slaughter by Zeus’s beautiful children. Had Typhaon had win that great war, will Zeus’s off springs be remember as monsters with many heads
Any animals and humans with more than one head will be seen as freaks of natural or a product of the devil in the past and maybe even in the present time. Now with the advancement in science and medicine, we understand polycephaly as a medical condition when one organism is born with two or more heads. The term “Monster” is commonly used to brand them. The monsters in Greek mythology were often depict as one with many heads. This reflects the level of social acceptance that the common mass had for people born with this medical condition.
In the process of losing the war, the defended party will carry the label “Monster”. Tales and myths strengthen this label and further shape our perspective of the losing party. Other than the use of multiple heads associating with monster, snake was added into the mix.
Snake was used as a symbol of chaos and evil in portraying the monsters in greek mythology. Both Echidna and Typhaon process body parts that had resemblance that of a snake. These two serpents like being created a group of multi-headed monsters that brought upon chaos in greek myths. Christianity also associates evil and chaos with snake, further label snake as the devil.
In many Chinese mythology, snake was portrayed as the creator of the world, the founding mother of civilisation. Nuwa and her husband Fuxi were often described as snake bodies with human upper bodies, snake-like tails interlocking together.
By placing Echidna, the mother of monsters with Nuwa the mother of civilisation, we can view this contradicting perception of snake used in these two very different civilisations. Can we imagine Echidna, Typhaon and Nuwa and Fuxi were the same being that appear in two difference mythology under difference name? How will these change our perception of our current world?
將厄客德娜（怪物之母）與女媧（大地之母）放在一起，我們可以看到在兩種截然不同的文化中，對蛇相互矛盾的看法。 我們能想像厄客德娜、堤豐、女媧和伏羲是兩個不同神話中以不同名稱出現的同一個生物嗎？ 這又如何改變我們對當前世界的看法？
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The Many Headed “Monsters” or is it The Many Headed Gods ?
王鴻川個展 ONG Hong-Chuan Solo Exhibition
時間｜Tue. – Sat. 13:00 – 19:00 週日、一休館