No matter how much one believes in horoscopes, many readers still wrinkle their noses at the same series of lines recycled in every listing. But the story of the 12 zodiac animals that control human lives has been an inspiration to generations of artists. Recently, several Chinese artists have taken on the challenge of bringing a new look to the millenia-old designs.
From lines to art
Xue Juefang, 17, is a high school student. Like many girls of her age, she believes that the zodiac controls her personality and love.
"I read the newspaper every day or check some horoscope Web sites to see what will hapen to me the next day," she said. "Over time, I noticed that the pictures that stand for each sign all look alike!" It was one of the reasons Xue decided to create her own.
She first thought of several simple lines of each star sign. For example, two horns represent Aries, a line with two balanced triangles represents Libra and a bow and arrow stands for Sagittarius.
"Those simple lines were just too outdated. Every magazine uses some simple lines, and none are good," Xue said. She decided to paint a series of female portraits on each sign.
Her second collection of pictures was more mature. "I made two identical girls appear in one picture, for Gemni, and in others, I sketched out some women augmented with animal features," she said. A lion's nose on a female face was her sign for Leo.
"I am still not satisfied with my pictures-especially after I saw those drawn by others. I mean, our ideas were practically identical," Xue said. "Still, I am only interested in the zodiac signs. It is a great system to make life more enjoyable."
Xue's drawing are popular with her classmates. Some have demanded Xue draw a picture "just for their constellation."