In her free time, Donglai Meng often takes care of her nephew. The 5-year-old boy genuinely believes in the existence of monsters and thinks that they are lurking somewhere, waiting to pounce him. This observation reminds the artist of "Puer Aeternus", a term coined by the psychologist Carl Jung, referring to the "eternal boy" or "Peter Pan Syndrome." It represents a psychological state of yearning for adventure and refusing to grow up as a symbol of innocence and rebellion. To Meng, the monsters in her nephew's imagination represent the unknown, danger, and uncertainty of growing up, as well as the fear of parting the comfort of childhood. Based on such, the artist created a pair of strange friends in her latest series: a horse-faced boy and a horse with a boy's face, implying a spiritual connection. They roam through forests, suburbs, towns, and cities, encountering other monsters, who are also lonely yet happy. At times, people cling to the fantasy of youth, hoping to remain forever young, but they also risk ignoring its true dangers and the inevitable consequences or never growing up.
在空闲时间，孟东来常常照顾她的侄子。这个五岁的男孩相信怪兽的存在，也相信它们潜伏在外面或者头顶，等着扑过来吞噬他。这个迷人的现象让艺术家想起小王子，中国神话中的酒神、小飞侠和哪吒。Puer Aeternus 是心理学家 Carl Jung 创造的一个术语，指的是“永恒的男孩”或“彼得潘综合症”。一种代表渴望冒险和拒绝成长的心理，是纯真和叛逆的象征，也是对意义的追求。 对孟东来而言，侄子想象中的怪物代表着未知、成长过程中的危险和不确定性，以及对离开童年舒适和安全的恐惧。基于这些，孟东来在最新绘画系列中创造了一对奇怪的好朋友：一个马脸男孩和一匹长着男孩脸的马，在精神上相互暗示。他们在森林、郊区、城镇和城市中游荡，遇到了其他怪物。他们快乐而孤独。 有时人们执着于青春的幻想，希望永远是少年，却忽略了它真正的危险，以及必然付出的代价。
Oil on canvas
120 x 100 cm
120 x 100 cm
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