• Ideas
  • Feb 11, 2022

Artstrology: Aquarius 2022, Ride with the Wind

Illustration by Amy Fan for ArtAsiaPacific.

After a major year of changes, challenges, and hard work, Aquarius can take a short break in 2022 before the outer planets change signs again in 2023—when Saturn (representing duty and oppression) leaves Aquarius and Pluto (representing rebirth) enters. As 2021 ended and the intensity gradually faded, this birthday season is a time for you to publicly announce your achievements and acknowledge what you’ve gained from your experiences.

The self-reliant Aquarius always values personal space and freedom. Similar to their oppositional sign Leo, an Aquarius prioritizes themselves first. Both signs can be attention seeking but Aquarius does it in a way to emphasize how they are “unique” and “different from others.” An immature Aquarius tends to be solipsistic and unable to empathize with those around them, but at their best they are able to appreciate the individuality of others, just as how they appreciate their own. This spirit of eclectic individualism is celebrated through the works of the Aquarius artist Su-Mei Tse, especially her Stone Collection (2017) series, which are large-scale “scholar’s rocks,” derived from the Chinese tradition of collecting stones. Each rock is exceptional in its own right, with its distinctive texture and shape. In the earlier Nested series (2016), she had embedded colorful marble spheres into the limestone rocks she had gathered, stressing how each being is its own universe. Tse explained in an interview with Cans Asia Art News, “I think selecting stones is an extremely individual act. Not only did we choose the stones, but they also chose us.”

When Aquarius is able to respect and connect with others, they are more concerned with social equality, progression, and revolutions in social values. People born under this sign tend to treat everyone equally, with the same distance, despite the nature of the relationship—a quality that sometimes drives their lovers crazy. This tendency may explain why the late Aquarius artist Hung Liu (1948–2021) attempted to depict everyone equally in her photo-based portraits. Her subjects usually are people living at the margins of the society, such as prostitutes, refugees, street performers, laborers, and prisoners, but she featured their stories through the same lens, amplifying their universal struggle for existence. Liu once gave a very Aquarius answer: “I hope to wash my subjects of their exotic ‘otherness’ and reveal them as dignified, even mythic figures on the grander scale of history painting.”

The Aquarius season typically brings a wave of innovation and creativity, but this year, make sure you stay focused on practical matters as well, since a number of planets are still in Capricorn, which demands that we pay attention to reality. Then, instead of expending this hard-earned energy on others, it is an ideal time to direct it toward yourself and to prioritize your goals. Keep up with the pace and enjoy the wind at your back into the next season.

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