The Major Arcana

October 10, 2017 2017年10月10日
The Empress (III)

Tang Xiao Ming is a Malaysian illustrator with a passion for editorial illustrations and visual storytelling. His illustration series, The Major Arcana, is an editorial approach to the twenty-two card tarot suit. Often used for divination and occult purposes, the Major Arcana has been understood as an archetypal system for psychological and spiritual advancement and has been reinterpreted by numerous artists since its invention in the 15th century.

马来西亚插画家Tang Xiao Ming热爱刊物插画和视觉叙事创作。他的插画系列《Major Arcana》(大秘仪)就是以塔罗牌中的22张主牌Major arcana为灵感创作的刊物插画。Major Arcana 通常用于占卜和其它神秘的用途,一直以来,它被人们视为是一个有关心理和精神层面发展的原型系统,自15世纪问世以来,已经被无数艺术家重新诠释过。

The Hanged Man (XII)
The Hierophant (V)
The Sun (XIX)
The Magician (I)

Tang’s interpretation of the Major Arcana series was a stepping stone for his personal style, which brought about its own challenges and rewards. He tells us about the creative process behind the series: “As an artist, sometimes you’ll run into a brick wall creatively, but it’s only temporary and it has the potential to change your life. It’s only from being stuck that you will start to think differently, and your creative process is forced to change. Because of this, it will unlock further possibilities in life and work.”

Tang以自己个人风格来演绎《Major Arcana》,当中也带来了相应的挑战和收获。他跟我们分享了这一系列创作过程的故事:“作为一名艺术家,有时候你会碰到创意方面的瓶颈,但它只是暂时性的,并且有可能会改变你的生活。只有当你感觉遇上了瓶颈,你才会开始有不同的想法,从而迫使你改变自己的创作思路。正因为如此,它会为你的生活和工作带来更多的可能性。”

Temperance (XIV)
Strength (VIII)
The Emperor (IV)
Judgment (XX)

Growing up in Malaysia, Tang was influenced by his society’s lack of awareness towards mental health. Instead of drawing influence from local Malaysian art and culture, he focuses on the psychological struggles of young people as a consistent theme in his work. Tang says, “In Malaysia and most of Asia, mental illnesses and psychological factors are not widely talked about – because of this, I think that many of my illustrations are themed around the mind and the emotions, because many of us do not know how to express ourselves or understand who we really are inside.”


The Chariot (VII)
Death (XIII)
The Star (XVII)
The High Priestess (II)

Some of Tang’s early influences include notable comic artists Olivier Coipel and Stuart Immonen, as well as graphic novels like Watchmen. Currently, he identifies his primary influence as visual artist James Jean: “Jean’s paintings deal with the unknown – they are very emotionally driven. They relate to me and inspire me to do what I’ve always loved to do, which is to create. I hope that my creativity will, in turn, inspire others and allow them to understand the way that I feel.”

Tang的早期影响还包括著名漫画家 Olivier Coipe和Stuart Immonen,以及《守望者》等漫画。目前,他说自己最主要的影响是视觉艺术家James Jean :“Jean的画作都是有关未知的主题,蕴含着饱满的情感,让我很受触动,也激励着我去做自己一直喜欢做的事情,那就是创作。通过我自己的创意,我希望可以反过来激励他人,让他们明白我的感受。”

Justice (XI)
The Devil (XV)
The Fool (0)
The Lovers (VI)
The Moon (XVIII)
The Hermit (IX)
Instagram: @imtxm


Contributor: George Zhi Zhao

Instagram: @imtxm


供稿人: George Zhi Zhao