Artwork of the Month: Xihui Cao's "Overwhelming Desire"

Overwhelming Desire by Xihui CAO. Painted in Dalian, China, 2009. Oil on canvas, 87x126 inches.

Upon first glance, you may think this is some kind of abstract, avant-garde, piece, but upon closer examination, what you will see is the precision and intent of the artist to capture the congested scenario at the Beijing North train station. Every February during Spring Festival, or Chinese Lunar New Year, making it home for the holidays is always a struggle as millions congregate outside the station to catch their train. Lines of "wailai gong" or outside workers - usually from the countryside - fill the plaza out front, spending hours trying to inch their way closer to the station entrance. The overwhelming desire to make it home this one opportunity out of the year is deeply felt, but the daunting realization of getting lost in the crowd awaits as Cao is about to get off the bus to join the rain.