The 95th Academy Awards just wrapped, and it was a night to remember. The biggest shocker of the evening was the film “Everything Everywhere All at Once” which completely swept the Oscars and took home seven top-notch awards! If you have watched “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” you must note the third eye symbol in this movie.
The adorable eyes on rocks, on the forehead of Michelle Yeoh, and on the poster of this movie… They bring lives to everything! But what’s the real deal with the third eye symbol and its significance in Asian culture? Today, let’s explore the mystical legends surrounding this eye and the incredible art it has inspired!
Third Eye Symbol in Hinduism and Buddhism
The third eye symbol is prevalent in both Hinduism and Buddhism, representing enlightenment. In Indian tradition, it’s called the “Eye of Wisdom” (gyananakashu) and the location of the “Inner Guider” (antar-guru). Hindu and East Asian deities, such as Shiva and Buddha, often feature a third eye.
In Buddhism, the third eye is called the “White Spot.” Hindus believe that Shiva’s (the mighty god in Buddhism) third eye has the power to destroy the universe. According to the Upanishads, humans are like a city with ten gates. The nine gates (eyes, nostrils, ears, mouth, urethra, and anus) lead to the external sensory world, while the third eye is the tenth gate that leads to infinite internal consciousness.
Third Eye Symbol in Chinese Taoism
In Taoism, the third eye is named the “heavenly eye” above the forehead. Taoists believe that opening this mystical portal can connect you with the universe and give you superpowers, like a superhero in a comic book. It’s like the “unlock all levels” cheat code for life.
According to Taoist texts, when you open this “doorway to enlightenment,” you can see the countless universe without leaving your house and understand the secret of the world without looking out a window (Sounds familiar, huh? It is the same as the plot of Everything Everywhere All at Once!).
Character IPs with the Third Eye Symbol
Because of cultural influences, the third eye symbol has been a source of inspiration for many Asian artists, who have beautifully incorporated three eyes into their creations. From traditional paintings to modern sculptures, the third eye symbol has found its place in art.
One day in the future, astronomers unexpectedly discovered a magical planet (“Trouble Planet”) that gave birth to a group of extraordinary creatures. These creatures include Runtu, a yellow meteor with a rabbit-like appearance; Fula, a mutated giant floral plant; Pawa, a pure energy body produced by the meteor explosion… All of these creatures from the “Trouble Planet” have three eyes, a smile on their face, and possess all sorts of whimsical ideas.
That is the story of one of the hottest art IPs in China, “Trouble Planet.” Yan Cheng, the creator of this IP, tried to contribute an insight: even in the face of hardships, one must face them with optimism. These smiling faces with dents on their heads represent that even after experiencing various “bumps” in life, they could still smile to life. The third eye is called the “mind’s eye,” reminding people to explore the truth of life.
In 2011, Hong Kong fashion brand CLOT and Disney teamed up to launch a concept store in Taiwan. To celebrate the grand opening, they held the Travelling Mickey charity art exhibition, featuring ten renowned artists from around the world. These artists injected their unique creativity and craftsmanship into classic Mickey sculptures, each showcasing their own unique style and technique.
In collaboration with Disney and toy manufacturer MINDstyle, CLOT launched a 3-eyed Mickey sculpture toy, leaving fans awestruck. This design is to honor the anime film “Chicken Little.”
In 2023, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the brand, CLOT has remastered several iconic works from over the years, including the 3-Eyed Mickey series.
“3×3 Eyes” is a legendary manga series and the masterpiece of Japanese manga artist Yuzo Takada, serialized from 1987 to 2002 for a total of 40 volumes.
The story revolves around the mythical Three-Eyed Clan, a race of creatures that embody the desire for immortality. Set on Earth, a sacred land, and in alternate dimensions, the series is a fantastical adventure following the journey of a young boy and girl with elements of mythology intertwined.
Fashion Designs with the Third Eye Symbol
In addition to character creation, the third eye is also common in fashion designs. If you want to try a whimsical look with a cool third eye symbol, the examples below will be a good inspiration.
DEVIL NUT is a UK streetwear brand founded in 2006 and later acquired by a Hong Kong department company. The brand takes its name from the “Devil Fruit” in “One Piece,” representing the values of “partnership” and “dream.”
Their mascot is a sharp-toothed little devil with three eyes. It appears in almost all designs of their clothing, exuding a unique, rebellious, and dark fashion taste.
Gucci Fall 2018 Collection Show
In 2018, Gucci sent a quirky fashion show to Milan Fashion Week by unleashing models with three eyes on the runway. The brain behind this was Alessandro Michele, who incorporated a freaky yet fashionable element in the Fall 2018 collection.
The models sported beautiful clothes, but the real attention-grabbers were the extra eyes on their heads and hands, as well as purses shaped like their heads. The fashion show was staged in an old operating theater, adding to the eerie atmosphere.
Fortunately, it was all just fantastic makeup artistry. It might be an excellent Halloween idea for those into weirdcore aesthetics.
Coco and Breezy Third-Eye Sunglasses
The third eye sunglasses trend has its roots in Prince’s iconic fashion. The late musician was known for his unique style and bold fashion choices, and one of his signature looks was a pair of sunglasses with a third eye in the center.
The brand behind these distinctive shades was Coco and Breezy, founded by twin sisters Corianna and Brianna Dotson in 2009. Thanks to Prince, the sisters’ designs have quickly caught the attention of celebrities and fashion influencers since 2015.
Green Aliens in the Toy Story
Known as the “Aliens,” these three-eyed creatures from the planet Pizza have gained immense popularity in Asia, with collaborations with brands like Miniso and Chow Tai Fook.
The Aliens pet toys have tapped into the growing market for pets. By leveraging the Aliens’ recognizable three eyes, these products highlight their adorable features.
These products are particularly appealing to Gen Z consumers, especially girls. The Aliens printed blind boxes, shopping bags, and fragrant sachets are also top-selling products for Asian girls.
In conclusion, the third eye symbol has a rich and diverse history across different cultures, from its origins in Hinduism and Buddhism to its presence in Chinese Taoism. It has been interpreted in various ways, from representing spiritual awakening and power to destroy the universe.
In art and fashion, the third eye has become a popular and recognizable design element, with many designers incorporating it into their creations. From streetwear brands like Devil Nut to high fashion labels like Gucci, the third eye has become a staple in the fashion industry.
Whether you’re a spiritual seeker or just appreciate the aesthetic appeal of the third eye symbol, its presence in various cultures and art forms only adds to its allure. So, keep your third eye open and stay curious about the many interpretations of this fascinating totem!
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