15.02.2013 § 2 Comments
I bought this antique lacquer in a small antique store for china and lacquer ware in Kyoto. The store was so small, the aisles so narrow that I felt like I was knocking things off the shelf with every turn or movement. Especially with bulky coats, etc. Anyway, this lacquer ware caught my eye. The color has such elegance and depth that a plastic imitation cannot reproduce.
I used to call this orangish red color “Ming red,” meaning the red color of the Ming Dynasty red lacquer. Some of the rare Song Dynasty lacquer ware I have seen in museums may not look that different to an untrained eye, but their colors are even more elegant and have more depth. The Song Dynasty was about 1000 years ago while the Ming Dynasty existed during the 1500′s. Is it because the older an object becomes, the more patina it develops? Or that the ancient artists had better taste? It is neither. It is because … please guess.
19.11.2012 § Leave a Comment
07.11.2012 § Leave a Comment
As a tourist in a new place, I feel compelled to run around and look at everything that is going on and the beautiful sceneries, so the museums are always left out. I am always a bit bewildered by the idea of locking myself in a place for a whole day and looking at things from the past when I should be “sightseeing.” But after some traveling, some of the most memorable things I’ve found are the notes or sketches I made at a museum. As a textile designer, I constantly look for inspiration for new motifs. Even the most unlikely things will strike my fancy, such as these cubist looking glass jars from the Baccarat Museum in Paris or this hardware by Diego Giacometti.
These sketches were made on 1-28-2008.
08.10.2012 § 1 Comment
I’ve been lucky to travel to Europe many times for business, to France, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, England. After a while, I got a little blasé about things and did not pay too much attention to anything other than getting my business done. I did take one or two short excursions for pleasure, dovetailing the business trip, to places such as Venice, Paris and Prague. I was not looking for anything in particular at those times, although I noticed the door handles in Prague were quite amazing and took many pictures of them. Unfortunately, my documentation was lost, and I have never been back to Prague since. « Read the rest of this entry »
18.09.2012 § Leave a Comment
Many people get Chinese folk beliefs and Buddhism mixed up, so I am sure many people would think that a shrine like this is a Chinese Buddhist temple. It surely looks splendid in the photo, but it is gaudy in person. This photo was taken in the middle of Taiwan where I took an excursion during my Japan trip.
Buddhist temples are usually a lot plainer. « Read the rest of this entry »
07.09.2012 § 1 Comment
Work of Tadao Ando, St. Louis
These are pictures I took of the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts. I made the trip specifically to see the work of architect Andao Ando, an amazing Japanese architect. He had been working as a truck driver and boxer prior to settling on the profession of architecture. Despite having no formal training in the field, he established his own design studio in 1968, Tadao Ando Architect and Associates.
Tadao Ando’s architecture emphasizes nothingness to represent the beauty of simplicity. His work is known for its creative use of natural light and is mostly constructed with concrete, simple geometric forms creating complex space. Ando’s architecture is the manifestation of his understanding of Zen or Haiku.
Inviting, textural concrete walls enclose a narrow space, yet it opens so powerfully with the soft reflection of the water.
30.05.2012 § Leave a Comment
Cherry blossoms do not only grow in Japan but they look and feel different when seen against a Japanese architectural and historical background.
I was too early for Kyoto’s cherry blossoms although it was the main purpose of my trip; this regret promises another trip to Kyoto soon. However, I caught the full bloom in Kamakura, a thousand-year-old capital located 45 minutes away from Tokyo where the remnants of temples and castles show the influences of early Dang Dynasty China. There I finally experienced the cherry blossoms cascading down over the water.
Next time I want to see the ocean of cherry trees in full bloom in Kyoto.
04.05.2012 § 2 Comments
Journey to Japan
This spring’s trip to Japan reminds me of my first trip to Italy in 1992. I called it “The Grand Tour”– a term referring to the tradition of 18 century European artists who could not consider their art educations complete until they had make a trip to Italy. I prepared for this trip to Japan for over a year and a half, and never have I put so much time into preparing for a journey to a foreign country. I am not sure if being able to ask for directions on the street or in a busy subway paid off for all of the time I put into studying the language, but I certainly was happy that I could be free and independent.
02.03.2012 § 1 Comment
Just got back from California. My brother-in-law’s camellias and jade trees are blooming furiously. These rare indoor plants were mundane in California. So many of them were blooming, the old brown-turned blooms mixed with the new ones, looking sloven as a whole under blinding sunlight but still beautiful up close in the shade.