christW100xD65xH320mm, Philippines

During the Holy Week in the Philippines, starting from Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, a number of religious observations were held.

On Good Friday (Biyernes Santo), the day starts with the Way of the Cross procession where Jesus’ Seven Last Words are portrayed.  In some area, this was acted out literally, those who had their wishes granted even went as far as having themselves nailed on a cross.  This is followed by the procession of the Sano Eniterro, where a wooden sculpture of the dead Christ is parade.  Scenes from the life Jesus were also depicted in figurines and shown in carriages around town.

In this figurine, Jesus is lifting up his garment and revealing his left leg, would anyone know which part of the scripture does this fit into?


W240xD160xH100mm, China

An old wooden jewellery box with compartment, a mirror and a small latch for pad lock.

It gives a feeling of nostalgia and mystery.
Perhaps an ideal setting for a Joseph Cornell type box project.
A box of dream inside a lock treasure box.


W185xL280xH45mm, China

A wooden box that contain a piece of stone.  A stone that is used for grinding the ink bar – an inkstone.

A little water is added from the water drip onto the inkstone, one can still starting grinding the ink.  In a small circular movement while keeping the ink still perpendicular to the stone, slowing the ink is dissolved.  Though the inkstone has a very smooth surface, under the microscope this surface is in fact saw like, able to fine grind the inkstone.


The inkstone is carved out from a single piece of stone and this detail is carried through to the case which is also carved out from a single piece of wood.

Image (23)

W220xL300mm, China

This new year print is normally found in the village schools for the worship of Confucius.

Confucius is sitting in the middle holding a gui, an element of statue.  On the two sides are the 4 sages, notable Confuciusm figures; Yan Hui (顏回), Zi Si (子思), Zeng Zi  (曾子) and Mencius (孟子).  Apart from Mencius, the other 3 are the favorite student of Confucius.  Mencius was born about 100 years after the death of Confucius and was a student of Confucius’s grandson.  Mencius was expanding Confucius’s philosophy.

As in the wood block print, the 4 sages are normally seen along side with Confucius in the temples of Confucius.


L600mm, China

A wrapped around skirt of the Miao tribe.


The Miao tribe made their own costume, fabric from scratch.
Starting from the plant, making threads, weaving, wax resist painting, dyeing, making a costume.

Please watch this amazing documentary about the Miao and the hemp, it is a million time better than I can describe in words.

dish with spoutDIA150xH40, China

A flat dish with a spout.

This is one of the items in the shop that I have problem finding out its use.

Spout – suggest the use for pouring out liquid, powder or beads?
Blue and white under glaze –  suggest a clear liquid (verse ink) so pattern can be appreciated?
Heavy & flat – suggest not intended to be handle often (unlike a teapot)?

If anyone has any idea how this item was intended to be used, please let me know!

If you are interested in solving puzzles, check out the other curious items; A Jade Tool, Paper Lacquered Tray.

Now back to the pattern; clouds and crane.  It is a popular ceramic pattern, it is believe that the crane is a mythical bird and symbolizes longevity.


W130xH160mm, Hong Kong

For the cat lovers, a paper cutout of a cat.
Mounted on a card.

roof lion roof lionL230xW80xH230mm, China

This little monster is the son of the dragon, his name is Suan Ni.  He loves smokes and incense and normally found on the incense burner, as he also loves sitting around Suan Ni is one of the monsters that resides on the roof.  Unlike his brother Chi Wen who loves looking a far and occupies the two ends of the main ridge, Suan Ni sits with the other 4 monsters on the hip of the roof.

The Phoenix Riding Saint – the brother in law of Jiang Zi Ya, who is always nagging Jiang for a promotion in his sainthood.  Jiang, in charge of the appointment of saints put him at the end of the ridge, meaning that anything higher will cause him to fall off the roof.

Followed by the 5 roof hip monsters;

Pheonix – a mythical creature, the queen of all birds.
Suan Ni – the on of dragon who sit around and loves smokes and incense.
Xia Yu – a sea monster, together with Suan Ni, they can control the weather and protect the building.
Xie Zhi – part eagle part leopard, eating all the bad guys, a symbol of justice.
Dou Niu – a type of dragon, able to control the rain.


Archery has been an important weapon in Korea, known as the Gak Gung, the bow is made with a composite of buffalo horns, bamboo and other material.

東夷 Dong Yi is the name Korean are referred to by the Chinese, the word 夷 is a combination of the word 大 (big) and the word 弓 (bow); it does seem that the Chinese has been wary of this powerful weapon.  In the Korean legends, the first Korean king Go Jumong could hit 5 flies in one arrow, King Park Hyeokgeose  can shoot the bow as far as China (the ancient day missile)!

One can see in this video that the construction of the Gak Gung is very established and specific.

Image (36)W220xL300mm, China

There is a believe that there are gods living in the mountain, the woods and the streams; to ensure a safe journey, one would worship these gods before entering the mountain or travelling by boat.

In this wood block print, on the right is the mountain god, on the left his wife, around them their guards and maids.


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