Archives for the month of: September, 2011

W220xH360mm, China

This is a rice container for the southern part of China. In a traditional Chinese family very often the clan would be living within one house / estate, all meals would be eaten together, rice would be cooked in a wok  in a kitchen far away, the cooked rice would be transported and served in a lacquered pail.  This pail is has a gold painted decoration over the lacquered.

Side tracking; the Chinese would insult a stupid person as a “rice barrel”,  someone who is “a gold painted lacquered rice barrel” would transfer to someone who is well package but in fact an idiot (the precise word has escape me, please help to suggest the word).  This is very nice item, I hope the story wont stop you from taking it home.  :)


W120xL150mm, China

Paper cutout are used as decoration, it is still very popular in rural china.  It is mainly practice by the girls in the village where the technique is often used as a basis to determine the skill of the bride.  The paper cutout artists, however, are mostly male dominated.   It can be made with scissors (often with a symmetrical pattern with folded papers) or with small chisel knifes.   This cat and kitten cutout is presented on a greeting card.

W150xH150xD100mm, China

Chinese root carving is a broad term for carving that includes root, bark, knots and bamboo roots.  The essence of these type of carving focuses on the natural growth of the material as well as abnormal growth.  Hence, the major part of the artwork is translation from nature and with a small enhancement in detail.  This type of carving is really material based, the knot, the grain, colours, etc.  This particular one is a bamboo root carving of a helmet and a surrendered monster.

H300xDia250mm, China

This is a ceramic vase for the preparation of pear wine.  The vase is coated with a blue glazing while text in relief are unglazed.

W120xL120mm, ChinaThis is a money pouch embroidery created by young girls not more than 12 years of age.  Among other items they prepare will form part of their dowry.  What is interesting of this this pouch is the design of the embroidered animals, though the original pattern might have come from the mother or great grand mother, they nevertheless captured a young girl’s perception of the world.

just part of our collection

H170xW170xD70mm, China

In the old days, the Chinese would sit on the ground covered by a thin rice straw mat (similar to the Japanese tatami but with only the top layer).  Stone or metal weights will be used to hold down the corner of the mat.  These weights are normally based on animals such as lion, tiger, panther, tortoise, deer, sheep etc.  The Chinese believe they will give blessing as well as protecting them from evils.

L100xH100xW50, Japan

To continue with the moon theme on the day of “moon chasing”, a rabbit is chosen for today’s topic.  In the Japanese folk tale: an old man was at the end of his life, a fox, a monkey and a rabbit came to his aid.  The monkey collected nuts and fruits, the fox catch a fish.  The rabbit could only come up with some grass, so he decided to jumped into the fire and offer his own body.  The old man touched by the rabbit’s act and reveal himself as the Buddha and save the rabbit.  It is believe that the pattern on the moon is casted by the smoke when the rabbit jumped into the fire.  This papier mache is rabbit from the 12 zodiac figures from the Sendai region.  The head of the rabbit is made to swing.

Happy Mid Autumn Festival

H1000xL1000xW300mm, China (Hong Kong)

The Mid Autumn Festival is celebrated on the night when the moon is the fullest.  The full moon symbolises a reunion, a blessing for the family.  The night of the festival is on the 15th of  the lunar august (the day which enters into the second half of autumn).  In the Southern part of China, one of the main activity of the festival is the lantern gathering; families will take a stroll with the lanterns while appreciating the fullness of the moon.  The lantern take in many forms; rabbit, star fruit, gold fish, carp etc.

L230xW130xH40, China

This is a Four Season Floral Plate use specifically for presenting poultry dishes (roast duck in particular).  The four season flowers are: Narcissus, Lotus, Chrysanthemum, Plum Blossom; they represented good fortune for every season.

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