Archives for the month of: August, 2012

DIA250mm, China

The composition of this plate of the bird and the plum blossom which gave the plate its name – plum & bird plate.  The theme of bird and plum tree can be found on painting, pottery, jewellery, stationary, etc.  The pair sometimes are fighting for the attention of spring and sometimes delivering good news, they are often seen together.  Plum tree blossoms in the spring time, a start of a new year, both a sense of joy and happiness.  The bird, pica pica, is a special bird, according to the Chinese “Book of Birds” (around 500B.C.), the pica pica is capable of telling the weather – “If it sings with its head upwards it will be sunny, if it cries with its head facing down it will rain, people will be happy just listening to it sing”.  Looking at the plate, it seems weather will be good tomorrow, have a nice day everyone!

Though it is not a pica pica (magpie) and it didnt sing, nevertheless its a nice clip.

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W370xD250xH470mm, China

A wooden pail is an everyday item in a traditional Chinese household, it is included in every bride’s dowry (see the previous post – Lacquer Pail) and indeed there are many types.  The one feature today is a plain version for storing food stuff such as sweet cakes, flours, grain or dried fruits.  The container is constructed by several pieces of wood (like a barrel), its oval shape made the construction much harder.

W40xL60x10mm, China

This pendant is made from a piece of broken ceramic, from the shape of the piece it is likely to be of a medium size jar or a vase.  The figure on the piece is part of the a war story, these figures or themes are known as Knife-Horse-People which is a popular theme in the Qing dynasty.  See here for the clay version of Knife-Horse-People.

Though completely different, this ring seems like part of the portrait jewellery collection.

DIA 70mm, India

Since we are getting a few inputs for the Indian bangles, I will take the opportunity to post another ivory bangle that was bought from India a long time ago.

Instead of talking about the bangle (please could the experts help me out on this one?  is it also a choodi?), I would like to share with you a story.

During their honeymoon in India my parents fell in love with the craft they saw there, pieces were bought for their collection and friends were made.  Some years later they opened the shop, remembering the nice items they saw they returned to hunt for interesting objects for the shop.  In New Delhi, they met the craft vendor they had met in the trip before, after careful selection they have chosen a boxful of goodies (and this is one of them) and asked the vendor to ship it back to Hong Kong for them.  A couple of months later, a policeman turned up at the shop and asked for my father to go to the airport with him.  He was brought to the custom office, there on a table was a hand made aluminum case, in a secret compartment the custom officers had found plastic bags of powders neatly packed together.  Clueless and shaken dad was detained while further investigation took place.  Minutes were like years.  And it turned out to be – packets of very fine sand.  Once home, Dad called up the vendor and asked him why he had hidden the sand in the suitcase and the vendor in turned asked the case maker … innocently the case maker reply, “Aluminum is very light material, I was only trying to make the my case more substantial!”

And of course if you asked us to ship the ivory bangle to you now, we will both end up at the police station.

W150xD120xH370mm, Thailand

This is a Buddha statue in the Bhumisparsha Mudra posture, with his right hand resting on knee while reaching toward the earth and the left hand lies on the lap facing upward.  This gesture is also known as the “earth witness” which is the most iconic image of Buddhism.  This gesture symbolizes unshakability and steadfastness; the legend goes just before Siddhartha Gautama was enlightened to become the Buddha, demon Mara called upon his armies of monster to attacking, hoping to scare him away from his meditation under the bodhi tree.  Siddhartha stayed unshaken and  continued his mediation.  The demon claimed the enlightenment for himself and called for his monsters to give witness to his superior spiritual achievements, Mara then asked Siddhartha if anyone could give witness for him.  Siddhartha simply extended his hand to reach the ground and the earth responded and giving witness for him.  Mara was defeated at his own challenge and vanished.  The next day Siddhartha Gautama enlightened to become the Buddha himself.

W200xD100xH250mm, China

Although the god of longevity originated from the stars, his large and elongated brain has nothing to do with the alien and the outer space.  The form of his head is associated with longevity, like that of  the mystical bird, the red crown crane (grus japonensis).  The red crown crane lives to 50-60 years old  which is consider to be very long when the average life span of birds are about 10-15 years.  Another association is queen mother god’s longevity peach which the plant only flower and bear once 3000 years.  Combining both of these longevity forms his head took on the exaggerated shape.

Click  to see our clay and stone version.

DIA180xH270mm, China

The Chinese started making wine some 5000 years ago and the container developed from bronze to lacquer, then to clay and porcelain.  This blue and white porcelain is one that is used by regular folks, this kind of flagon are bold in form and in the pattern different from the usual blue and white porcelain ware.

The traditional Chinese unit for alcohol are measure in sheng, dou, dan.
1 dan = 10 dou
1 dou = 10 sheng
1 dou = app. 6000ml

This flagon holds about 2 dou.

If you can also hold 2 dou of Chinese wine, check our the Wine God wood block print!

DIA65mm, India

The word “bangle” comes from the Hindu word “bangri”, meaning a cylindrical ornament which adorns the arm.  Bangle has the same symbolic meaning for Hindu as wedding ring has for the West.  Married Hindu girls would have bangles round both of their wrists.  On the wedding day, the bride will try to wear a many choodi (bangles) as possible as it is believe that the honeymoon will end when the last bangle breaks.  Maybe it is because the new bride is pampered and spared of the kitchen duty at the time when she is wearing the wedding choodi.  The bride is expected to wear the wedding choodi for a year, a blessing for her in the new home.  Choodi are made of different materials; gold, silver, glass, ferrous metal, conch shells and ivory.

This is a pair of Shakha, a special sacred choodi worn by Bengali brides (also by Assames Hindus, Bodos and Santhals).  These choodi are called shakha paula.  Shakha, a white choodi made of ivory or conch shell and paula, a red choodi made our of red coral.  On the wedding day the choodi would be dipped in turmeric water and put on the bride’s arm by 7 female (a symbol of goodness).  The bride would wear these shakha paula signifying that she is married and belong to her husband, the choodi would only be taken off at the unfortunate time when she becomes a widow.

Thank you for QuirkyMatter for inputting on the blog, please see her blog for more details regarding Shakhas and Hindu marriage.  Also thanks for Bengali Hindu for the correction and the additional information (please see comments), much appreciated!  :)

Now how can I miss out the opportunity to play a Bollywood clip.

An interview with the HK Central Art Geeks, a Singaporean group who set out to discover the artistic side of Hong Kong.

Visit their web site @
http://bigshot52.sg/Hkartgeeks/index.html

Some of our fabric: Stencil Dye Fabric, Hand Woven Textile, Hand Woven Textile, Miao Hand Woven Fabric, Indigo Dye Fabric, Ikat, Silk Tie Dye, Indigo Dye Fabric, Tie Dye, Discharge Dye Fabric.

L250xW350mm, China

Du Dou is the traditional Chinese undergarment to be worn on the upper part of the body.  The top will be hang around the neck by a ribbon while the side is tied around the body by another ribbon.  It is usually made by the female for their lovers, hubby, children or for their own use.  The one used by the female are usually a simple red cloth without any embroidery, the one for the lover are more elaborated  the theme for the embroidery will be  some love story from opera, legends etc.  The embroidery made for the children are that of blessing, zodiac signs, etc.