Archives for the month of: June, 2013

kirin

W100xD50xH100mm, China

Chinese figurine of the lion are more often friendly and friendly rather then fierce, this might be because there are no lions originated from China.  The image of lion was brought to China by word of mouth from traders of the Western Region, as a tribute from Persia to the Emperor and as the symbolic “suan ni” from the Buddhist culture.  The worship of lion is thus mainly as a mystic protection of evil rather than the fierce forceful animal.

Black glaze pottery was first developed in China as early as the Jin dynasty (400 A.D.), it was a popular glazing in the Tong and Sung dynasty and further refined in the Qing dynasty.

Textile Width 380mm, China

 This fabric is woven by the Pu Ji tribe, a minority tribe in Gui Zhou.  Weaving is a technique passed down the generation of women, all fabric for the household would have been weaved by the family.  Traditionally, the young girls will be helping their mother and elder sisters and pick up the know how along the way, by the time they are a teenager they will be capable of making the cloth from scratch.

By from scratch, its from the cotton and indigo plant.  Cotton are collected and made into yarns and rolled onto the simple spindle while the strings for the warp are set out according to the design and often with the use of the exterior of the building.  Clothes are placed on the loom and the work begins.

Incense BurnerDIA100xH110mm, China

This old incense burner has a very contemporary design, even the exterior has a glossy finished to it.  It would have been used at home for the worship of gods or the ancestors.  The interior of the burner would be filled with ashes of the rice bran, these would be used to secure the incense stick.  As times goes by the container will be naturally filled with the ashes of the incense.

mask

W200xH300xD80mm, China

This is a warrior mask of the Chinese Ground Theatre (Di Xi).  A form of theater which based on the warring theme.

The character of the masks can be broadly divided into 4 catagories; generals, saints, clowns and animals.  The generals would wear helmets, like this one; and consists of warriors, intellectuals, female, old and young generals.  This particular mask belongs to the warrior general which the blue face symbolizes bravery and a strong character.  The saint types are masks with a weird features, e.g. a beak; they are powerful figures which comes to assist the generals on wars.  As in all theatres, di xi cannot be without the clowns, often character of distorted faces.  Lastly, the animals; the fierceful lion and tiger, the tamed horse, the stipid pig, hard working ox, endearing dog and the cheeky monkey.

snuff bottlesnuff bottle

W40xD25xH70mm, China

The blue rabbit on the transparent glass gives this bottle a dream like quality, it reminds me of legendary jade rabbit on the moon.

For the rabbits, this is perhaps their dream place to be, Okunshima, the rabbit paradise where rabbits runs free with no predators.  However, back in 1925 this island was a hell hole for the rabbits, they were used to test the poisonous gas that was produced on the island by the Japanese Imperial army.  The poisonous gas is now commissioned and a museum has been set up to alter the people of the effect of poisonous gas and war.

See click here to see our other snuff bottles.

junk boat god

junk boat godjunk boat god

W70xD50xH150mm, Macau

This dragon and tiger rider was an ancestral saint that was kept at the alter of the junk boat for keeping the fisherman’s journey safe.  The multiple faces offer a supernatural power for this ancestral saint which is an usual expression for these figurines.  Or would the fisherman had been to Bangkok on one of their fishing spree and got their inspiration from the famous Erawan Shrine?

Click here to see our other junk boat gods.

bamboo basketbamboo basket

DIA320xH120mm, China

A moving film about the master bamboo artistan, Hiroshima Kazuo, about being an artisan, about crafts.

crane plateDIA90xH20mm, China

The circular crane is a traditional Chinese pattern which symbolizes longevity and satisfactions;  it was originally used as the emblem on military flags in the Warring State period but by the Ming dynasty as Taoism becomes prominent their chosen saint carrier – the crane starts appearing on pottery and garments.

tea pot

tea potDIAxHmm, China

  This curious barrel is in fact a tea cozy, it used to have an insulated lining but unfortunately that has been lost together with the teapot.  It is more common to see the ratten and the wooden version than the metal version.