Archives for the month of: September, 2013

national day

DIA200xH80mm, China

Have a great day!

Spike is rejoicing for the cancellation of this year’s firework celebration.
Rooaf Rooaf!


tiger paper cutoutW180xL180mm, China

This special paper cutout is made for traditional window lattice; to be able to fit into the small lattice frame the paper cutout are normally of a small size.  To make a bigger pattern, this tiger has been divided into 4 pieces to be paste onto the four interior corner the lattice frame to combine into a tiger.  These paper decorations are called chuang hua (window flower), they are removed and paste a fresh on every Chinese New Year as a projecting of hope and blessing for the year ahead.

Tiger from the Chinese is a symbol of blessing, an admiration for this strength and bravery, a popular theme for children


Textile Width 450mm, China

Fancy a striped shirt made with hand woven cloth?

Before that some stripes illusion.

weaving shuttles

L400xW70xH60mm, China

 These are a pair of wooden shuttles for the hand loom.

Anyone interested in weaving and other Chinese craftwork should watch out for the workshop organized by the Jin Ze Arts Centre,  a not-for-profit art and craft organization aimed at the preservation and promotion of the fine tradition of Chinese craftsmanship by fostering exchanges of ideas and techniques between practitioners of traditional crafts and contemporary designers via innovative approaches.

Here is a weaving workshop held last March, wish I was there!


DIA210xH30mm, China

This plate gave me an impression that it is not Chinese, this feeling most likely came from the scribbling scripts on the plate which resembles a foreign language.  But on closer inspection, there is a mark on ten o’clock which inscribed the word 熏.  This happened to plates that were quite common, a mark for identifying your own if they were to be mixed up in a lot of similar ones.

The pattern on the center, two, four, six, eight and then o’clock resembles a flower, as sunflower is not a common object on Chinese pottery, it would be fair to assume that it is a chrysanthemum.  Looking at the scribble again, there seems to be a repeating icon which makes the language again unlikely.  Scrolling foliage pattern is typical for Chinese floral pattern, basing on this i started by search and this is probably what the original designed was like and after years of abstraction by the village craftman, the design has transformed itself altogether.


DIA990xH650mm, China

Typhoon Usagi just departed and its raining cats and dogs but this umbrella is probably too delicate to embrace the serve weather – a paper umbrella!

The paper is made from mulberry tissue paper coated with tung oil (oil extracted from the fruit of tung tree, Aluerites fordii Hemsi).  The structure is made delicately with bamboo.  These umbrellas are very durable, I had a plain dark blue one which lasted through my teen years.


moon cakeW70xL70xH25mm, Hong Kong

This is a ceramic paper weight made in the shape of a moon cake.

Today is the 15th of lunar August, the middle of autumn when the moon is at its fullest.  Since the Zhou dynasty people has started to worship and celebrate the moon on this night.  Food, such as moon cake, water melon, apple, dates, plums and grapes will be offer to the moon on an alter together with candles.  Today, for most people the moon festival is about the appreciation of the moon, a time for family reunion and of course a feast.

As people becomes more health conscious in recent years, the once a year of loaded sugar and cholesterol is too much for some, the sales of moon cake has started to decline.  However, they have found another target customer – doggy mooncake, mooncake made especially for the man’s best friend.  Looks like they have found spotted the right target!

brush standW70xD50xH20mm, China

Continuing with the stationary items, this ceramic ware is a brush holder.  A holder for the small brush, unlike the previous brush rests where they are lay horizontally, the brush here are inserted into the small holes and left standing.  The small container is for keeping a bit of water in case the brush has gotten a bit dried.  This kind of brush stand are usually used by the people who are writing all the time, e.g. the doctor, the pawn shop owner, the restaurant manager etc.

bone knifeL240xW8xD15mm, China

There are pen knives and there are paper knives.  Long before the arrival of the computer and the internet, they have both lost their original function.

When we think of pen knife, the image of the Swiss army knife comes to mind (an object of desire in my youth).  However, pen knife was first designated for the use of sharping the nib of quill pens, hence – pen knife.  As for paper knife, there is the image of a sophisticated letter opener (remember the days when one would spend weekends and evenings writing letters?), well paper knife was actually used for cutting open the pages of books that were folded for printing and its edges left uncut.  (this pleaseure of cutting and turning an unseen page cannot even be met with a kindle).

arm rest

W50xL180xH50mm, China

Any guess of what this piece of bamboo is for?

You probably have one of those ergonomic mouse pad with a gel support at the wrist?  Well, this is the traditional waist rest for Chinese calligraphy, not only does it support the arm, it also prevents the ink from rubbing onto the sleeves and the perspiration of the hand from making the paper moist.  This member of the stationary is called a “Bi Ge”, arm rest.  The name “Bi Ge” apparently came from the imperial chamber for secret books, also pronounced as “Bi Ge”.

Now for the second surprise, the material of this Bi Ge is not bamboo but ceramic!

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