Archives for the month of: April, 2014

candle wickDIA60xH80mm, United Kingdom

A stoneware candle holder with engraved pattern.

Sorry for the mis-posting earlier, but if you like what you saw, please visit


golden wood carving

L230xD30xH90mm, China

This golden wood carving makes a perfect birthday present.

The four figurines are full of blessing, Fu Lu Shou and Ma Gu.  They are all Taoist saints, representing blessings and happiness.

Fu (far right) – the planet Jupiter which was also attributed to Yang Cheng of the West Han period.  Yang, after being nominated to be the Daozhou official, abolished the practice of present contribution to the Emperor, relieving the stain for the people and therefore seen as a blessing.

Lu (left of Fu) – god of prosperity.  The stars Ursa Majoris humanized as Zhang Xian of the Shu dynasty, a brave general who was respected by the Emperor and worshiped by the people.

Shou (left of Lu) – god of longevity.  The stars of Canopus, translated as Peng Zu who is believed to have livd to an age of 767!!

Lady (at the far left) is Ma Gu, goddess of longevity – with the appearance still being in her teens, she has witnessed 3 times the sea turned into fields (judging its not from any dramatic climatic changes, she has been around for a long long time).  Her immortality and her yearly birthday tribute to the Queen Mother of the West is seen as a blessing and so Ma Gu is a popular subject for pritns, figurines, embroidery and alike.

maskW170xL230mm, Mexico

A ceramic mask from Mexico.

Masks are integrated into the Mexican culture; long before the arrival of the Hispanic influences masks were used in ceremony and ritualistic dances.  These mask festivals were performed to honour the spirits for these blessing of a good weather, harvest and general well being.  At the time of birth, adulthood, marriage, reign and death, masked dances were also used to gain the protection of the spirits.

As a well to control indigenous culture, masks were banned in the beginning of the Spanish rule.  With the introduction of Catholic and Christian religion, characters, stories and teaching of the religion were portrayed in the new mask dances.

maskW150xD60xH240mm, Malaysia

This mask belongs to the Mah Meri tribe.  Mah Meri means “People Forest”, they believes that all mythological characters are supreme and that ancestral spirits use plants and animals to make food for humans.

The Jo-Oh masks are said to give spiritual power to the wearer during dance rituals, representing the soul of the ancestors.

japanese printW160xH220mm, Japan

This is an ukiyo-e print depicting a courtesan of  Yoshiwara playing a game of go (published 1910s)

In the Edo period, the Yoshiwara area (now the modern Asakusa of  Tokyo) was the only district of pleasure that was licensed.  Unlike other red light districts in the world, courtesans are trained to be cultured, to be the ideal companion; waka poetry, the game of go, chess, playing cards, calligraphy, ikebana, tea ceremony, incense ceremony and other things.

bean curd jar
DIA190xH200mm, China

Fermented bean curd is one of my favorite condiment.  A savior for a day when dishes are blend, it gives a kick and spice up the meal.  Even with just a piece or fermented bean curd and a bowl of rice, it will make a good meal.

Using a firm type of tofu, with a specific mould is added start the fermentation, after about 36 hours, the first fermentation, the tofu is taken out and pressed onto a bowl of salt.  They are then left in a jar, removing the excess water.  The water are drained out and replaced by Sorghum wine and dried chilli, it is left to ferment for another 2 months.  The finished produce is then packed neatly into a jar to be sold.  When I was a child, glass jar has already been used for the packaging.  This type of pottery jar were used before the glass jar they are replaced by the glass jars.

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.

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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.

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