Archives for category: cage

bird cageW210xD210xH220mm, China

Birdcages from China can be classified broadly into the northern and the southern type.  This distinction by region can also be seen in the shape of the cages as well; northern birdcages are typically circular with a flat top, known as the Tianjin style, the southern types are cubic in shape with the bottom slightly larger than the top, known as the Suzhou style.  Suzhou is a province with Gangnam, so I guess we can say this is Gangnam Style.

In the old days birds are probably a more common pet for the Chinese than dogs and cats (who has a duty to guard or to catch mice), birds are there just for appreciation.  The birdcages are the habitat, carrier as well as the stage for the birds.  Their light mobility provide the bird with different settings; on the table, hang on the beam, on tree, transported to the teahouse of the park to meet other birds, etc, etc.

A very  sweet film about a bird, though it is cage it is not held captive.  The fledgling was found fallen off its nest and its feather was damaged, unable to fly.  For a few days it was kept in a birdcage for the feather to recover, as if the intention has been understood, the mother came constantly to feed her young in the cage.  Then second video is when the bird was released and successfully flew.


DIA100xH220mm, China

This cute little man is in fact a gourd!  It doesnt have the normal “8” shape (see entry Small Gourd) as it was been formed with the string bounded technique.  When the gourd is still green and tender, a string is fastened to it tightly, the string is use as a guide and restriction for its growth, by the time when it is ripe and fully grown a certain shape is formed.  This reminded me some of Araki Nobuyoshi’s work, perhaps both has a feeling of manipulation and distortion.  The drawing on the gourd is done by a technique known as heat engraving; a metal needle is inserted into a large joss stick (finger thick), the joss stick is then lighted up, using the heat the score skin of on the air dried fruit, creating a mark.  The heat can be lowered by clipping away portion of the burning joss stick.  There are different needles for different lines and shade; mainly, the pointed set for lines, horse shoe shape set for shading and knife shape for smoother lines.  Now the function of this little man, its a toy cricket cage for children to keep their pets.  The man will be at a headstand position with the lid on top, the shape of the gourd will give a resonance for the song of the crickets.

For the bamboo cage, see entry cricket cage

W100xD40xH110mm, China

This whiskey flask shaped cage is for keeping crickets.  Chinese have been keeping crickets since the Tang dynasty, however, very few of them as been kept as pet but rather as fighters.  Cricket has a life span of around 100 days, cricket match traditionally take place in autumn, it is said that the word “autumn” 秋 represented 2 crickets.  Cricket fight is banned in Hong Kong, so good to say that those raised here are only as pets for admiration.   This cage has 3 compartments, 2 small ones on the upper deck and 1 at the lower deck.  As each male cricket need to be  isolated to avoid conflicts, 3 can be raised in this single cage.  As in all the Chinese bamboo cage design,  if you look closely at a gate, one of the bars is shorter, this acts as a safety lock so that the gate cannot open accidental.

For a more natural cricket cage, see the entry gourd cricket cage.

Dia250xH450, China

This is a birdcage both for raising a bird at home and for “walking” the bird.  The Chinese believed that even for home kept birds, they should be meeting with their birdy friends to share their songs.  In the south, this gathering would happen daily at the teahouse, usually in the morning over dim sum where the owners should chat with their friends and the birds theirs.

There are also the attachment to go with it; bird feed bowl,  bird feeding cage.

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