Friday, December 31, 2010

A (moving) Family Portrait


I'm having mixed emotions about this post. I recently acquired this fairly large 
painting on canvas of a 19th century Chinese family. At the time of the purchase 
I didn't know much about the Ming and Qing Dynasty tradition of commissioning a 
formal family portrait from the artisans, before the advent of photography. This 
particular painting below, I guess, is from the the mid-nineteenth century.

My genuine problem started making shape, when I was taking photos of the 
individual members of the family: gradually many of them on the canvas and in 
my viewfinder seemed to come alive to me, one by one. And, furthermore, they 
seemed to be probing me, whether I was 'trying to further denigrate us, after all 
our family's been through in the many decades to follow this happy time'.

No doubt, this was a family of a certain esteem, based on the Mandarin Squares 
featuring crane birds that many of the family members are wearing (I initially 
mistakenly thought they were holding some sort of placards), to show off their 
close connection to the governing elite.

Anyway, I'm sure this was a family of civilised people enjoying the good things in 
life, with established family structures, and happily living the Qing Dynasty time, 
until the onset of the 20th century. The global and local turmoils seem to be 
constant in our history, and the Chinese have had their share.

But no, after some 150 years, I do not want to offend you, I just want to pay 
homage to you all, and to all the artisans who created this wonderful image of 
you and your time.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Today's Walk - Sydney Summer


Wood Fired Pots

Here are some of wood fired pots that I've been gradually collecting.
Most of them have been fired in an Anagama style kilns.
Some of these pots are part of sets, in which case only one is featured.

Also, click here for my 'fine art' collection.

Justin Crowe
Josh Floyd

Kyle Houser

Malcolm Greenwood
Tom Jaszczak

JD Jorgenson

Travis Kennedy
Michael Kline

Ryoji Koie
Justin Lambert

Anthony Millette
Shawn O'Connor
Brandon Phillips
Keith Phillips

Dave Pike

Steve Rose

Steven Smith

Ryan Strobel

Books by Ridou Ridou