Hearts and flowers

23 02 2017

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7 02 2017


Housed in a hundred year old faded pink colonial building by the river is the city’s Cham museum, supposedly the world’s greatest collection of sculpture from the vanished Cham civilisation. This was centred around the now-ruined city of My Son an easy day trip from Danang. The Cham people still live across Indochina, now mostly Muslim, but their former civilisation worshipped Hindu and later Buddhist deities, and built great trading cities connected to port across Southeast Asia; their curvaceous sculptures were a clear influence on Majapahit Java and the Khmers.


The art of Belkis Ayon

25 01 2017


Afro-Cuban symbolism in the art of Belkis Ayon, who sadly took her own life at the age of 32.

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Egle Zvirblyte

22 01 2017


The colourful work of Lithuanian illustrator Egle Zvirblyte, partially inspired by Tokyo.16176617_10155351118090730_594334579_n 16128246_10155341410650730_220678097_n

The art of Bill Traylor

15 01 2017


Born a slave, Bill Traylor lived as an impoverished sharecropper in Alabama until he started to draw in his seventies and was “discovered,” leading to a a 1942 exhibition in  New York entitled “American Primitive: the Work of an Old Negro”.


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Je Yeo Ran

15 01 2017

G-Dragon-approved abstract expressionism from Korea.

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Hear me roar

14 01 2017


A new show will start next week at one of Hong Kong’s most beautiful exhibition spaces, the Asia Society. It explores the role of the lion as a symbol in Asian art. The show is centred around a rare and mysterious treasure which has been brought to Hong Kong especially, the Mari-Cha Lion.

This metal statue, dating from the eleventh century, was found in Italy but believed to be of Middle Eastern origin. It is hollow, and according to some theories, was designed to decorate the roof of a palace where it would “roar” as the wind blew. Similar ornaments are known to have existed in Yemen at the time.

Interesting stuff.


Unfortunately the exhibition will not be showing the similar, but even more striking, griffin of Pisa, which is also of mysterious Middle Eastern origin but has resided in the city of Pisa, perhaps brought back as spoils of an overseas war, since the thirteenth century. At over one metre tall, it is the largest metal sculpture known from the Islamic Middle Ages.