Saturday, 27 December 2014

Seasons Greetings

bumping  last years card cos no ideas yet for xmas 2016 

May whatever divinity you honor help bring you blessings and good fortune!

Thats a Japanese Buddhist version of the Goddess of Fortune !

and may you also experience wisdom insight access to good learning and enlightenment 

This image is Benten the Japanese version of Sarasvati.

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Wishing you a Storm Free Xmas

North or Southern Hemisphere there's always the risk of storms !

Here's hoping the deities of thunder and lightning stay away.

This is the image of the Chinese Lightning Goddess

Have  a great Christmas everyone! 

Wednesday, 10 December 2014


Copyright Julie Vaux 2014 

After last week's appalling weather in #sydney I decided to see what other words apart from LEI the #Chinese language uses to describe #thunder.

One database informs me that this word is frequently used in combination with PI .

Saturday, 6 December 2014

thunder and more thunder

One of the reasons there's been a break in posting updates to #technozi
#thunder #chinese characters #leibing #lei

Copyright Julie Vaux 2014

Thunder and more thunder on top is LEI and below is Bing roar of thunder something we're getting far too much of in sydney this last week. Thunderstorms every day!? A power outage and hail this afternoon! And someones car alarm is currently making a thunderous racket!

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Shu Hua Tong Yuan

#chineseart #asianart #proverb

Shu Hua Tong Yuan
Calligraphy Painting Same Source

Okay that translation's too "concise" but you get the idea

(I have used a horizontal alignment for those of you reading on mobiles or small screens so it also functions a header)

Using Calligraphy and Painting share a source or origin may seem odd but bear in mind Chinese Painting usually involves OUTLINES to start.

The "boneless" expressionistic ink play style evolved later.

Notice what the top part of both SHU and HUA is?

The ideogram depicting a hand holding a tool.
Originally this was a stylus but the modern form looks more like a tapering brush making strokes !

The oldest art we have western or eastern is usually a dot or a line!

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Okimono Two

More about #okimono

Copyright Julie Vaux 2014

I've seen the Japanese word Okimono translated a number of ways

oject d art artistic object ornament sculpture statuette  art object etc
literally it means put up thing something you put up for display usually on a traditional tokonoma alcove so it could be in its broadest sense a bonsai a doll a ceramic vessel a scroll several things 

Where Chinese might use Xiang ( ZOO in SinoJapanese) Japanese uses Xiang and this word also.

Oki CHI oku The Chinese is zhi tone 4 

Thursday, 6 November 2014


#sydney #okimono #jizaiokimono #japaneseart #dragon

Okimono is a word that gets translated as Object of Art Statue Statuette Ornament but basically means put up (on display) Thing Oku +mono due to the Japanese custom of displaying small objects in the tokonoma alcove.

One variety of okimono I've also been fascinated by are the articulated statuettes like this one. Yes that dragon is not one solid casting ! 

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Blue Yu

#asian culture #hanzi #chinese characters #blueyu #speculation
Copyright Julie Vaux 2014 

I first found this character while I was idly opening pages at random in a dictionary and something about it caught my eye especially after seeing the modern meaning. Yes this is a moment of sheer poetic fantasy but suddenly I had this "vision" of a depressed Han or earlier dynasty scribe / scholar a northerner exiled to the southern jungles trying to create a compound character that expressed his mood.

On top we have a drinking vessel between two trees drinking amongst the forest and below a word / character often translated as wine and I cant help wondering which fermented fruit liquor someone was getting stuck into. Rice and millet were not the only things used to brew alcohol in ancient China. 

Yes I'm guessing but what's your guess as to the origin of this character?

Footnote Yes I am bumping older posts today for new followers !
Apologies if you've seen this before!

Wednesday, 22 October 2014



#tea #chatswood #Sydney #exhibition
While I was researching for the next series of posts I found this notice at Willoughby Library


25 Oct - 3 Nov 2014  Opening 25 Oct Saturday 11AM

I don't know what I'll be doing on Saturday ey but I'll try to check it out if not then next week.

Th PR card at the library said its sponsored by and the opening day will feature #pipa music #calligraphy #brushpainting plus displays of teaware

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Osmathus Saga 4

#Osmathus Saga 4

Copyright Julie Vaux 2014 

More info on the #hanzi #mokusei #quehoa #osmanthus

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Osmanthus Saga 3 more pictures

This is what the #osmathus plant's fruits also called drupes  and flowers when its white  look like.

Go back to the two previous posts in this series?

More next week!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Osmanthus Saga 2

Copyright Julie Vaux 2014 
The ancient Chinese may have developed a vast number of herbal medicines but they seem to have had a very inconsistent method of distinguishing and naming trees of various species. The name changed from characters that could be also read as noble tree flower to characters that literally read tree  = tree+rhinoceros to a modern form that can also mean scrambled eggs because of comparisons of beaten eggs to the yellow and white flowers.

If anyone has tried sweet olive jams or sweets could you let us know what they taste like? Possibly I may have had some without realising it?  Are they ever used to fill mochi or wagashi?

Thursday, 18 September 2014

The Osmanthus Saga Intro

#Osmanthus is a flowering shrub / tree many people take for granted ....

Join this miniseries of posts to find out about the many names and uses of osmanthus and the strange story of the Chinese hanzi used which tells us something about the Chinese language and tends to support my theory about bored Han scribes playing with characters!

Saturday, 30 August 2014

HORSE MA Radical

Copyright Julie Vaux 2014  
A note what I'm declaring copyirhgt on is the technozi format, how the data is arranged as displayed as a visual image, in case I ever collate these into a book.

If you would like to see the various technozi as an e-book or print let me know? Especially if you're a publisher so I can get someone to do the formatting!

If I did these as an ebook I'ld probably embed the svgs and pngs into a pdf landscape format or if I used portrait mode leave lots of blank space in the print edition for you to add notes. So would anyone like to see a book?

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Technozi TOTE BAGS

Dear followers many of my #technozi designsbased on #hanzi and #kanji  are available on tote bags throw pillows cards and other stuff from RED BUBBLE

including this one



Sunday, 17 August 2014

Saturday, 26 July 2014


I've tried with this image to combine the hanzi used to write CHUN / JUN the name of a glaze with colors and semi transperency that suggest the actual glaze colors which can vary from pale near celadon blue to a mixture of blue red green and purple depending on which clays and slips are under it or if you also splash copper or cobalt oxide over the glaze as well.

I personally prefer a light coat of mid blue slip and then maybe a spiral trail of copper oxide over the glaze if I'm doing a bowl.

Copyright Julie Vaux 2014 

If you have a friend who does ceramics show this to them. 

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Origami Houses!

You may have come across references to Origami folding influencing Japanese Architecture.

Yes this is house yes a real house in Japan! Possibly the corner was once a small shop or part of some's garden but the architect managed to fit a parking space and housing above into this tiny space!

MMM will the Chinese copy this trend? Would this work in Sydney?
On one of those small lots that result when someone sells their garden or a former workers cottage is in such poor condition not even the most heritage obsessed councils would insist you do anything but tear everything down?

Next time back to the horse hanzi series!

Thursday, 3 July 2014


Many English words use hippo+ as a prefix to indicate a word has  something to do with  horse or the eque+ as in equestrian.

Modern Chinese and other languages generally use compounds with MA but there's also this less common word.

Copyright Julie Vaux 2014 

a note on the two variants given for the MIN dialects. 

I have access to one online lexicon that favours Taiwanese MIN usage and I also own an old reference book, a kind of mini dictionary of Hokkien Amoy as used in the Straits area. Pinyin Qi 2 equals WG ch'i2.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Monday, 2 June 2014

Copyright Julie Vaux 2014

I have a question for my few and faithful readers?

I'm thinking horse plus horse implies that atame horse is not one fresh from Central Asia or the Steppes but a horse of the Riverlands and valleys of Northern China.

I'ld be interested in learning if there was ever a variant of this character in which instead of river the sign of a prefecture or province showing dots between the strokes was used?

Saturday, 24 May 2014

LI is a black horse

Copyright Julie Vaux 2014

My first new technozi after a long break caused by a broken arm.

My next sequence will be equine words!

Friday, 16 May 2014

Brocade Project Waka 3 NOIN

#update bumping this a year later 2015 cos its "seasonal" late autumn / winter my time zone / hemisphere #autumn #waka #noin #japanesepoetry #poetry

Okay here's a waka by Nooin 11th century AD

( My arm has finally improved enuff to allow typing with BOTH hands instead of ONE finger!)

Arashi fuku / mimuro no yama no / momiji ba wa /
tatsuta no kawa no / nishiki narikeri

This is another of those waka that seem deceptively simple but when you contemplate it realise  each syllable works in exquisite harmony with others.

Arashi fuku a fierce wind blowing down off the mountains

Mimuro yama is an area south east of Kyoto

Momiji ba wa maple leaves

Tatsuta is a river which currently has a special riverside path and park

nishiki narikeri brocade become like

the wind has scattered the leaves all over the river's surface

so prosaic a statement in English and yet poetic in Japanese !

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Brocade Waka Two

Suguwara  no Michizane wrote

Kono tabi

Nusa mo toriaezu


Momiji no nishiki

Kami no mani mani

This poem can be found in the Hyakuninisshu

This person on this journey or at this time tabi has a double meaning
offerings for the moment hopefully sufficient implied
nusa is a staff with strips of paper or silk attached  but can also mean strips of silk or coins
Tamukeyama is a temple at Nara and the name tamuke means (hall of ) offering

maple branch probably of brocade

gods (i am ) at mercy of or the gods may take consequent action or not

this may be indirect criticism of his treatment by the Imperial Court
implying all  he could afford is a maple branch and his fate and career needed the mercy of the gods?

I wish I could be typing Nara as a location tag. Right about now one of those really expensive ryokan with a hot bath would be good for my right arm which is broken.

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Broken Brocade and Arm!

People the promised Brocade sequence has been broken by arm! I have a neck fracture of the radius of my right arm and apart from having to type with one hand my right arm is distracting painfully so the nety installation of the Brocade Sequence will not appear until later this week. Sorry!

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Brocade Waka One

#fujiwara no nakahira GSS 8:458

Hito sumazu
aretaru yado (w)o
kite mireba
ima zo ko no ha(ha)
nis(h)iki (w)orikeri

Where this person once lived is overgrown and ruined.
I am coming to see if now the leaves of the trees are weaving brocade.

Friday, 21 March 2014


BROCADE is the theme for  my next sequence of  Technozi posts.

Starting with this card and then some Japanese Heian waka using the word.

Copyright Julie Vaux 2014 

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Green Mosaic NU

Copyright Julie Vaux 2014

Another #Inkscape  #kanji experiment. The Hanzi Kanji for woman - nu 3 and then a color edit and one other change in Inkscape then an upload to #gimp and the mosaic filter applied.  I'll have to try this again perhaps with a slightly different gradient. I want to suggest the strength and beauty of green jade in a feminine way and this is almost right but ... not quite there?

Friday, 7 March 2014


What other theme could I post on International Womans Day !


The font for this character was Kai Ti 

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Lakshmi to Kichijoten

This week the Goddess of Fortune!

#Lakshmi partner of vishnu also known as Lakkhi Shri Sri mahadevi Gilsang Cheon inKorea, Thirumagal, and Chinese Ji Xiang Tian

One text claims Tibetan depictions of Red Tara and Kurukula are Lakshmi.

In Japan she is known as Kichijooten Kisshooten and Kudokuten

Hindu or Buddhism the iconography of this deity shows a princess or queen usually wearing red often holding up a cintamani a wish granting jewel or a conch shell.

Standing or sitting on a lotus she often has one or two elephants at her side.

More images later this week!

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Friday, 21 February 2014

Japanese Benten

Here's the Japanese equivalent of Sarasvati. You can see the Chinese influence on the iconography and painting style.

Dear readers I am bumping older blog posts done before I set up  a cross link with google+. As the widget that does this will not cross post (PRE)scheduled posts please use the Share button so other people can enjoy these posts. This is one of a sequence of 4 posts showing how depictions of Sarasvati changed from India to Japanese and elsewhere. 

Tuesday, 11 February 2014

Station EKI

Copyright Julie Vaux 2014
This word has 3 variant forms which I have have given in the Kai Ti font

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Mystery Horse

Looking up horse words for the  #yearoftheHorse I came across this word along with a brief but strange description but it was some kind of equinid described as a zebra with a red man and golden yellow eyes. A horse marked with a pattern?

The only explanation I can think of is a perhaps some kind of  rare now extinct breed of wild donkey or onager the large variety with stripes perhaps that extended up into its mane?

Every character has a story but this story seems to have been lost?

Anyone know more?

Friday, 31 January 2014

A horse for your new year

This a famous painting called Scholars collating texts by Yan Liben#yanliben  or a student of his and its probably a copy of a copy. Now many art text books focus on the centre images of the scholars and discuss his fine brush work and portraiture.

However scholars are not the only interesting figures in this work.

Take a look at the left of the scroll and now this close up.

I love this detail of the #horse looking out at us as if enjoying the attention of the viewers and every time I see it find myself wondering if Yan Liben based his painting of sketches and if one day sketching a horse found the horse had turned its  head to look back at him. Enjoy and a Happy Asian #Newyear to everyone!

Year of the Horse

2014 is the Year of the Horse !

I'll be sharing more horse related  Asian art and tehcnozi  with you this month.

Friday, 24 January 2014

15 Horses

The year of the Horse is coming so here's a demo of what the character for Horse Radical 187 looks like in various fonts ranging from near calligraphic to super heavy bold.

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Shunsen Natori Onnagata Kabuki Print

Another Shunsen natori print. 
This is an onnagata a male actor playing a female role described as a "stylish maid" tho female attendant might be a better translation since this is hardly clothing for house work.

The kimono and obi show two traditional japanese textile pattern techniques tie dyeing and ikat weaving.

An actual house or personal maid offstage would have probably wore even in a wealthy merchants or aristocrats  household  a plainer robe perhaps still ikat but less colors ?

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Shunsen Natori Print

An Kabuki Actor Print by Shunsen Natori

No the character is not squinting. 
The makeup represents a scarred samurai with one eye. 
Despite or because this is a modern print the use of color is quite restrained and I rather think judging from other prints Shunsen studied early 18th century prints made when the range of colors available for woodblocks was more limited.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Cormorants painting

I'm working on a Year of the Horse series
meanwhile enjoy this painting. I was cleaning up and found what appears to be a page from an old page some one  not me torn out to use as a reference for something?

The style appears to be early to middle twentieth century Chinese a traditional watercolor in most ways  but with a few signs of western influence such as a technique for coloring that seems to blend  Chinese and western realism?

There was an artists name but its no longer legible. Enjoy!