Friday, 30 December 2016

Shiny Cicada

#cicada #hanzi #kanji #typographicart #semi
My aim for this piece was to try to reflect the shiny greens of a cicada exoskeleton with a hint of the blue of the hot summer skies they sing under and the intense greens of summer foliage Enjoy SHARE

Sunday, 25 December 2016


#cicada Hanzi #technozi #card #unihan #kanji

Continuing the #cicada theme since its summer in my hemisphere

Copyright Julie Vaux 2016  

A note on the Vietnamese. Most dictionaries list the Vietnamese NON sinitic word and not the SV SinoVietnamese "Literary"  equivalent so this is one case of Sinitic loanwords not dominating the Austroasiatic original ! Japanese haiku poets also prefer to use SEMI over SEN.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Cicadas and Chiyo

#haiku #chiyo #summer #cicadas

Its mid summer where I am and we have cicadas in Australia.


Taki no ne mo / hosoru ya mine ni / semi no koe 

waterfall of sound despite stretching thin (voice like thread) mountains at cicadas of voice

Let's change that into something that sounds and reads a bit more "poetic" in English

Despite the roar of the waterfall 
Spreading thinly around the peaks
The voice of the cicadas

Despite is perhaps a rather generous interpretation of mo but it works

Cicadas in Japan allegedly like rock crevices as much as they prefer trees in Sydney.
Chiyo uses peaks mine instead of yama. Perhaps she was visiting the Hakusan Mountains South and South East of Matto City ?

I will have more technozi for you over the Christmas but there will be some bumping of old posts.

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Sunday, 18 December 2016

The nagamureba mystery

and why this post is SOOO late
#waka #bungo #heian #japanese poetry

Okay apart from having to finish a project I got stuck on one word

Here's me thinking #nagamureba was a potential conditional passive of #nagameru in some wierd BUNGO spelling but it just didnt fit and then finally the other day I try one more search parameter combination and discover the verb #nagamuru !

So finally my translation of #HyakuIsshu 81 by #fuji #sanesada

first the word for word

hototogisu                        japanese cuckoo summer kigo
nakitsuru kata wo            singing action not state
nagamureba                      looks and sounds like verb meaning look at intensely
                                          BUT MUREBA the singing pun on looking would have lasted longer
tada ariake no                    only (now implied?) it is dawn
tsuki zo nokoreru              the moon lingered


The Hototogisu singing has or should have lasted so long that now it is dawn and yet the moon has lingered on?

It sounds so much better in Japanese and rather more melancholy in English?

Note the sound pattern

hoToTogisu NakiTSuru kata wo Nagamureba Tada ariake no TSuki zo Nokoreru

Yes readers I do NOT have access to a copy of Morohashi but I do have McCullough
thought it was on google I found a couple of references to nagamuru as a verb.
There is no mention of this in Nelson either. Grumble.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Ando Jubei Cloisonne

#AndoJubei #cloisonne #shippo #japanese

Here is an excellent example both of #Cloisonne and how the Japanese took a familiar theme and translate it into differing materials. You may see similar compositions in and on paintings prints lacquer and ceramics but how would they differ?

Cloisonne versus Ceramics 

If this was a ceramics box it would be probably be slipcast or form molded porcelain and while you could get that gray with a clear glaze over a stain it might have a bluer tint or some crackling.
Modern industrial processes of spraying underglazes and glazes and computer controlled kilns would allow for multiple copies.

Cloisonne verses Lacquer 

You simply couldn't get that shade of gray with lacquer. Maybe a high quality plastic trying to imitate lacquer but not TRUE lacquer.

Cloisonne and Painting or Prints

The gray would be ink and more details and clouds. The reflection would be more difficult to create since its white on gray.

This little box really demonstrated why works from the Ando Jubei studio and company are collectible. When you have a master who knows how mediums influence each other and understands his materials and doesnt just copy an image in a different material but uses that material to make changes ...craft becomes art.

A final thing to consider is the great restraint shown here. If you google cloisonne you'll get dozens of images of vases and other items adorned with elaborate patterns of flowers or interlocking patterns but this masterpiece shows an understanding of enameling that is genius level! Limited use of wire outlines. A perfectly fired gray background with no flaws and highlight of pure white for contrast. 
Oh and the wonderful balance of the color of the branches to the interior of the box!

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Shippo and Cloisonne

Japanese Cloisonne or Shippo can look very similar to "enamel" porcelain but its a different kind of enamels! metal base with wires and powdered pigments applied within the outlines like this beuatiful example by Ando Jubei

Another Ando Jubei 

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Two Purple adjectives

There are two other lesser known adjectives for purple in Chinese but I couldnt do a complete set so if any one knows the missing words?

Saturday, 26 November 2016


#Issa #sumire #haiku


Sumire saku / kado ya yoru sae / natsukashiki

Violet bloom gate ! night yearning longing sae = clear at least serene ? natsukashiki yearn long for as adjective

Violets blooming serenely by the gate at night I yearn to see 

Or possilbly its late twilight and hes pleased to reach his destination ?

Waga mae ni / dare dare sumi shi / sumire zo mo

I before this time place who who live indeed violets emphatic also still here

Before me  who indeed lived here the violets still remain 

December theme will be Summer and Heat !
With a few Wintery things thrown in for contrast!

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Sumire Kanji

#sumire #kanji #hanzi #unihan #chinese #japanese

N.B. how the meaning differs in Chinese and Japanese

Copyright Julie Vaux 2016 

A note about the copyright notice You are quite welcome to share it for educational purposes
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Chiyo Horses Violets Haiku

#Chiyo #Horses #Violets #Haiku #Sumire #purple

A simple but elegant haiku is todays addition to the November Purple Theme Series

Kake izuru
Koma mo ashi kagu
Sumire kana

Kake galloping izure older / alternate form of deru 
Koma young horses or ponies mo also ashi legs  kagu a verb scent smell sniff 
Sumire Violets!

Spring time and perhaps Chiyo was walking thru the countryside and past a field of young horses who had come racing through long grasses mixed with flowers and and now are standing near a fence legs covered with scent due to trampling through a patch of violets? 

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Murasaki Prints

#purple #murasaki #japaneseprint #ukiyo-e

Purple is my November Theme so Lady Murasaki!

She is suppose to be at Ishiyama temple viewing the autumn moon though the artist has rendered the hills as Chinese style peaks? However it is an excellent illustration apart from that!
I also love the color balance of rich purple blue sky and strong grays!

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Friday, 18 November 2016

Chiyo and Sumire

#chiyo #haiku #sumire #violets #translation #romaji #notes #julievaux

Sumire is the word for Violets and things with similar coloring in Japanese
 and is also a #kigo for #spring

#Chiyo wrote in one Haiku

Ne o tsukete / Onago no yoku ya / Sumire Soo

Word for word

Origin attachments
 young woman of craving !
violet grass / small plant

or is it grass?

Some people translate ne as root root of desire or craving but Chiyo was a devout Buddhist

The Origin of Attachments

A Young Womans desire (for) note Chiyo uses onago not onna !

Violet but violet what

Yes Soo means small plant but why emphasize some thing everyone knew

Soo can also refer to Cursive writing in Kanji or Kana

So I find myself wondering if any paper seller in Chiyos home town was selling purple tinted poem cards or paper slips for letters?

The Origin of Attachments
A Young Woman's craving 
"Violet Writing"  

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Murasaki and Musashino

KKS XVII 867 Anon thougt possibly Narihira ?

#kokinshu #heianpoetry #murasaki #musashino

The theme for November is PURPLE and the word Murasaki refers
to both a plant and the color of its blossoms - PURPLE

Murasaki no           plant of
Hito moto yue ni    single /the poet as individual?  stem or origin yue ni reason for being there
Musashino no                  musashi plains  once grasslands now covered by modern Tokyo
Kusa wa minagara    grasses while seeing
Aware to zo miru.     appreciate indeed seeing

I had to expand this for it to be poetic in English

A single plant of murasaki
is the reason for my visit
to Musashi's plains
its plants are worth viewing
yes indeed worth seeing

Where Tokyo is today was once a wide stretch of grasslands low hills and rivers
Very different from the mountains and farmlands around Kyoto's valley.

I'm still laptop free n have limited net access
next time I can get near a computer
SUMIRE 2 haiku by Chiyo

Like these translations ?

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Sunday, 30 October 2016

The Tamakura Problem

#Priest SOGI #spring #waka #LateHeian #tamakura

SOOGI a Zen Priest 1421-1502was noted for writing Waka Renga and Haiku.

This poem is GSRJ XV 480 and also appears in Miner.

Yo o samumi 
Ume ga ka chikaki
Tamakura ni 
Tsuki wa kasumite 
Harukaze zo fuku

Night of cold or Cold World

(Soogi was of commoner background and a priest)

Plum blossom scent nearby chikaki = chikashii

on arm pillow  Miner adds a reference to tears on sleeves that is NOT in the Japanese text !

A Zen priest with an arm pillow I get stuck here

Either in this case Tamakura might be a place name or he's not just refering to his sleeves but to everyone present or he's being very ironic given he was to my knowledge not like Ikkyu

I cant shake off the feeling he's used a simple cliched phrase and given it multiple levels of irony

moon blurring dim hazy sprint mist? the thickness of pollen?

spring wind emphatic particle blows

The first part of this pillow is quite "normal" but what is a Zen priest doing and where

I would love to know if there was ever a place near Kyoto anywhere in Japan called Tamakura.

Frankly I could see the Japanese calling a hamlet or remote hermitage thats nestled between hills "arm pillow".

If there is a double or triple meaning that adds so much more depth to the poem.

Sorry there's no Kanji but my laptop died and I'm using a library terminal!

Please help me get a new or used refurbished laptop ASAP

Friday, 28 October 2016


I need a new laptop

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I will do extra freebies and downloadables next month

Have some lovely stuff trapped on HDD

The laptop self immolation occurred just before I was about to do a backup AAAARGH

Monday, 17 October 2016

HIATUS Alert Laptop in for repair

My laptop battery died so no blogs until I get

a) new battery delivered for instalment

b) install new app on mobile to post blogs

Sorry Folks

Please browse through older posts !

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Spring Hanzi

In keeping with the announced #Spring #Autumn theme this weeks #technozi

Copyright Julie Vaux 2016
cos one day i want to collect all of these in a PRINT book !

People would you like to see a printable pdf ebook of my technozi published via Lulu or Amazon or offered a a #patreon reward? Let me know!

Friday, 7 October 2016

Naku Shika No

#autumn #waka #sarumaru #heian #japanese #poetry

Oku yama ni 

Momiji fumi wake 

Naku shika no 

Koe kiku toki

Aki wa kanashiki 

This is one of the earliest poems to use the deer's cry phrase.

I translate this as

Deep in the mountains

not mountainside as some do

Momiji is maple leaves but I suspect fumiwake is one long compound verbal and the romaji should be rendered as one word however to translate accurately
its fumu+wakeru
is the poet trampling on leaves or pushing through a pile of them?
note that wake can mean dividing so I choose

Pushing through maple leaves

Naku shika no the cry of the deer(s)

Koe kiku toki

sound works time the sound works on effects or maybe hear time

Aki autumn wa subject marker

kanashiki is Bungo modern form is kanashii sad mournful pathetic

Deep in the mountains
Pushing through maple leaves
(I hear) the cry of the deer
A sound making autumn mournful

Yes its four lines not five but it makes the translation a poem in English and not just a paraphrase?

Tuesday, 4 October 2016


#OCTOBER #spring #autumn
Alternating between the two since its #spring in my Hemisphere but #autumn up north

Copyright J.Vaux 2016 

Saturday, 1 October 2016

Autumn Colors

#autumn #colors
2 files for you to download

Its spring in my hemisphere but what I'm trying to suggest here is late autumn and the final fading and fall or leaves to gray and frost reminding us that winter approaches !


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Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Harunobu Night Scene with Plum Blossoms

#Harunobu A Ukiyo-e #print of a girl viewing #plumblossom at night

One of the advantages of the #ukiyo-3 multiple block printing technique was the innovation of printing solid color backgrounds. European printing had to wait for the development of metal plate lithography and silk screen printing.

The plum blossoms and branches are not overwhelmed by the solid black and a partial influence on this may have the example of lacquer with images appearing on black and dark backgrounds.

This effect would have been much more difficult to achieve with ink PAINTED on paper rather than rubbing and stamped into the paper.

Friday, 23 September 2016


Closely related to the #chinese #meiping is the #korean #maebyong shape

For contrast here's a Chinese Meiping Ding style 

Whether they actually have plum blossoms or not as decoration the meiping shape throughout Asia  tapers inward from top to bottom and has a raised symmetrical mouth / rim. 


Undated Modern for Export trade? 

2 #meiping #vases that actually do have plum blossom on them!
Ceramics #asianceramics #chinese ceramics
Some people claim meiping vases were made to hold cut plum or other flowering branches.
Others claim the shape developed from a shape with a lid used for storing dried and candied fruits.
I personally can see some one breaking or losing a lid and using a lidless jar to put flowers in and then suggesting to a potter friend that he make the jars taller and slimmer so the long branches would sit and display better.

An excellent Cizhou Style Meiping Song Dynasty

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

A single Line a single branch

#liqingzhao #ci #plum #chinese poetry

A Single Line A single branch

Chinese poetry can be just as info compact as haiku.

While Li Qing Zhao's favorite flower seems to have been the Osmanthus for its fragrance she often mentions Plum Blossom.

Several people have books out translating her poetry.

I particularly recommend C. Pannam Music From A Jade Flute

On P. 134 he translate one line of chinese verse as three

"a single branch of plum blossom informs the east god of the coming of spring"

p. 251 has the chinese hanzi and a transliteration of the poem.

The 3 lines in the translation are one elegant seven character line in Chinese.

Yi zhi xi de dong jun xin

Some people find Li Qing Zhao's verse melancholy or bordering on sentimental but it has a certain power and I sometimes think if she'd born in the say the American South she would have been a Blues or Jazz Songtress?

Do read Pannams book if you can borrow or buy it!

Friday, 16 September 2016

Mustard Seed Garden on Plums

The #mustardseedgarden manual of painting has a whole section devoted to depicting plum trees and blossom. The best known English translation by Mai Mai Sze though doesnt have the colored pages of this older Chinese edition.

In my copy the section starts on p.399 with a discussion of various painters ideas on method and then shows how to form branches starting with twigs then moving on to whole branches and trees then blossom separately and on branches.

There is however no depictions of or guides for painting the actual fruit!

Friday, 9 September 2016

Waga sono a Heian Waka featuring plum blossom

#wagasono #waka #plum #heian

MYS XIX:4140
Ootomo Yakamochi 718-85

Waga sono no sumomo no hana ka?
Niwa ni furu hadare no imada nokaritaru mo.

This is one of those seeming so simple poems that has a few twists.

(in) my garden is that the plum blossom?
In the yard falling (like rain) patches still are lingering.

Sono seems to be his outer garden and niwa his inner yard implying the blossom is falling all through his property. As a Heian aristocrat he may have had a property large enough to have a outer garden surrounding the pavilions and some enclosed private yards as well.
But is it plum blossom (sumomo is a type of plum) or patches of something else like snow implied by hadare?

While I've seen texts of this poem written in a mixture of kana and kanji note that this poem has NO chinese loan words and can be written entirely in kana.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Hokusai Plum and Moon

I've been sick and had to take a break but will try to do double or triple posts this week to update and continue the PLUM SERIES .

#Hokusai #Plum and #Moon #print

After the Cherry Blossom one of the most popular plants as an art theme was the flowering plum tree. Like the Chinese and other nations the Japanese used plums as fruit fresh or preserved and in sauces medicines and drinks as well as planting them for their beauty and to attract birds like the bush warbler.
Technically this prunus species is also known as the japanese apricot due to the fruit color.

Friday, 26 August 2016

Plum Series - Jin Nong

One of the most famous painters of #Plum trees and blossoms and other plants  was *JinNong  / #ChinNung a 18th c. Qing dynasty member of the 8 eccentrics of Yangzhou.

He combines the boneless / mogu technique with a lighter more delicate touch for the blossom which contrasts with his unique calligraphy style a fusion of three different scripts types!

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Plum Haiku by YAYOO

A #haiku by an 18th c. poet Yayoo

Ume no chiru / atari ya sumi no / akidawara

This sounds rather plain in translation

Plum ( presumably blossoms not fruit sicne the verb is chiru) scatter
touching ! charcoal empty sack

aki is a prefix here and means empty

sumi no so not just black or dark but speficially charcoal !

Plum blossoms in Japan can be white or crimson

a breeze or wind is implied

An empty sack has been placed outside or near a door to be refilled

and three separate ordinary events and things become one vivid image of the beauty of simple things.

Friday, 19 August 2016


#plum #hanzi #kanji #test
A test of #Cultural #differences.
Do you respond to the colors in this image by thinking of fruit or flowers?
I've tried to include within the gradient and stroke colors seen on fruit and blossom or jam.

Do you think of blood plums or red fruit with orange gold flesh or purple or crimson fruits or plum jam?

Do you think of plum sauce preserved plums plum blossom white or crimson or given which kanji / hanzi I used do you think of a whole tree and its branches?

Let me know !

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

New Technozi Series Plums !

The next #technozi series will be on the topic of #plums #plum #plumblossom

the #plum in art and poetry particularly #haiku and of course #hanzi / #kanji too

Don't forget there are two separate characters one for the tree and another for the fruit and blossom. Please Follow this blog or follow me on Google Plus or Twitter  to get notifications of exactly when I add new posts to this series.

Thank You

Saturday, 13 August 2016


#shiki #haiku #summer

SHIKI Masaoka


#Hiragana #Romaji

くんぶぅゃ Kumpū ya!
せんざんのみどり Senzan no midori
てらひとっ Tera hitotsu

Kumpū also written kunpū
Kun Fragrance + Fu Wind Breeze
Sen 1000 Zan is San Mountain of greem midori
Tera buddhist temple hitotsu one single

Fragrant Breeze !
Amidst a thousand green mountains
A single temple.

He must have been somewhere very remote for there to have been just one small temple and not a whole complex given the fondness of the Japanese for building temples and shrines atop mountains.

Fragrant breeze is a KIGO for summer or late spring so while I've seen one translator suggest pines for the source many trees flower in summer.

Perhaps a remote valley too small to be worth farming but just enough room for a shrine and trees?

Friday, 12 August 2016


#MONJU #japaneseart #lacquer

Images of Monju on Secular Objects like Woodcut Ukiyo-e prints and Lacquer may have had a gender and sexual orientation significance

While this is fairly close to traditional Buddhist iconography note that he is shown as a young man or teenager rather than as an adult.

The tradition of one of the forms of Manjusri / Monju being a young man became part of Japanese male homosexual culture.

How can I say it politely.

A lot of 18th century Ukiyo-e prints of Monju shown as a pretty boy actor are probably PINUP ART !

So the next time you see a print labelled actor so and so dressed for Lion Dance or Kabuki Actor so and so playing Monju ....

MMM given women visited the theatre too I wonder if any of them had boxes full of prints of favorite male actors  taken out in rare moments of privacy and explained to the rest of the family as pictures of MONJU ...

It is a lovely piece of lacquer though whether the owner was a devout Buddhist or trying to signal their orientation and preferences given these inro were used predominantly by men. 

Friday, 5 August 2016

Hotei in Lacquer

#hotei #lacquer #japanese 

I found one last #Hotei image on share with you !

Not maki-e but still a beautiful example of a functional object that's also exquisite sculpture!

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

4 Uguisu Haiku

4 #haiku with #Uguisu #JapaneseBushWarbler as a theme.

I will provide the romaji and my notes and translation for each

Slash / = LINE BREAK


Uguisu ya / Ume ni tomaru / Mukashi kara

Uguisu exclamation plum on/ at perching / ancient times since

Oh the bush warbler perching on plum trees since antiquity !


Uguisu ya / doro ashi nuguu / ume no hana

uguisu ! / dirty feet cleaning / plum blossoms

Oh Uguisu cleaning your dirty feet on the plum blossoms?

Japanese plum blossoms are usually white or sometimes red not pink like Sakura cherry.

Two Women writers


Uguisu no / dochira ka naku zo / mizu no kage

bush warbler of in connection to place / where who singing / water of shadow  !

I presume the last line means the bush warbler was hidden by shadows at the edge of a stream?


Uguisu ni / temoto yasumenu / nagashimoto

ni here means nearby
temoto manual work yasumenu comers from yasumemu rather than yasumeru but the meaning is nearly identical

she hears the bird and stops her work while in the kitchen area nagashimoto of her home

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Friday, 29 July 2016

Uguisu Japanese Bush Warbler

#uguisu #japaneseBush Warbler

a new series on the Bush Warbler or Uguisu Horornis Diphone
starting with the hanzi

Copyright Julie Vaux 2016 


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Next time some haiku and art

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Chiang Yee as a Painter

#Chiang Yee is known as a Scholar and Writer of Books on Chinese Art and Travel and we should also bear in mind he was trained traditionally ...very traditionally ...I was researching his books and came across this image.

Note how he has applied very traditional brush stroke and composition techniques to a very modern subject. I have no idea how accurate a depiction this is but it is interesting to see how traditional techniques used by Chinese artists can be applied to modern ideas and themes.
The Way of the Brush continues!

Endnote added nov 8

Technozi Fans my laptop died !
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If 500 people gave ONE dollar each ...

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Friday, 22 July 2016

Birds, beasts, Blossoms, and Bugs.

I've owned this book for a about 20 years or longer?
I think I bought it as a xmas or birthday treat for myself.

Its an excellent work on Japanese Art showing the use of Animal Themes in several media, ceramics decoration, lacquer, and several styles of painting. 

I can highly recommend it as one worthwhile hunting down a second hand copy of on amazon or elsewhere.

The author is Harold P. Stern and it was published by Abrams in 1976.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

The 3 Friends of Winter

The Three Friends of Winter is an theme in #chineseart that groups #bamboo #pine and #plumblossom

I suspect its popularity is partly due to it being a great way to show you have mastered a variety of brush techniques !

In this one piece you have an outline style for the blossom solid ink for the bamboo leaves and fine yet strong lines on the branches and pine needles.

Note also how the three plants  contrast in both tone and texture and the use of angles in the composition.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Maitreya Mutates to hotei

#maitreya #budai #hotei

The first #chinese #buddhist sculptures of #maitreya were very ornate.

However from the Sung paintings and sculptures  expressing the popular belief that a Buddhist monk was an avatar of of maitreya known as Budai or Hotei in Japan.

Now this first image is Maitreya in Tantric and Esoteric Chinese and Japanese Buddhist art ... well the ideal version and in an earlier post I showed you Indian and early Chinese versions but there was a reaction distant ornate imagery partly as the influence of the Chan sects spread and partly because a simpler image is easier to render in and on less expensive mediums.

Budai had greater market appeal ?

This is Ming dynasty 

Budai here is a monk conversing  with a Confucian scholar. 
An visual expression of forms of Ne-Confucianism that attempted to reconcile the Way of Confucius with Buddha, an ongoing philosophical ideological and sometimes also political problem over the centuries in China.

Finally here's a Qing dynasty version of the popular ceramic "Fat / Lucky Buddha version.

Compared to some versions I've seen this one is restrained and tasteful!

I've also seen this as Japanese Okimono and Netsuke.

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Tuesday, 12 July 2016

WEI dynasty Maitreya sculpture

#Wei #dynasty #china #buddhist #sculpture #maitreya

Perhaps one characteristic of chinese sculpture that rarely gets commented on is the tendency to "frame" images even freestanding ones and how auras and thrones become part of the support structure whether the material is stone or metal yet the clothing becomes simpler with more drapes and folds and less jewellery. 

Note the date WEI dynasty. These are "ancestors" of those elaborate Qing Tibetan influenced pieces.

Perhaps the relative simplicity of paintings and ceramic sculptures featuring Budai / Hotei is a response or reaction to this?

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Maitreya in Indian Sculpture

#maitreya #kushan #gupta #indiansculpture #buddhistsculpture

Google Plus brilliantly showed the bottom image of the prior blog post as the top image instead of this!

Note how in Indian art Maitreya is masculine  

Now this Gupta  sculpture is from a couple of centuries later!

Still male but the mo has gone and if you've seen Khmer or Thai images of Maitreya you can see the links and the beginnings of a succession of changes to later versions in SE Asia and China

Next time back to China!

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Maitreya One

The first known images of the #Boddhisattva #Maitreya are Indian or #Kushan #sculptures to be more precise.

Clearly a North Indian aristocrat but the first Chinese sculptors to create Buddhist images made this WEI dynasty stele.

And later we get a divergence between images like this but also identifications and depictions of Maitreya as Budai / Hotei.

Budai is an odd blend of Chan eccentric and Taoist Sage.

More about this next time.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

A Boddhisattva's Mount?

#Chinesesculpture #elephant #puxian #samantabhadra #chinesebuddhistart

This has been roughly dated to the #TANG dynasty. It's a rather odd object in that part of it seems to be missing and not merely broken off but to have had a whole detachable upper part missing.

Its an elephant and carved in a white stone and it is standing on a lotus which suggests an association with the #boddhisattva #Samantabhadra.

In many paintings of Samantabhadra also known as Fugen in Japan a pedestal can clearly been seen. So I'm thinking either the top part was broken off perhaps during an anti buddhist riot or there were a separate statue designed to revolve as part of some kind of ritual or because it was made in a separate material, jade, gold, or ivory?

Sunday, 26 June 2016


#dehua #guanyin #kuanyin #sculpture #ceramic #chinese

I know you can see dozens of variants on white robe kuanyin in the shops but there was a time these were technical innovations.

Here's an excellent example from the #AGNSW  Art Gallery of NSW in Sydney.

It works in the round the fine detail on the stool counterbalances the broader drapes and the buddhist symbols are a natural extension of the image.

simple elegant meaningful and good sculpture 

the sculptors who created the first white robe dehua kuanyins had a special genius that often goes unpraised due to the mass production of copies

Monday, 20 June 2016

Turtle Sculpture / Vessel

#Turtle #chinese ceramics #chinesesculpture

The site I found this on did not give an exact date though the use of what could be porcelain or a white stoneware clay and a clear or very light celadon glaze suggest TANG at the earliest to me ?

The combination of carved slabs and possibly two thrown bowls joined lead to an overall effect as much sculptural as ceramic and the simple clear lines remind me a lot of larger WEI dynasty sculptures.

I did state in an earlier post I'ld try to find images of unusual images that are not text book examples. Enjoy

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

A HAN Ceramic Tile


#chinese #ceramic #tile #dragon #AGNSW #asianart

This is one of my favorite objects in the Art Gallery of NSW Asiann collection.

It's small and rough but yet striking and a bit of a mystery.

Is that an angle or a man wearing a cape. Is he dancing taming or fighting with the dragon. Is he a warrior or a shaman or a spirit?

As for the dragon notice how even in this early depiction it has a flexible body and some kind of head crest.

Despite its gray coloring this tile always catches my eye when I visit the Asian art room! It tends to be rotated in and out of storage due to its small size.

I love the composition too!

The next few posts will focus on Chinese sculpture in various mediums.

Friday, 10 June 2016


#diao #hanzi #sculpture #chinese #kanji

Copyright Julie Vaux 2016

I noticed while researching this Chinese dictionaries databases and lexicons print or we preferred the character on the left whereas other dialects and languages preferred the right hand version which doesnt include the meaning of raptor bird though the use of three strokes doesnt remind me of the marks made by a chisel!

If you've ever see how raptor birds stab and tear at meat you'll understand while this word has a second meaning and usage. Next week more sculpture!

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Sunday, 5 June 2016


#rhino #unihan #hanzi #asian languages 

yes I have not forgotten I said I would post about Chinese sculpture 1

Regard this as a footnote to the previous post!

I'm also experimenting with a new card format!

Note how the ideogram refers to rhinos as a browser / grazer and the top part of the character while not being the character for nose reminds one of a rhino's most dominant feature the nose horn which is what rhinoceros literally is in Greek!

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