Friday, 31 December 2010

Day 217-219 & 221-Colours Of My Friends

And as some of you might already know,  the Palace had decreed that there be gifts  to be distributed, as with the tradition of the most benevolent Maharajah. This year, the Palace bequeathed some of India's most vibrant colours, colours made tangible with Bombay Bales.

The  method of choosing who were to be the recipients of these gifts was pretty random and totally circumstantial. It was also dependent on whether the person chosen responded to the palace in time. A list was then made out.

No two gifts were the same as each one was made with the specific person in mind. It was the strict instructions of the Palace that no short cut be taken and that every color chosen, every ribbon cut was to be tended to personally by Sans!

 And so for each of the benefactor, this was the method employed by Sans! With every name she drew,  she closed her eyes and imagined. When she opened her eyes, two sometimes three words would appear before her, determining the colours of her friend. She smiled often for this exercise pleased her greatly.

The 1st one took 30 minutes and after one and half hour, she made four. And then six.

It soon became too dark for her to differentiate the colours and this was where she stopped on Day 218.

And then slowly but surely, she finished making colours for her friends at the end of Day 219.

And on Day 221, she and her loyal assistant, Fafa, wrapped each and every parcel but not before tucking in a note written personally  by Sans! And in the note was written the two or three words associated with each friend.

For this year, this was the last sort of creative project by Sans! 
A project completely inspired by her friends.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Day 220-The Fall

by Monty

Things are never what they seem,
Don’t always fit into life’s scheme,
When things to me don’t seem right,
I withdraw to the darkest night.

There I walk a lonely trail
And listen to the night-wind wail,
Searching for what I can’t find,
That’s buried deep within my mind.

There’s no way out, no way in,
No other road to try again,
Then I awake from this dream
And all was not what it would seem
I came to the end of this year, happy at the thought that I have had no incident of dry spell and then of course it hit me. The dry spell, I mean. I sink a little during these times because nothing appeals and I pretty much  look , feel and behave like a living dead. So in these months when I am not particularly inspired, or very motivated or remotely creative, I thirst for  any kind of visual delights

This year, I found my fix in The Fall.

If I were dead when I was watching it, I must have found heaven a hundred times during that 2 over hours. I did not even watch it properly, pausing it often to take screen shots of all the scenes so beautiful, I was gasping for air as I clicked stop-snip-save.

Likened to watching a moving series of Salvador Dali's paintings, an artist I was crazy about when I was in my Surrealist phase, this film was a personal epic for Tarsem Singh, an Indian movie director, better known for his Pepsi's gladiator commercial and the music video of R.E.M.'s Losing My Religion. The music video was apparently inspired by the Gabriel Garcia Marquez's short story A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings. Tarsem had spent millions of his own dollars and travelled to over 24 countries  to make this movie in 4 1/2 years. I recognised some of these countries and it blew my mind that this man had taken such pains for some of these shots that lasted barely 3 seconds on screen.

"In a hospital a little girl with a broken collar bone meets a bedridden  stuntman who starts telling her a fantastical story which reflects his state of mind. As time goes by fiction and reality start to intertwine in this uplifting epic fantasy."

 Many critics panned the storyline but for me, what is there not to like about a tale told to a child and then see how the same story is translated  on screen with a child's naive wonderment and unbridled imagination. Needless to say, this is very much a tale for Sans! She, who loves the unbelievable, the melodramatical and definitely, the magical.

So of course, I will say watch the movie and there are many reasons you should.

Watch it for the splendour..

watch it for the colours..

 for its quirky characters

 and the stunning performance of Romanian  child star,
Catinca Untaru 

Watch it for Eiiko Ishioka's fantastical costumes

and then travel to the many beautiful locations



and definitely India

but mostly, watch it for the out of this world imagery

that only the best imagination can buy 
(the film boasts zero CGI-computer generated imagery)

This is the world I want to create

especially if it has a hookah in it .

So watch it if you want a piece of heaven .

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Day 217- Palace Treasures

British Museum- Mughal Miniature Painting -
Manohar (attributed to), Emperor Jahangir weighing his son Khurram in gold, 
an album-painting in gouache on paper

A display of the riches of the Mughal emperors
This scene illustrates an event in 1607 described in the Mughal emperor Jahangir's memoirs, the Tuzuk-i Jahangiri ('regulations of Jahangir'). On the first day of both the solar and lunar years, it was customary for the emperor, or one of his sons, to be weighed against 'gold and silver and other metals, [and] all sorts of silks and cloths and various grains'. The emperor's weight in treasure would then be distributed to the poor. This was a tradition started by Jahangir's father Akbar (reigned 1556-1605). The ceremony took place at an auspicious hour, as calculated by astrologers, and holy men held the ropes of the scales, invoking blessings and prayers during the weighing. Here, the young prince Khurram, the future Shāh Jahan (reigned 1628-57), sits in one of the large scales as his father, Emperor Jahangir, gauges his weight against bags of gold. Generals and ministers of the court observe the ceremony. Tiny inscriptions state the identity of each of the main figures. Trays laid out in the foreground show further riches to be weighed, and a treasurer notes the proceedings in a book.
Both the emperor and the prince have haloes of light around their faces, denoting their imperial status. The details of the scene, such as the jewellery, weapons, luxurious carpets, the golden throne and the Chinese porcelains displayed on the pavilion wall, are most likely intended to demonstrate the enormous wealth of the Mughals.

And so it is that our very own Maharajah's Palace having also adopted this ancient tradition of gifting at the start of a blog-year,  is abuzz with the  frenzy of the necessary preparations.
Display outside a jewellery store in Mandarin Gallery Singapore 
In the meantime and until then, 
May there be  peace, prosperity  and happiness 
for one and all!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Day 216- The Second Year

 Replica of an ancient sundial , Paris Flea Market 1993

Time passes as a shadow and before I know it, I am as Mr White Rabbit says  : LATE! LATE! LATE!

Be it the 8th (the 1st day of my dollhouse journey) or the 12th (my very 1st post here) , I know I am late. Writing this post is harder than I have anticipated. Mind you,  it is not for want of trying.  So many times I sat  before my laptop , fingers on the keyboard, ready to condense my 2nd year into a singular post. And each time, I drew a blank.

 Traditional Toy of India : Painted  wooden howdah -Little India, 2010

An uneventful year, perhaps? On the contrary, I think too much had happened such that I didn't know where to start. So today, I looked back at the very 1st post I made this year and  saw that it was about my travel. I had written about a short trip to Malaysia and how I saw my Maharajah's Palace in the capital.  As I read on, I began to see how the milestones of the last year were marked  by the various TRAVELS..

 Palettes made from scallop shells -gift from Flora, Italy 2010

Firstly, there was the path never travelled where I ventured and found out to my utter surprise that I could be some kind of an alchemist. I sort of turned gold into brass, silver into wicker and plastic into rust, all with the stroke of a paintbrush. A beginner's luck  but surely  the 1st important turning point of my creative journey.

 My 1st -Eva the Peddlar Doll, my favourite as well- Singapore 2010

Then I created my very first doll. I named her Eva after a special friend. I gave her all the gifts from Eva and just like a Creator,  I also gave her a destiny. I shake my head in wonder as unknowingly, I have intended for her then that  she shall always be travelling.

 Traditional Toy - Pony Pull toys- Flea Market in Ljublana, Slovenia 2010

I then travelled afar, again on untrodden path to meet a virtual doll's house friend. Little did I know that this meeting with Rosanna would mark the beginning of a really beautiful friendship and the first of several meetings with even more virtual friends. 

 Farmhouse Jr- April 2010

And as I journeyed further into unfamiliar territory, there was much that I destroyed but that was also how I found out that

 The Rolla's House - November 2010

...I could rebuild.....

 Patchwork Balls-Colombo, Sri Lanka 2010

...ALL THANKS  to the help , encouragement and generosity of my friends, some of  whom I have never met but who have shared so much of yourself that I felt like I have known you forever.

House windchimes - Singapore 2010

And so when it was one of you who had travelled on a long long flight to visit me, I said to you : Mi casa es su casa and what an honour it was for me, Dale that you came and how great it was that because you came, I met Cindy, Asuka and Pei Li

 Man-Woman Weather House -Flea Market in Ljublana, Slovenia 2010

And since July this year, no matter rain or shine, Cindy and Asuka will travel to meet with me once a month.  For the first time since I started this journey in 2008, I  found my monthly meet mini friends. A great and talented duo who not only share my passion but have also unstintingly shared their knowledge and their skills with me.

The Rollas with Rosanna's bowls, handmade of course-Italy 2010

Then Rosanna arrived, her 1st time in South East Asia...and together, we travelled some more .

Miniature wooden dolls -Little India 2010

And it was also about this time that I met my very first friend from India who herself had travelled far to settle in the US. I am so happy to have met you, Gagan and as I heed your advice, consider yourself one of my blessings.

 Quilted Cloth Toy-Kandy, Sri Lanka 2010

And throughout the year, gifts travelled far and wide to reach me.

Chinese folk dolls -Chinatown, 2010

From Spain- Muchas Gracias,  EvaMeli Carolina, Carmen and Carmen
Italy- , Grazie mille, Rosanna and Flora.  
Poland- Ewa , dziękuję Finland-Ira, kiitos
 Denmark-Susanne, tak Norway-Helene, and takk
New Zealand- Thank you so much, Glenda and Mercedes
US- kisses to you, Ilisha and Dale and Katie and Kim and Jayne and Carol and Victoria
Japan-Tomoko, ありがとう gozaimasu
Singapore- Asuka, Cindy, MarG and SuZ, 謝謝!

Traditional Pecking Toy -Sri Lanka , 2010

Much as I love my gifts, I treasure even more how some of you always gather here to tolerate my chatter.

Paper Theatre-Nativity, Salzburg, Austria 2010
They say 'tis the season to give and share. But no matter how many times I have written and how often I have said so, no words will  suffice to express my deepest gratitude to many of you . Without whom, my second year would just have passed like the shadows, quietly and without any footprints.


In the spirit of more sharing, here's A Rare Pic of  Sans! -Singapore, Yesterday

PS As at today, 253 of you actually think this blog  is worth some attention. Here's a toast to each and everyone of you and another toast to a even more eventful journey next year.
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