Travelling to the Kingdom of Happiness – A first look

Our tour guide’s name is Karma (I thought it was a girl’s name) and he’s a strong, dark-skinned man with keen round eyes. The sun must have been unkind to his skin, for at 36 he looks older than his age, especially with the wrinkles around his eyes. When he speaks he places a strong accent on every other syllable, making him sound somewhat too keen and serious. He presented me with the white silk scarf called karta, and told me that I had to put it round my neck myself ‘cos he was not a monk. Continue reading →


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Prayers to the departed
impressed on skinny white flags;
The sun takes down the messages
one by one, to be carried by
the wind who scatters them.
On to the hungry land, where
lives have been waiting to come forth.

Travelling to The Kingdom of Happiness – an unhappy start

This trip to Bhutan is – albeit inadvertently – supposed to be a luck-bringing trip for the new year. But it did not kick off auspiciously. Continue reading →

More about Chinese Old Prints

Something more on the last post on a new style of folklore prints in China. In the example I gave, the scene depicts characters in the fashion of the Republic period, with men wearing Western-style hats, and the woman in fringed shagged hairstyle. The inscriptions on the top right-hand corner tells of a story reminiscent of one of Aesop’s fables, ‘The Boy who Cried Wolves’: Continue reading →

Old Prints from China


王樹村編著,《楊柳青墨線年畫》, 頁40。 出版日期:1980年06月第1版

I’m studying popular prints of China and came across this rather refreshing one that does not copy from old styles. Instead of using fables as subject matter and character names as the title, this new style of prints is very straightforward about the content – a moral teaching on the ‘disadvantages’ of lying.

Picasso’s Vision of Women

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This exquisite bronze model of Jacqueline Roque (?) by Picasso exemplifies the ingenuity of the artist. She’s like a goddess, with its lightness, its grace and the elegant contour of her head seen from every angle.

Read this (marketing) blog on Picasso’s Many Talents, whose multifaceted talents seem to speak to this photo


I was strolling around Liulichang in Beijing in search of art supply and books, and this ink painting of Putin caught my attention. It’s an artist’s advertisement for his portraits. Above it the banner is promoting the house’s ink brushes.