Sense of Beauty

A Travelling Family

Image By Jase Lim

La Famille de Voyageurs. Bronze Sculpture, 2014 by Bruno Catalano A Travelling Family. Photo taken in Flower Dome at GBTB

I saw this sculpture inside the Flower Dome at Garden by the Bay. Is a gift from Singapore Changi Airport to GBTB.

‘La Famille de voyageurs’ (A Travelling Family) depicts a travelling family as the title informed us. Bruno Catalano cites his experience as a sailor as central to his inspiration.  His eye-catching works, with their hollowed bodies, give a sense of transiency. Moving and changing as one shift one’s perspective on the sculpture. When the emptiness of the body merged with the surroundings, one no longer see it as an art form or sculpture but an image or mirage?

Bruno Catalano is a French Sculptor who was originally from Morocco and the third and last child of a Sicilian family. In 1970, the Catalano family left Morocco for France. Bruno Catalano first works were compact and conventional but the later series become increasingly expressive. In 2004 a flaw in one of his characters – a depiction of Cyrano – prompted him to dig and hollow out the chest. A new path of work ensues.

Pink-Necked Green Pigeon

The Pink-necked Green Pigeon (Treron vernans) have built their nest in my garden around end of Mar 2017. The nest is flimsy because it is only an assembly of some twigs, perching

Jase Lim

Pink-necked Green Pigeon

dangerously on one of the branches. Initially there was only one egg, but the next day, another egg appeared. The colourful male bird is the one incubating the eggs in the day time and the female with duller feather (suppose to be, cannot see clearly at night) take over through the night.

I try to check on the nest daily to make sure the eggs are intact because the nest look so unsafe with just a few twigs, but most of the time the male is incubating the eggs, very still and unmoving. Then one day, while trying to locate the nest, I was confronted with the big fat bottom of the male bird then I take the hint to stop being a busybody.

Netsuke

I came across this object via Pinterest.  I was impressed by the beauty and would love to share it with you.

According to Wikipedia, Netsuke (根付), are miniature sculptures that were invented in 17th-century Japan to serve a practical function (the two Japanese characters ne+tsuke mean “root” and “to attach”). Traditional Japanese garments—robes called kosode and kimono—had no pockets; however, men who wore them needed a place to store their personal belongings, such as pipes, tobacco, money, seals, or medicines.

Their solution was to place such objects in containers (called sagemono) hung by cords from the robes’ sashes (obi). The containers may have been pouches or small woven baskets, but the most popular were beautifully crafted boxes (inrō), which were held shut by ojime, which were sliding beads on cords. Whatever the form of the container, the fastener that secured the cord at the top of the sash was a carved, button-like toggle called a netsuke.

Ancient Beauty

nordic-brooch

An ancient bronze owl brooch was found and now on display at the National Museum in Denmark. The fastener or brooch is flat and decorated with enamel and glass in brilliant colours.  The focal point is perhaps on the bird’s big eyes inlaid with orange glass pupils that seem to stare back at you. The owl’s body is decorated with colourful glass shaped in circles with a green enamel background.

It is believed that the owl is a symbol of wisdom and this rare piece was made between the 1st and 4th century AD by the Roman.

Beauty of Nature

There are many definitions on “nature” from science to geology.  My context here is about the intrinsic characteristics of plants and animals.

It is interesting to note that the distinctive patterns on the flora and fauna serve some purposes; they may have arisen from evolutionary pressures which favor the bearers of certain types of markings.  Example camouflage pattern to be invisible to predators another conspicuous pattern for the purpose of mating and reproducing.

Natures portrayed in art, capturing their beauty in the painting play a small part in raising awareness of valuing nature and prevent it from further exploitation.  

Snuff Bottles

It was common to offer a pinch of snuff as a way to greet friends and relatives in ancient China.  The content may be tobacco which is considered to be a remedy for common illnesses such as colds and headaches.  The bottles were made to be held inside the palm with a very small spoon for extracting the snuff, attached to the stopper.

The snuff bottles were commonly produced using wood, glass, precious and semi-precious stones.  Most collectors are interested in the ‘inside painted’ – bottles painted on the inside surface of the glass.  The earliest painted glass bottles maybe between 1820 and 1830.  Due to intricacy of the painting, a highly skilled artisan was required, the brushes were manipulated via the narrowness of the neck bottle which measured just around 5-6mm and the images has to be painted in reverse.

Today, the snuff bottles were collected for its aesthetic rather than utilitarian purposes.

Onogadori/長尾鶏/Long-tailed Chicken

While we were having lunch, my daughter was excited sighting a pair of rooster and hen roaming the compound.  Her excitement was understandable as it is uncommon to see a fullydressed chicken in Singapore.  While our topic is on chicken, it is my turn to feel amaze when she introduced me to a breed in Japan known as Onogadori.

Onogadori evolved from the common domestic chicken.  The tail lengths measured from 12 to 27 feet.  Japanese breeders provide special hutches with perches well above the ground to keep the tail clean and in good condition.  This breed has been designated by the Japanese government as a Special Natural Monument.

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it – Confucius

The more often we see things around us – even the beautiful and wonderful things, the more they become invisible to us.  That is why we often take for granted the beauty of this world; the flowers, the trees, the birds, the clouds – even those we love.  Because we see things so often that we see them less and less. – Joseph B Wirthlin

About Sharing

Decide to post some photos taken around Singapore after reading the book by Victoria Moran on Creating a Charmed Life – “Don’t keep your appreciation of details to yourself. Point out the wild strawberries barely visible in the grass, the gargolyes atop an otherwise nondescript apartment building, the way the air smells like London after the rain. And surround yourself with people who understand the importance of a nearly unnoticeable item or interlude. Because society at large applauds the big, the noisy, and the obvious, it’s helpful to have in your personal world others who value the small, the quiet and the subtle.”