Guangzhou Art

Koi - art made with silk embroidery.

Koi – art made with silk embroidery.

One room of the Chen Ancestral Temple held beautiful examples of painting with silk thread.
Another room held these beautiful blue stone sculptures:

Ancestral urns?

Ancestral urns?

There were rooms of artifacts related to scholars; during the more recent dynasties, rich Chinese were often scholars.

This describes the next photo.

This describes the next photo.

A giant's inkstone with beautiful carving

A giant’s inkstone with beautiful carving

This describes the next photo.

This describes the next photo.

A scholar's study.

A scholar’s study.

This scholar would not have been able to see out his window, but would instead have been inspired by beautiful classic scenes.

A window screen in the scholar's room.

A window screen in the scholar’s room.

These look like roses. China teas?

These look like roses. China teas?

Beautiful glass work of ducks on a pond in front of a mountain.

Beautiful glass work of ducks on a pond in front of a mountain.

Chen Corridors

A simply framed bit of garden.

A simply framed bit of garden.

Inside the Chen Ancestral temple corridors criss-crossed the space and surrounded an interior courtyard. At the back was a sculpture garden. The various rooms contained museum artifacts and art (next post.)

See the drinks dispenser at the end of the corridor?

See the drinks dispenser at the end of the corridor?

See the drinks dispenser at the end of the corridor?

Ruining the look of the back garden (and I don't mean the neighbours!)

Ruining the look of the back garden (and I don’t mean the neighbours!)

Hemmed in on all sides.

Hemmed in on all sides.

Also in the back garden, this charming sculpture:

This statue is modern

This statue is modern.

The walkway was never devoid of people, but by now the weeklong celebration of the founding of the People’s Republic was over and there were fewer local tourists.

A walkway around the interior courtyard.

A walkway around the interior courtyard.

A walkway around the interior courtyard.

A walkway around the interior courtyard.

When preparing this post, I was surprised that I hadn’t taken photos of bicycles for several days. To remedy that, I offer this.

 

A back corridor.

A back corridor.

Next Chinese Post: Art from the Chen Family Ancestral Hall.

Chen Family Ancestral Temple

Old and not so new.

Old and not so new.

Day 19.  We flew from Guilin to Guangzhou (Canton! Who knew!) in the morning and visited this colourful and fascinating building.  The one in the foreground. The roof of the one in the background looks quite swish, even though the floors and windows below do not.

The Chen family ancestral temple is used by the Guangdong Museum of Folk Arts and Crafts to show the most characteristic Guangdong architecture.  Guangdong is a part of Guangzhou.

The roof is covered with statues and imagery for which I have no explanation, but the colours were marvellous.  I have brightened and saturated the photos as it was near to mid-day and mid-day photos are usually washed out.  The smog was considerably less that in the first half of our trip.

Room-0006

 

Room-9982

 

Room-9981

 

This one is my favourite.

This one is my favourite.

 

Next Chinese posts will show the interior corridors and the back garden.  The final post in this series will include art and museum items.

Ghost City, Fengdu China

A beautiful entrance to the Ghost City proper.  It was very foggy/smoggy and humid.

A beautiful entrance to the Ghost City proper. It was very foggy/smoggy and humid.

It was a steamy and smoggy day when we were offered a ‘free’ tour of The Ghost City. In other words, this tour was included in our overall tour/cruise price. Fengdu is 170 Km downstream from Chongqing and it was our last excursion before we docked and debarked the next morning.  There was a considerable amount of uphill trekking to get to the site entrance. And considerably more to get to the more esoteric aspects of the ghostly city.

Another view of the entrance area.

Another view of the entrance area.

An interesting thing about Chinese floral displays was that they were not planted in the ground, but left in their pots.  Is there something to be learned by northern park designers from this?  There certainly didn't appear to be much vandalism - but then in China, in 'official' places you wouldn't expect any.

An interesting thing about Chinese floral displays was that they were not planted in the ground, but left in their pots. Is there something to be learned by northern park designers from this? There certainly didn’t appear to be much vandalism – but then in China, in ‘official’ places you wouldn’t expect any.

The city has been around for nearly 2,000 years, filling it with a spooky sense of the past. The story begins back in the Han Dynasty (206 BCE-220 CE), when two officials decided to run away and live out their lives, where they eventually, the story goes, became immortal. Yin and Wang, the names of the officials, were combined during a later dynasty to mean “King of the Underworld.”There is background to be found here and here.

Superficially, Fengdu looked like a fairly typical older shrine.

Fairly typical Chinese architecture, roof lines and colour.

Fairly typical Chinese architecture, roof lines and colour.

Painting detail.

Painting detail.

Roof detail; mythical figures.

Roof detail; mythical figures.

A terrace for gathering and meditating on what one has seen?

A terrace for gathering and meditating on what one has seen?

 

The end of the tour - vendors selling all manner of spirited souvenirs.

The end of the tour – vendors selling all manner of spirited souvenirs.

There was a long set of stairs back down to the cruise ship.

Returning to the ship from Fengdu.

Returning to the ship from Fengdu.

That’s enough photos for one post, and a good storyteller leaves things hanging.
The next post will include the ghost-like aspect of Fengdu.

Chinese Calligraphy and Art

Did not note the artist.

Did not note the artist.

I love Chinese calligraphy and ink drawings.  I spent much of my time at the Shanghai Museum in the galleries devoted to that type of art.

Chan chun - Flowers in ink - 1544 (Ming)

Chan chun – Flowers in ink – 1544 (Ming)

Mei Qing - Scenery of the Yellow Mountain ~1650 (Qing)

Mei Qing – Scenery of the Yellow Mountain ~1650 (Qing)

Huang Shen - Peony - 1745 (Qing)

Huang Shen – Peony – 1745 (Qing)

Wang Shishen - Flowers - first half of 1700’s (Qing)

Wang Shishen – Flowers – first half of 1700’s (Qing)

Wang Shishen - Flowers - first half of 1700’s (Qing)

Wang Shishen – Flowers – first half of 1700’s (Qing)

Wang Shishen - Flowers - first half of 1700’s (Qing)

Wang Shishen – Flowers – first half of 1700’s (Qing)

Wang Shishen - Flowers - first half of 1700’s (Qing)

Wang Shishen – Flowers – first half of 1700’s (Qing)

Qi Huang- Seven Cocks - 1864-1957 - Qin and after

Qi Huang- Seven Cocks – 1864-1957 – Qin and after

Qi Huang- Seven Cocks - 1864-1957 - Qin and after

Qi Huang- Seven Cocks (detail) – 1864-1957 – Qin and after

This last brush artist, (2 photos above) who lived into the middle of the 20th century, either used bolder colours, or, because his work is not as old, the inks have not faded. I wonder which.

Self explanatory - and applies to the last two photos.

Self explanatory – and applies to the last two photos.

Buddhist stele. 6th C.

Buddhist stele. 6th C.

Buddhist stele.

Buddhist stele.

Next Post – More Shanghai street photography.

A Pixie at the Shanghai Museum

We were not there to see the Impressionists (more's the pity) but I found lots of interesting things to see.

We were not there to see the Impressionists (more’s the pity) but I found lots of interesting things.

The Shanghai Museum is a “must see. ”  It is architecturally satisfying, inside and out, professional, classy and has a huge variety of exhibit types and methods of display.

Lovely sculptures protect the building:

Shanghai Museum-2961

Shanghai Museum-2960

This plaque applies to the next photo, the sculpture of a Pixie.

This plaque applies to the next photo, the sculpture of a Pixie.

The description of this        sculpture is in the previous photo.

The description of this sculpture is in the previous photo.

The stairwells were well lit so I could photograph how beautiful the interior is.

Shanghai Museum-2964

Shanghai Museum-2963

While cameras were permitted, the light levels within the museum were too low to capture much.

The map below is fascinating as it shows the current spread of the hundreds of ethnic groups in China. The major group (90%) are the Han Chinese as shown by the vast areas of pale yellow in the east. Tibetans (golden yellow) occupy the south west and Mongolians (bright chartreuse) the central north. The Uygur (light chartreuse green) are in the area in the northwest beneath the Kazaks (forest green.) While waiting to take the picture I overheard the following comment from a well-heeled couple with American accents, she of Chinese descent, he a Caucasian: “We are descended from the Tang Dynasty (618-906) but I don’t see it in the list. Why is it not there?” Ummm, because these are ethnic groups not dynastic descendants…?

Shanghai Museum-2966

I took one photo of a costume because it was so colourful but forgot to note the group which would have worn it.

Shanghai Museum-2967

Next post: Chinese calligraphy and painting.

Humble Administrator’s Garden Details – Suzhou #3

Lotus seed head.

Lotus seed head.

This post is limited to a few photos of the details I found interesting during my exploration of the garden. And at the bottom is some trivia about Suzhou. Unfortunately all we saw of Suzhou was the garden and the bridge over the river (two posts ago.)

Pavement.

Pavement.

One of many ornate screens.

One of many ornate screens.

Bonsai.  There was also a bonsai 'nursery' in another part of the garden, but I did not get any good photos there.

Bonsai. There was also a bonsai ‘nursery’ in another part of the garden, but I did not get any good photos there.

A fellow-traveler who takes Tai Chi informed me that the instrument being played in the boat in the previous post is a Pipa. Perhaps someone knows the names of these instruments?

A concert with traditional instruments was just finishing as we approached this tea house.

A concert with traditional instruments was just finishing as we approached this tea house.

Always a delight to get a photo of a child.

Always a delight to get a photo of a child.

I would like to have one of these for my house. Too bad they are too big to carry in a suitcase.

I would like to have one of these for my house. Too bad they are too big to carry in a suitcase.

Trivia about Suzhou:

* The Suzhou Museum was designed by I.M. Pei, whose family came from Suzhou. Pei lived most of his life in the US and was a very successful architect there. Perhaps his best-known work is the glass pyramid outside the Louvre in Paris.

* Suzhou (pronounced Sue Joe) used to be anglicized to SooChow.

* A lengthy blog post by Yangzi Man about Suzhou with LOTS of pictures will give you some idea of what else you should see if you ever go to Suzhou.

Next severalposts: Shanghai