Book Review: Auspicious Animals, The Art of Good Omens by Jun’ichi Uchiyama

If you have ever looked at a Japanese silk screen print or sculpture and wondered what the cranes, monkeys or bears mean…this book is for you! I found this beautiful book in an art gallery and decided that, despite the hefty price-tag, I simply had to own it! This elegant coffee table book charts the artistic symbolism of animals in northern Asia with a particular focus on Japan and China. Each page is translated and in both Japanese and English.

10 Uplifting things I found on the internet this week #6

1. A book diorama of Georgian Dublin 2. Bunraku’s atmospheric and chilled mix of ambient tracks inspired by different parts of Tokyo 3. The world’s smallest and deadliest cat 4. Tree trunk landscape art by Alison Moritsugu 5. A recipe for salted caramel matcha latte by Cooking with a Wallflower 6. These stunning wooden carvingsContinue reading “10 Uplifting things I found on the internet this week #6”

The Empty Boat by Chuang Tzu

He who rules men lives in confusion;He who is ruled by men lives in sorrow.Yao therefore desiredNeither to influence othersNor to be influenced by them.The way to get clear of confusionAnd free of sorrowIs to live with TaoIn the land of the great Void. Chuang Tzu (300 B.C.)

Travel: Wellington’s Chinese New Year Lantern Festival

Despite all of the media beat-up around Corona Virus, the Lantern Festival to celebrate Chinese New Year went ahead on Wellington’s waterfront the other night. It was really beautiful, bustling full of people and one of those sacred and special Wellington evenings where there was virtually no wind and all was peaceful, balmy and summery.Continue reading “Travel: Wellington’s Chinese New Year Lantern Festival”

Comforting Thought A frog in a well never knows the vast ocean

There is an ancient Taoist expression that ‘A frog in a well never knows the vast ocean’. This is a reminder to be humble and to accept the world as being vast, with our own knowledge of it limited. We must never assume to have the answers to everything, but instead be humble students.

Political and cultural freedom in New Zealand has reached its most vulnerable point in history

In the past week writ large across the world, we have seen how millions of people have protested extradition laws in Hong Kong. This would allow Hong Kong authorities to extradite Hong Kong residents to China for crimes they have committed instead of being tried in Hong Kong. Why the uproar? Because China has anContinue reading “Political and cultural freedom in New Zealand has reached its most vulnerable point in history”

Day out in Wellington: The Terracotta Warriors at Te Papa Museum

The first week that we moved to Wellington we went to see Te Papa Museum’s landmark exhibition: Terracotta Warriors: Guardians of Immortality. Enshrined in darkness and dim light, the exhibition feels like being submerged into the underworld. The exhibition offers you a rare opportunity to have an intimate and immersive encounter with remarkable treasures fromContinue reading “Day out in Wellington: The Terracotta Warriors at Te Papa Museum”

Eerie and Glorious Fake Cities Left Empty in China

“Entire townships and villages appear to have been airlifted from their historical and geographical foundations in England, France, Greece, the United States, and Canada and spot-welded to the margins of Chinese cities,” according to Bianca Bosker, author of Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China. Tianducheng:  A Fake Parisian Wonder Originally conceived as an homageContinue reading “Eerie and Glorious Fake Cities Left Empty in China”

Travel: Yarchen Gar, Tibet

Yarchen Gar also known as the Yaqên Orgyän Temple is located in the Garze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Sichuan Province, China Geographically remote and nestled in a valley some 4,000 metres above sea level, the temple rarely sees tourists or visitors. The monastery is associated with the Nyingma tradition of Tibetan Buddhism . At Yarchen Gar there is a concentration ofContinue reading “Travel: Yarchen Gar, Tibet”