Monday, February 27, 2012

dim sum ii

On our way back from the Great Wall, we stopped at a jade factory.  Well, we stopped at a sales room for jade with mock “craftsmen” in the foyer.  Some of the pieces were stunning.

This bowl containing two koi was carved from a single piece of jade -- white with an orange agate "flaw."  If I had not foresworn purchasing any more decorative pieces, this bowl would have been in my luggage.

The jade sales room also sold paintings.  At least, I thought they were paintings.  The art was, to say the least, mundane.  Chinese art morphed to appeal to occidental eyes.

But something drew my eye to the surface of the pieces.  They appeared to have a glimmering texture -- as if metal dust had been added to the paint.

They were not paintings.  The images were created with embroidered silk threads that gave the piece an interesting texture.  Far more interesting than the subject matter.  But not interesting enough to be shipped to Mexico.

Roy and I took one day off from sight-seeing.  Instead of heading off to some tourist attraction, we decided to walk around the neighborhood near our hotel.  We found a small urban park where people were enjoying a day in the cold.  It was almost a Seurat moment.

What could evoke China more than young men playing table tennis?  The paddle Nixon and Kissinger used to entice China into the community of nations.

Near the park, was a busy street lined with trees.  I am not certain what it was.  The gray skies?  The European trimming of the trees?  The scooter?  The stylishly-dressed middle aged women?  Or maybe it was the combination.

But, for a moment, I thought I was back in Paris.  It is a bit like déjà vu, but more ephemeral.  More like spatial dislocation.  Whatever it is, it is almost always a pleasant interlude in my cerebral sitting room.


Felipe Zapata said...

Again, nice photos. About how large was the jade bowl? Looks tiny, but there is no perspective, so I don't know why I think that.

Steve Cotton said...

Probably 6 or 8 inches across.  It was a very nice work of art.  If I was still picking up pieces for my collection, it would have fit right in.  As it is, I need to divest myself of such things.