Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Sea rocks, Ventimiglia

Migrants sleep on the rocks by the sea in Ventimiglia, at the border between Italy and France. June 15, 2015. (Photo: Massimo Pinca/AP)

“The first man who, having fenced in a piece of land, said "This is mine," and found people naïve enough to believe him, that man was the true founder of civil society. From how many crimes, wars, and murders, from how many horrors and misfortunes might not any one have saved mankind, by pulling up the stakes, or filling up the ditch, and crying to his fellows: Beware of listening to this impostor; you are undone if you once forget that the fruits of the earth belong to us all, and the earth itself to nobody.”
Jean Jacques Rousseau
On the Origin of the Inequality of Mankind (1754) 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Shadow Souls - Romanesque sculptures in Alsace photographed by Jean-Paul Fuhry

1. Lautenbach. A character riding a dragon. Portal jamb, details of friezes.
2. Lautenbach. Lovers surprised by the husband. Portal jamb, details of friezes.
3. Lautenbach. Cat and man, woman and child. Portal jamb, details of friezes.
4. Lautenbach. A man eaten by a snake. Portal jamb, details of friezes.
5. Lautenbach. A man eaten by a pig. Portal jamb, details of friezes.
6. Lautenbach. The kiss. Portal jamb, details of friezes.

7, 8. Murbach.  Lions, tympanum of the eastern gate.

9. Guebwiller. Detail of the lintel.
10. Guebwiller. Statue of the transept tower.
11. Guebwiller. A capital decorated with a bird of prey.

12. Kaysersberg. Bird of prey. Capital of the west portal.
13. Kaysersberg. Atlantean. Lintel of portal.

14. Sélestat. A capital decorated with a man holding in each hand a monster.
15. Sélestat. A capital decorated with an angel with book.
16. Sélestat. A capital decorated with griffins back-to-back.

17. Neuwiller. Bearded Atlante. Lintel of the north lateral portal. Church of St. Pierre and St. Paul. 
18. Neuwiller. A capital decorated with entwined dragons.
19. Neuwiller. A capital decorated with two monstrous dogs.

20. Strasbourg. Sarcophagus of Adelochus (Adeloch). Detail with Nereid riding a fish. Church of St. Thomas.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Geometry of the Folds - Masks, birds, animals.

Origami Artworks by Toyoaki Kawai

1. Female demon's mask.
2. Ravens.
3. Long-nosed goblin, Daruma, Fox mask.
4. Java sparrow made with thick, smooth "torinoko" paper.
5. Red and black mask, Two-faced mask. The red and black mask uses two different colors folded back to back.
6. Ray and Carp.
7. Devil's mask, Old man's mask, Deija devil's mask.
8. Swan, Standing crane, Flamingo. The standing crane is made of "mitsumata" paper while the flamingo is made of "saiun" paper.
9. Buddha's mask, Golden ghost's mask. Folkcraft paper was used for these masks.
10. Dinosaur and Snake.
11. Masks for Chinese opera.
12. Frog and Water Lilies.
13. Seagull, Bat, Pigeon, Parrot.
14. Butterfly and Caterpillars.
15. Turtle and Rabbit.
16. Cicada and Dragonfly.
17. Giraffe and Elephant.
18. Horse.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Tapa - The Bark of the Myth

1. Irian Jaya, Biak Island, Geelvink bay. Tapa. The feminine spirit symbolizing the eternal reproduction. Beaten bark. 86 x 125 cm. Beginning of the twentieth Century.

2. Irian Jaya, Geelvink Bay. Tapa. Composition of mythical characters and astral symbols". Detail of beaten bark.  95 x 70 cm.

3. Irian Jaya, Humboldt Bay. Tapa. The four faces of the Spirit Creator. Beaten bark.  95 x 70 cm. First half of the twentieth century.

4. Irian Jaya, Humboldt Bay. Tapa. The Spirit Creator that becomes a pair of twins. Beaten bark.  116 x 60 cm.

5. Irian Jaya, Humboldt Bay. Tapa. Mythological representation of a spirit that generates life with his arms. Beaten bark.  80 x 63 cm.

6. Irian Jaya, Lake Sentani. Tapa. Dance loincloth with lizards, spirals and fishes. Beaten bark.  100 x 188 cm.

7. Oro Province, Papua New Guinea. Tapa. Fishes and seaweeds. Beaten bark.  75 x 140 cm.

8. Solomon Islands, Melanesia. Round Tapa with irregular edges. Beaten bark.  Diameter 103 cm.

9. Fiji Islands. Tapa with lozenges. Beaten bark. 100 x 188 cm. Circa 1929-1935.

10. Fiji Islands. Tapa with geometric patterns. Beaten bark. 152 x 176 cm.  

11. Wallis and Fortuna. Tapa dance costume. Beaten bark. 200 x 160 cm. 

12. Wallis and Fortuna. Tapa dance costume. Beaten bark. 180 x 102 cm.

13. Wallis Islands. Tapa. Beaten bark. Width 180 cm.

14. Samoan Islands. Tapa subdivided into sixty square containing floral motifs with four or five petals. Beaten bark. 100 x 170 cm. 

15. Samoan Islands. Tapa motifs that representing taboo spaces (where it is forbidden to go). Beaten bark. 185 x 205 cm. 

16. Samoan Islands. Tapa with lozenges. Beaten bark. 120 x 175 cm.

17. Samoan Islands. Tapa. Beaten bark. 304 x 218 cm.

Tapa is the generic name used in the Pacific for the cloth made from bast (i.e. the inner bark) of saplings of the paper mulberry (Broussenetia papyrifera), a tree taken from Southeast Asia by the ancestors of the Polynesian peoples several thousands of years ago. In some Pacific islands cloth was also made from the inner bark of the breadfruit (Artocarpus incisus), the banyan (Ficus Indica) and coastal hibiscus trees (Hibiscus tiliaceus). The narrow bark strips are soaked and then beaten for many hours until they are approximately 18 inches wide. The strips are then felted together to make cloth of varying thicknesses. This craft is still practiced in parts of Papua New Guinea, in Vanuatu and in Samoa, but the largest decorated pieces are made in Fiji (masi) and in Tonga (ngatu). 
~ Wendy E. Cowling.  

The name "Tapa" is coming from two Tahitian words TA or KA that means material and PA that means pleated or beaten.