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Saturday, 31 December 2011

Asian Art Investment Boom

 Here is an interesting article from The Guardian that describes the continued buoyancy of the Chinese art market as collectors see art (as well as other luxury items like wine and diamonds) as a steady investment as well as an aesthetic pleasure.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Heart and Soul- Shinto

When I was in high school one of my classmates whinged to our R. E. teacher about her subject. Why should he have to take it? It was a waste of his time. My teacher's response was one of weariness- she must of been asked this question at least twice a week- she said that learning about religious beliefs helps you to understand people, what they say and why they do the things they do. I couldn't agree more! Which is what is interesting about this excellent radio show from the BBC this time on Shinto. How can you understand the history of Japanese art without any understanding of the country's historic religious practices?

Saturday, 10 December 2011


There was a review in The Guardian the other day about a new exhibition of samurai suits of armour at the Musée du Quai Branly, Paris. Unfortunately the closest I shall get to France anytime soon is a limp croissant from some detestable bakery.

The samurai are, like geisha, an anachronistic image that has permeated my western consciousness of Japan, but in reality they have been done away with by our modernity. The very same modernity that allowed any real awareness in the first instance. Can you tell I wrote my undergraduate dissertation on British policy in Japan during the twilight years of the Bakumatsu? I am feeling all wistful, I may have to get round to watching The Last Samurai some time soon.

Ma Lin

I'm writing an essay at the moment on Ma Lin and Southern Song poetic painting and thought I should share one of the most ephemeral images I have ever seen.

Ma Lin, Scholar Reclining and Watching Rising Clouds Fan:

Friday, 2 December 2011

Belated pop of the week ix

The Bawdies Feat. Ai- Love you need you

Can China save the world

Can China save the world? There's a lot of discussion/hype around China's global economic power and what could potentially happen. I like to think the beeb is still impartial enough to provide a balanced fact-based analysis.