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Thursday, August 22, 2019

Heartachingly Beautiful

How could I have been so blind!?

I have lived for years in Singapore and never paid attention to the Hungry Ghost Festival and the depth of meaning it has for people I buy food from every day! I was so bewitched by the draperies that I spent another 30 minutes today admiring as many bits as I could up close. I take back what I said yesterday. Parts of these draperies are really impressive. I will post close-ups of some parts and THEN, I will post my own work. Readers can then go ahead and LAUGH at my work.

I love the gradated shading.

This part was very high up. Even though I climbed on a chair, I could not achieve a true close-up. This was really my favourite part. I love the vibrant colours on the bird of paradise.

Flower close-up.

This other bit is my other favourite. I love the slight tinge of grey on the stork.

Such a majestic dragon, don't you think?

Now, guess who made this piece of junk?

I still cannot believe that I got to touch and feel and photograph all this embroidery for free! Isn't this what museum fees are for? These folks at Chong Pang are so amazing!! The thing is this. The folks at Chong Pang don't think they are amazing. I appear to be the only crazy woman to be fascinated by all of them. 

The man who put up the display is very old. He is so old that his face looks like a dried fig. He even has rheumy eyes. The men who helped him to put up the display are younger, but they are STILL old. There were no young men around to help. Will knowledge of these traditional practices slowly pass into the mists of time? I tried to ask these younger old men about the significance of each display. They too did not know. They simply said that this is what they do.

I have so many questions and no one to answer them. 

I wonder if such lore is documented in books. Even if they were, it would have to be Chinese books, and I cannot read Chinese! Oh! It is such a liability to not be able to read Chinese at all! I envy all of you who can read Chinese and I am glad that I made my children learn Chinese. It isn't just that China is an emerging power. There truly is so much that is fascinating about Chinese culture and history. I am only able to access low brow Chinese romance drama series, and even then, I need English subtitles. The higher level cultural stuff is all inaccessible to me because I am illiterate in Chinese.

The dried fig-like old man looked at me with his rheumy eyes and asked if I could print a photo of his display for him. You bet I will. I will print TWO kick ass big photos for him!

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