Tag Archives: Cultural Heritage

When an Axe means Good Things

4 Nov
Fascinating! We went shopping yesterday at Zhongdong Dashicheng and they have a huge area dedicated to wedding supplies. One of the many tokens they were all selling were these axes.
 
I was guessing either A) they take ‘leave your parents and cleave unto your wife a bit too serious” or B)  these marriages are a LOT more bloody than I’m used to 🤣😂
 
One of my students aid maybe after you get married you have to cut more wood than normal 😂😅😆
 
What I learned. . . . The word axe ( ) is a homophone of ‘lucky’ () — both are variations of ‘fu’, and they are made of peach wood which is used to ward off evil spirits. So basically you cut out the evil and bring in the good fortune. So awesome!
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Rising Petals

25 Jul

Lovely flower sculpture in #Pudong #Airport in #Shanghai.

Bangladesh art, culture week in Bangkok

30 Mar

“Bangladesh art, culture week in Bangkok”

via “Prothom Alo”

Shakila Jafar

The first-ever ‘Bangladesh Art and Culture Week 2016’ began in Bangkok on Tuesday evening.

Bangladesh ambassador to Thailand Saida Muna Tasneem inaugurated the event at Thailand’s most prestigious art gallery, the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, said a press release on Wednesday.

“We have arranged the Bangladesh Art and Culture Week to showcase Bangladesh’s art and culture to the Thai people with a view to portraying a progressive, liberal and culturally vibrant image of Bangladesh and of its people to Thailand, its elites and its common people,” Ambassador Tasneem said.

This is the first Bangladesh art and culture week in Bangladesh’s 44 years of diplomatic relations with Thailand. Foreign minister AH Mahmood Ali has issued a good will message on the occasion.

Meanwhile, the art works produced in the joint art camp by nine eminent Bangladesh artists and nine senior Thai artists will be inaugurated in an art exhibition on 29 March at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre by Thailand Culture Minister Vira Rajpoj Chanarat.

 

The ‘Art and Culture Week’ will also include a colorful cultural programme by prominent music and dance artists from Bangladesh at the prestigious Royal Wangna Theatre in Bangkok on 26 March, on the occasion of the 45th Independence Day of Bangladesh.

 

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Oldest Surviving Copy of Hebrew Bible Recognized as UNESCO World Treasure

19 Feb

“Oldest Surviving Copy of Hebrew Bible Recognized as UNESCO World Treasure”

Stoyan Zaimov via “Christian Post

Aleppo Codex

The Aleppo Codex, the oldest surviving copy of the Hebrew Bible that some experts believe all versions of the Old Testament stem from, has been recognized by UNESCO as an important world treasure.

I24News reported that the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization added the millennium-old Codex earlier this week to its International Memory of the World Register, which honors some of the most important discoveries relating to human history.

Adolfo Roitman, the head curator of the Shrine of the Book Museum in Jerusalem, which holds the Codex, explained its significance, stating that all current versions of the Old Testament stem, “in one way or another, from this ancient manuscript.”

Dead Sea scrolls
Amir Ganor, director of the unit for the prevention of antiquities robbery in the Israeli Antiquities Authority, shows a document, thought to be an ancient text written on papyrus, at Jerusalem Magistrates Court May 6, 2009. According to the Israeli Antiquities Authority, the document is written in ancient Hebrew script, which is characteristic of the Second Temple period and the first and second centuries CE. This style of writing is primarily known from the Dead Sea scrolls and various inscriptions that occur on ossuaries and coffins. It was seized from two men suspected to be antiquities robbers in an elaborate undercover operation.

The Codex is believed to have been written somewhere around the year 930 in the town of Tiberias on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. It has been moved around through several different cities, and as many as 190 pages are missing from the surviving copy, though scholars disagree where and when they were lost.

It was smuggled out of Syria and arrived in Israel in 1958, before it was eventually moved to the Israel Museum in the mid-1980s.

It is also not clear who precisely owns the Codex, though filmmaker Avi Dabach, who is planning to make a documentary about the ancient manuscript, believes that it belongs to the Jewish community that fled Syria.

“In the 1960s the Aleppo-Jewish community sued the people who brought the Codex to Israel. … The Israeli Authorities decided to confiscate this item and then, from a position of strength, force on the community an arrangement,” Dabach has said.

Although the Aleppo Codex is considered the oldest copy of the Hebrew Old Testament, there are much older fragments of biblical manuscripts in existence, such as the 2,000-year-old Dead Sea scrolls. . . 

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Chinese Lunar Calendar

12 Feb

Introduction to the Chinese Lunar Calendar
and Origin of the Zodiac Animals

Zodiac.jpg

Happy Year of the Monkey!

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Art Forgery Trial Asks: Were Dealers Duped, Or Did They Turn A Blind Eye?

11 Feb

“Art Forgery Trial Asks: Were Dealers Duped, Or Did They Turn A Blind Eye?”

by Joel Rose via “NPR

The Knoedler & Company art gallery, shown here in 2010, had been in business  since before the Civil War. The gallery permanently closed its doors in 2011.

The New York art world was shocked when the city’s oldest gallery abruptly closed its doors more than four years ago. A few days later, news broke that Knoedler & Company was accused of selling paintings it now admits were forgeries for millions of dollars each. The gallery and its former president face several lawsuits by angry collectors and the first trial began this week.

The forgeries at the center of the scandal look like masterpieces by Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning and other prominent abstract expressionists. They were good enough to fool experts, and even Ann Freedman, then-president of Knoedler & Company, says she was duped.

Her lawyer, Luke Nikas, says, “Ann Freedman believed in these paintings. She showed them to the whole art world. She showed them to experts. And she has piles and piles of letters from all of these experts informing her that the works are real.”

Nikas says Freedman even bought some of the paintings for her own personal collection. But the plaintiffs in this case and other pending lawsuits say Freedman overlooked glaring problems with the paintings’ backstories. The art dealer who sold the paintings to the gallery, a woman named Glafira Rosales, pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering charges in 2013. According to Freedman, Rosales told an elaborate story involving a European collector (known only as “Mr. X”) who bought the paintings with cash in the 1950s, when he was having an affair with an assistant at two top New York galleries.

“It’s quite a tale, and people bought it,” says Amy Adler, who teaches art law at New York University. “I suppose the temptation would be there — not just for buyers, but, yes, even for sellers — to think they’d happened upon these magnificent, undisclosed masterpieces.”

In the end, Rosales admitted to selling Knoedler 40 counterfeit paintings over more than a decade. The plaintiffs argue that Freedman knew — or at least should have known — that something was amiss. It’s hardly the first time an art dealer has been accused of deliberately looking the other way.

Ken Perenyi is a professional art forger who wrote about his career in the book Caveat Emptor. “From over 30 years’ experience with art dealers,” he says, “I would say there most certainly are individuals out there in the trade that will turn a blind eye.” . . .

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Art World Prepares for a Challenging Year

1 Feb

“Art World Prepares for a Challenging Year”

by Scott Reyburn via “New York Times

So now it’s official: The latest art market boom has peaked, according to figures from Christie’s and Sotheby’s, the two biggest international auction houses.

In late January, the companies released their 2015 results, with each reporting a slight decrease in year-over-year sales. It was the first year since 2010 that both failed to show an increase.

Christie’s, a private company based in London, reported auctions and private sales of 4.8 billion pounds, or about $6.8 billion in 2015, a decline of about 5 percent from 2014. Equivalent sales at Sotheby’s, which is publicly traded and based in New York, were $6.6 billion, about 1 percent less than in 2014.

Those figures do not represent a burst bubble, or even a serious correction, but they do suggest that 2016 is going to be a challenging year for the art market, reflecting the volatility and uncertainty of the wider world.

“The froth has been skimmed off,” said Paul Ress, the chief executive of Right Capital, which provides loans secured by art to dealers and collectors. Mr. Ress said that the collapse in the price of oil has taken “a huge amount of cash” out of the art market.

Photo

Peter Doig’s 1991 canvas ‘‘The The Architect’s Home in the Ravine.’’ CreditPeter Doig. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2015

“There aren’t so many Russians and Brazilians involved now, and the Chinese slowdown has had a knock-on effect on the raw materials and equity markets,” he said. “The potential buyers in the art world won’t be feeling as rich as they did last year.”

An examination of Christie’s results reveals key shifts in the market in 2015. Bolstered by huge one-off prices in New York for trophy works by artists like Picasso and Modigliani , auction sales of Impressionist and modern art were up 57 percent to £1.3 billion, while those of postwar and contemporary art — the main driver of growth from 2009 to 2014 — were down 14 percent to £1.5 billion. Year-over-year sales of old master paintings and 19th-century and Russian art shrank 37 percent to £154.9 million. . . . .

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