Happy Chinese New Year, also known as “spring festival” because it marks the end of the winter season, similar to the Western celebration of carnival. The new years celebration lasts for 15 days and the last day is celebrated with a lantern festival. Chinese new year marks the beginning of the lunar calendar. This is the biggest holiday in China, and families all gather together to celebrate the beginning of a new and prosperous year.
Chinese New Year is also celebrated by its neighboring countries and communities with large Chinese populations, such as Macau, Taiwan, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam, and also in Chinatowns elsewhere, like here in Boston.
This year is the year of the dragon! One source said that “A dragon is a legendary creature. All legendary stories about Chinese dragons are from the sky, which means heaven in China. The image of dragon is blurred, misty, mystic, occulted, noble and untouchable. For China, it is the symbol of power from heaven. The Chinese emperor was considered the son of heaven. An emperor has the authority to send command to Dragons. One Chinese story mentioned an emperor killed a dragon in his dream. After 581 AD, Chinese emperors began to wear imperial robes with dragon symbols. During the Ching Dynasty (1644-1911 AD), the dragon can be seen everywhere on the roofs, doors, pillars, bridges, utensils in the Forbidden City. The most powerful dragon is the five-clawed dragon. It appears only on the yellow imperial robe. Because of this, Dragon is one of most auspicious animals in China.” If you were born in ’52, ’64, ’76, ’88, or 2000, this is your year!
The fifteenth day of the new year is known as the Lantern Festival. Rice dumplings, a sweet glutinous rice ball brewed in a soup, are eaten this day. Candles are lit outside houses as a way to guide wayward spirits home. This day is celebrated as the Lantern Festival, and families walk the street carrying lighted lanterns.
In Malaysia and Singapore, this day is celebrated by individuals seeking for a love partner, a different version of Valentine's Day. Normally, single women would write their contact number on mandarin oranges and throw it in a river or a lake while single men would collect them and eat the oranges. The taste is an indication of their possible love: sweet represents a good fate while sour represents a bad fate.
This day often marks the end of the Chinese New Year festivities.
We here at Koo de Monde would like to wish Art Vietnam, Gallery EM, Green T House, Hiro Odaira, and Pham Huy Thong a happy and prosperous new year! Through writing this blog we have learned so much about their culture and for that, we thank them!
If you would like to know more about Chinese New Year visit: http://www.chinesefortunecalendar.com/2012.htm
Please log in to learn more about our wonderful exhibitors who celebrate Chinese New Year!
There are only a few artists who can paint a face, and when looking into the eyes of the portrait you feel an instant connection to the person. We here at Koo are extremely lucky to have one of these talented people on our site! New York artist, Jeremy Penn has the ability to paint faces and show so much emotion be hind their eyes.
24KKM is unique in that it is dusted in real 24K Gold! His blog descirbes why he desided on using gold to finiah the portrait,' “Kate Moss has evolved into something more than just a supermodel. She is royalty. No color pigment can represent Kate Moss in the way in which she deserves. Real gold is the only choice,” said Penn of his use of 24-karat gold.'
Penn was born in 1979 in New York and studied Fine Art at both the University of Maryland and Pratt Institute. Since college he has been making a name for himself by painting. He has shown his work in some amazing places. We met up with him while we were at Art Basel Miami Beach, where he showed Le Réve Classique and 24KKM.
In Penn's bio he says that “His works have been exhibited internationally and received honors from curators at museums such as The Museum of Modern Art, New York and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. In 2009, Penn was honored as the “Featured Artist” for New York City’s Freedom Week. In 2010, Penn’s art was awarded ASFD’s Pinnacle Award, ADEX Gold Medal in Design, and the Peace Maker Award for his painting “War Child”. In 2011, Penn was the artist selected to represent the United States during Rosafest, a global art exhibition celebrating the Pan-American Games.”
This past year Penn has been working on some very interesting projects. One being his William Murphy Series. William Murphy was inmate. His 1914 mug shot landed in Penn's hands and the rest is history.
William Murphy | UV Print & Enamel on Cast Acrylic
Penn saw something in William Murphy's eyes that drew him in and he needed to know more. He started researching and found two different William Murphy's one died in a knife fight, the other a war hero. Which William Murphy had he been so entranced by?
On his journey to learn more about William Murphy he discovered so much but one thing stands out. “If there was one thing I learned, it was that this project was going to evolve and that the judgment of William Murphy is not mine. It’s in the eye of the beholder.”, Penn said on his site dedicated to his William Murphy experience.
Penn explains more about what he discovered on his blog. If you'd like to read the rest of William Murphy's story go to http://www.thedeceptionofwilliammurphy.com/the-story/.
Penn has let us look into the eyes of celebrities and convicts and in his paintings we see something deeper than just a face. We see the emotion and sadness behind their eyes. With out artists like him we would forget that the people in his paintings were real people with real emotions and were once or still are very much alive, and for that we thank him.
If you would like to see more or Jeremy Penn's work visit http://www.jeremypenn.com/ . If you are interested in purchasing one of Mr. Penn's creations, please log in and our white glove service will be more than happy to assist you in the purchasing process.
This past week I had the great oppertunity to interview local artist, Richard Buckley. His work is clean and minimal and somehow captures a piece of his soul. Richard is an amazing artist, despite being told at a young age that art was a waste of time. He shows us his inner being through broad strokes of black ink. Richard has turned what he loved and what inspires him into a sucessful career. He has shown his work all over the country and has inspired countless students to create works of art, to show who they truly are.
L: How did you get started? What led you to creating art as a profession?
RB: Much to my father’s displeasure, I started drawing very early. When he’d find me engaged in art, he’d order me to pursue more worthwhile activities, such as cleaning the cellar or shoveling snow. In the 3rd grade, fellow students paid me to draw subjects of their choice—usually cartoon characters or portraits of their pets. In high school, I became the school’s first-ever art major. By this time, neighbors were not only paying me to mow their lawns, but also for small, and not much fun, art-related projects, such as lettering “No Solicitors” and “Stay of the Grass” signs. For me, creating art is as natural as breathing.
L: Tell us about your first attempts to be creative.
RB: Aside from early finger paintings and pencil drawings, my first foray into three- dimensional work stands out for me as an early creative attempt. The occasion was a grade school Halloween Party, and I fashioned a robot costume out of silver-painted boxes. I could see very little through the two holes in the box that covered my head, and my arm and leg movements were very limited. At the party, two or three of my fellow students took advantage of those limitations by repeatedly knocking on the boxes and pushing me about from behind while I tearfully yelled, “Stop it! Stop it!” at my laughing tormentors. If nothing else, the experience taught me to consider the potential negative outcomes of my creative concepts…and that has served me well.
L: How did you begin creating your pieces?
RB: My early works were representational oils on canvas. Back then, I used several minutes of quiet time to clear my mind of extraneous thoughts before painting. Meditation remains a crucial part of my creative process.
L: Your work now is very clean and minimal; what made you decide that this style is the one that works best for you?
RB: My work has evolved from representational oils on canvas to a reductionist technique that allows me to set down only essence. My current art is the product of decades of releasing, of letting things go. I’ve transcended intellect, education, and the expectations of others. I’ve had to put those aside. I’ve even put down my brushes; my art is created with my hands. I feel that each of these works is a snapshot of my soul at the time it was created.
L: A lot of your most recent paintings have a splash of red in them. Does this have a special meaning or purpose?
RB: The red elements indeed have meaning; they represent the core energy fueling the essence.
L: You have shown your pieces in some amazing places! Which was your favorite?
RB: I’ve had both solo and group exhibits in some very interesting venues, but the one that had the biggest emotional impact on me was the 1969 Top Ten Young Artists group show curated by Dorothea Weedon. Ms. Weedon had previously overseen the organization, judging, and statewide exhibition of the Massachusetts Council on the Arts Young Talent Show, and from the 100 artists juried into that exhibit, she selected her Top Ten. To say I was elated at my inclusion would be a huge understatement.
L: You have taught art in the past. What is the one lesson that you wish to pass on to your students?
RB: Creating art is a spiritual endeavor; allow it to flow from wellsprings within you. Create work that satisfies your soul and sets it free from restraints imposed by all others.
Richard has let us peek into his world and has shown us a whole new way of creating art. Art does not have to be a representation of anything, it can be a glimps into the soul of the artist himself. For opening our eyes to look at art in a different light, we thank him!
Richard's ESSENCE collection can be found in our fine arts section!
To learn more about Richard Buckley, go to http://dickbuckley.com/ .
The Kvadrat Cloud by Castelli for Haworth was designed by two designers; Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec. Not only has this duo designed for Kvadrat, but they have designed for a number of other international brands like Vitra, Magis, Kartell, Ligne Roset, and Cappellini. Their work has won many awards, and been featured in leading contemporary art museums around the world.
Kvadrat Clouds are an innovative, interlocking fabric tile that can be used as a sculptural installation, hung from a wall or ceiling placed there to add color, texture and warmth to a space. The clouds are personalized art installations. They evolve as you assemble them. When you add elements to them they produce a unique, one-of-a-kind creation. There are endless possibilities to constructing them so the outcome usually relects the assemblers' personality.
Cloud comes in a variety of colors and two differernt materials, Wool and Polyester.
The modular Cloud components are attached by special rubber connectors. So creating your own Cloud is quick and easy. The same amount of skill can build you simple design or a complex decorative screen or wall installation. You can easily arrange and re-arrange the tiles to reflect your individual style and bring new ideas into your space, time and time again.
Clouds have been used as partitions, art instillations, wall decorations.
Say goodbye to boring acoustic wall panels like these…
Due to the irregular, soft, bumpy nature, of the Cloud, using it in a space will help dampen sound and acoustic interference.
If you thought Clouds couldn’t get any better… the companies manufacturing facilities, as well as the company’s global headquarters, have achieved zero waste to landfill status. Making this product a great sustainable choice. These clouds have sparked artistic ideas in our design careers, helped us plan new and exciting things and were eco-friendly along the process. We are greatly inspired by Castelli and for that we thank them.
Where wouldl you use Clouds?
“There are no rules of architecture for a castle in the clouds.”
Gilbert K. Chesterton