Saturday, November 23, 2013

Best laid plans go mildly awry

Not a lot of free time lately, but I did finally squeeze out a morning to go visit the newly reopened art museum, with an eye to seeing what sort of free images I could scare up for Noism's current project.Tibet, yak ghosts, ogre magi, mangroves, Nepal, Arabian Nights, Sorcery!, Bengal, invertebrates, topaz, squid men, slug people, opiates, slavery, human sacrifice, dark gods, malaise, magic.   OK so I admit that I'd forgotten some of these simple words and reduced it down to "freaky Asian stuff," but it sounded like a good excuse to visit the art museum and check out the new People's Palace, which has sadly been partially closed for far too long.

Two flaws quickly developed.  Flaw one, I'd misheard and the last gallery wasn't open yet, which just happens to be South-east Asia, India, Himalaya, & China.  So no Lantern Night Excursion of Chung K'uei until next March. Oh well, I thought, those Japanese wood cuts will still  be mine.  Flaw two, they're prepping a big show for the Spring which will be focused around that particular era, which means the Japanese collection was limited to the classical era.  I couldn't get anyone to tell me what had happened to the collection of opium pipes.

Well " No battle plan survives contact with the enemy" and I still had a pretty cool day.  The interior courtyard they've opened up is pretty special and the price of admission is still a one of a kind, zero dollars, which mean's the people's palace is still the people's palace.    They've really performed a miracle on the place, the old lines of the original museum are still there, but they weeded out the rat's nest of galleries of the "contemporary" remodel, while keeping the shell. The interior courtyard really changes the whole museum.
This is an excuse to display this righteous chickenhead, modified with the help of
This is me admitting I lack real artistic skills.

What we have here is a few of  several of dozen snaps I took of a new Ai Wei Wei exhibit, he's the hot new escapee from China.  I have no real idea what the legal status of using pictures of bronzes based upon a set of 7th century zodiac images displayed in a public forum is, but I assume it is no different than using pictures of a pubic building.   Anyone with an interest in these bronze heads let me know, I'll shoot you the files.  Wei Wei is obviously one of those guys with a staff, but I do admit I like his animal heads.  I took a lot of pictures because I was trying to figure out which would lend themselves best to digital editing.

Here is a couple of other things I found which fit.  Dead guy art is always free.
Here is an opium smoking euncuh, dreaming of his love.


Iranian work, I converted to black and white. 

Stray Chinese  Lion

I have some other perspectives and lighting conditions for most of these, if something strikes someone's fancy.  Yeah I take pictures at the museum,  because stray images can come in handy, but because it also reminds me of what I saw that day.   If I had more time I'd monkey about with them a bit more, but not knowing exactly what you're looking for in the final form, I don't quite have the time.


  1. Wow! I am just catching up on old blog comments (been a hell of a November/December....long story) so have just got round to looking at this. Thanks - these are great. The opium-smoking eunuch is beautiful; do you know who the painter was?

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