2008年5月22日 星期四

The women in painting—by Gustav Klimt

Portrait of Baroness Elisabeth Bachofen (1914)

                       Mäda Primavesi (1912)

Lady with Fan (1917)

         The Dancer (1916 - 1918)


The women in painting whose expression are calm, perhaps, are a little

bit delighted but are not too much, they seem to think something when

we stare at their eyes.  Klimt set up those women in two different worlds,

one is real, the other is fantastic.  Women were draw realistically, but the

backgrounds were arranged as a fictitious world, through such composition,

women did not exist alone in the painting, there was a bustling world

around her.  The women and their backgrounds seem to be not correlate,

but they set off each other via contrast.


Looking at these paintings, they inspire me to think of the “Art Deco” and

“Mix and Match” even if I know Klimt did not has any relation with those

design movements.  I wonder why Klimt utilized the Oriental objects (such as

Chinese opera characters, phoenix) to decorate the Western women portraits,

supposedly, this kind of arrangement might make the painting to be odd,

however, after his deliberate and painstaking drawing, those portraits were

presented in very unique and aesthetic feel.






2008年5月20日 星期二




Mother and son are eating the lunch……

Son of No. 2:「What is “associate”?

Mother:「Association is a kind of imagination, it will connect something in your mind or imagination when you perceive something.   For example: It will associate with 粽子when you see the dragon boat.

Mother:「Do you understand?

Son of No. 2:「……..Perhaps……...

Mother :「Well, another example: It will associate with your Dad when I see you.

Son of No. 2:「Why does it associate with Dad when you see me?

Mother:「Because you and Dad are alike whatever is for face or considerate heart.

Son of No. 2:「Hum……Dad is not so considerate as me, he has never help you to put the dishes in order, but I always do that for you.…………

Mother snigger…………

2008年5月15日 星期四

Indian KathaKali


5/3/2008 in National Palace Museum, KathaKali was performed starting

from 6:30 pm.  In accordance with the host’s indtroduction and

Mr. 吳德朗’s statements: Kathakali means a story play or a dance

drama.  It originated from Ramanattom and Krishnanattom, and was

belonging to the South-Western coastal state of Kerala.  Kathakali is primarily

a dance drama form and is extremely colourful with billowing costumes, flowing

scarves, ornaments and crowns. The dancers use a specific type of symbolic

makeup to portray various roles which are character-types rather than individual

characters. Various qualities, human, godlike, demonic, etc., are all represented

through fantastic make-up and costumes.  


Since I did not take pictures on the scene, so try to get some photos (see the

attachments) from web for reference.  This performance is bring me to remember

the Japanese traditional drama, Noh, played in National Palace Museum on

2/3/2007.  To compare Indian KathaKali with Japanese Noh, there are some

findings as following:


1.     Face:

The performers of KathaKali will make up and use different colors to portray

the characters, such as:


“green” is used to portray noble male characters;

“green background with red beard” is used to portray evil;

“lustrous and yellowish” is used to portray women and ascetics;

“black” is used to portray uncivilized hunters.


This kind of concept is similar to Chinese Beijing opera.  As for Noh, the main

actor will wear the mask, and the side player will not do so.  The Noh masks

normally portray female or nonhuman characters.  Several types of masks, in

particular for female roles, are designed for slight adjustments in the position of

the head can express a number of emotions such as fear or sadness due to the

variance in lighting and the angle shown towards the audience.  However, it is

not always possible to convey emotion for those masks of deities and monsters. 

Usually, these performers are not frequently called to change emotional expression

during the course of the scene, or show emotion through larger body language. 

Pursuant to the history, the roots of Noh can be traced back to the Tang

Dynasty’s theatricals, I wonder why it cannot be found the reflection of Chinese

opera on the point of “Face”.


2.     Music


The actors of KathaKali never speak, its songs are set for “ragas” based on

Carmatic music.  The instruments include a cylindrical drum, a drum held

horizontally, cymbals and a gong.  In addition to those instruments, there

are two vocalists render the songs to compose Kathakali music.  Noh is

chanted drama, the singing in Noh involves a limited tonal range, with lengthy,

repetitive passages in a narrow dynamic range. Apparently, melody is not the

focus of Noh singing.  Still, texts are poetic, relying heavily on the Japanese

seven-five rhythm common to nearly all forms of Japanses poetry.  From the

rhythm point of view, Kthakali’s music is more vivid than Noh’s.


3.     Acting


Since KathaKali’s actors never speak, hence, the body performance will be

very important to it.  Some particular facial expressions were developed to help

for telling the story, which are love, ridicule, fear, pity, anger, courage, disgust,

amazement, and peace.  Within the performance of this time, actor’s eye

movements is impressive of me very much, his eyeballs can move very very fast

from any angle.  Furthermore, characters used hand-gesture to enhance the 

facial xprssions and unfold the tex of the drama.   Mention to Noh, since its main

actor have to wear the mask, withhout facial expression, we have to rely on

player’s body language to know the emotion and will what they conveyed. 

As our awareness, for Japanese culture, people care about the compliance of

social regulations more than the will of individual.  Regarding this point, Noh

seems to interpret the personality of Janpanese society appropriately.


That night, with ending the KathaKali performance, husband, kids and I went

for the night market in a delight mood to eat some snacks.  Like to watch

performances since they always bring some different feels to enrich the flat life. 

In addition, through approaching the traditional performance of other countries,

we can know their culture and people more or less, ……..more understanding,

less fighting……..


2008年5月13日 星期二

Wind‧Azure Blue Sky

5/13/2008, it is windy and sky is azure blue, wind is a little bit cool like

as the one in autumn.  To feel the wind at this moment, it brings me to

remember Rossetti’s poem:


Who has seen the wind?

Neither I nor you:

But when the leaves hang trembling

The wind is passing thro’.


Who has seen the wind?

Neither you nor I:

But when the trees bow down their heads

The wind is passing by.




Watching the blue sky, it brings me to remember the same sky in Paris

on 6/27/1992, at that time, I stand in the front of Arc de Trimphe and

looked up at the sky to praise its color, how azure blue it was………….

Paris of 1992, it is my first time to go France, as for the language capability:

English was poor and French was none, but what I have only was a young

heart with a lot of bravery.  That trip was an adventure for me, it contained

bitter and sweet, whatever it contained, I enjoyed it for all. 



Time fleets so soon, Paris of 1992 has been far away from me, but its

scenery was branded on my mind, sometimes, it recurs unexpectedly

cause of meeting the similar circumstances.  The memory it left which is

hard to be erased and replaced even though I have re-visited Paris later on.


Memories are locked in a box, and the key could be anything, may be

weather, color, scent, touch,…….   Once the proper key shows up, those

sealed memories will spring………..



2008年5月6日 星期二




Mother and son are walking in MRT……


Mother:「Do you know why Mammy love you so much?

Son of No. 2 reply in confidence:「Because I am very cute.

Mother:「Which part of you is cute, you think?

Son of No. 2:「From head to toes, everywhere is……...


Calligraphy is Painting? ------- 董陽孜書法作品






Yes, it could be if you have sawn 董陽孜’s work.  She pays more

attention on the arrangement of empty spaces to deal with every single

character and whole scroll.  As such, we can always see superb

deployment which forms the integral aesthetic feel.  Moreover,

董陽孜brings the methods of inkwash painting into the calligraphy,

sometimes, her works with ink is either thick and dense or pale and

light, smetimes, her brushtip is either parched or splaying. 

Consequently, 董陽孜’s work is a kind of synthesis of painting and




2008年5月5日 星期一

Never Let Me Go


This novel was written by Kazuo Ishiguro who has been a Booker Prize

winner, one of his well-known works is “The Remains of the Day”. 

“Never Let Me Go” begins from that a female clone, Kathy, narrates her

childhood life at Halishm where is an exclusive boarding school secluded

in the English countryside.  As a human clone, Kathy and the others have

the same fate, to donate their organs until death.  Their fates cannot be

changed because “organs donation” is the main function for why they are

bred.  This plot brings me to remember Aldous Huxley's “Brave New

World”, where humans are created in test tubes and have been fixed

functions that they grow up to perform in society, the future of individual

has been set up from his/her birth, including the sex distinction, intelligence,

personality, capability and social ranking.  Everyone is forced to follow

those prescribed rules, but no one will fight or complain, they take those

rules for granted.  Regarding this point, the characters of this novel seem

to meekly accept their fates, of which plot is identical with the characters

of Huxley’s.


After finished its final page, this novel kept me thinking about its plot,

characters and themes long.  It is sad of me for Kathy’s and Tommy’s

destiny not to be changed even though how much effort they have done,

Kathy has to go on acting as the “carer” and Tommy has to go on donating

more organs till death.  The deepest sadness is arisen by that human clones

own their soul and aware the love but are deemed as “products”, no body

cares their needs, feeling and life, human beings breed them the only purpose

is for the harvest of organs.  If the human clones could not be treated as

human beings, why do them be given the perception and soul? Undoubtedly,

it is kind of torture for them.


I love this novel due to it touched my heart deeply, within this novel, Ishiguro

does not offer opinions on any issues, rather presents the questions in powerfully

compelling ways.  He adopts the plain and ungarnished statements to reveal the

 innermost heavy frustration of people, actually, to introspect ourselves, we

are dominated by the enormous social machine, perception, love and dream are

ppressed.  Pityingly, we seem to be under the same circumstances as the clones,

Ishiguro evokes those pains buried in our heart through this novel----“Never Let Me Go”.