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dusun

August/September 2013

e-journal of Asian Arts and Culture

low khay hooi leang seckon

karim fakhoury

richard noyce nicolas c grey and james farley waswo x. waswo and rajesh soni 1


dusun fourteen cover by karim fakhoury

editor martin a bradley email martinabradley@gmail.com Dusun TM published by EverDay Art S

we are 2


Studio and Educare August 2013

dusun fourteen emagazine

dusun remains an entirely free and non-associated publication concerned with bringing asian arts and culture to eveyone

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inside....

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editorial

malaya in posters

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shan hai jing (the chinese classic of the mountains and seas) by low khay hooi

solace and refreshment - in words and pictures by martin bradley

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this dog barking by nicolas c grey and james farley

karim fakhoury’s digital wonders 4

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cambodian artist - leang seckon

colors of cambodia - cambodian diary

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August/September 2013

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poetry by richard noyce

tinted by tradition - hand coloured photographs from india

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langmusi’s red monks - images from china by pei yeou bradley

sweet, white, perky by martin bradley

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dusun 5 5


editorial

Dear Reader Dusun returns at the height of Summer with a cornucopia of fruits overflowing for your delight and delectation. From Cambodian artists to unique photographs of China, this issue of Dusun has it all, plus a new section to wet your appetite - gastrognome, seeking delightful delicacies across Asia and daintily displaying them just for you, our honoured guest. There is poetry from Wales, concerning things Asian, and wondrous images from a Canadian Asian artist. We have mysterious books from ancient China and hand tinted photographs from India, via Singapore. Yes, it’s all here, in this issue and a graphic novel on display in Cambodia too. Sit back and enjoy the wonders we are growing this issue of Dusun..... Dusun is always on the look out for fresh material, new Artists/poets/writers etc to grace its pages. If you wish to submit, please do send your work to martinabradley@gmail.com.

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Editor - Martin Bradley was born in London, 1951. He is a writer/ poet/designer and a graduate in Art History, Exhibition Making, Graphic Design, Philosophy and Social Work. He has travelled most of the known world and lived in Britain, India and Malaysia. Martin was Guest Writer at India’s Commonwealth Writers Festival in New Delhi (2010) and Guest Writer at Singapore’s Lit Up literature festival (2010);he has read in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (2009, 2011), in Cambodia (2012, 2013) and The Philippines (2013). Martin writes articles on Art & Culture for magazines and newspapers and designs digital images. He has been the editor of Dusun – a Malaysian Arts and Culture e-magazine and founder/host of Northern Writers – a venue for ‘readings’ in Ipoh, Malaysia. Martin has had three books published during 2012 Remembering Whiteness - a collection of poetry, Buffalo & Breadfruit - autobiography, and A Story of Colors of Cambodia, which he also designed.

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dusun art talks asia 2013

y a l a m ilip h p e th camb

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a i s y ines p p ia d o b

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M

alaysia...

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in posters

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images from the MALAYSIA DESIGN ARCHIVE

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shan hai jing detail from original shan hai jing text The Classic of the Mountains and Seas (Shan hai Jing) is an ancient and unique record of a range of beliefs held by ancient Chinese about their world, dating from C. 4th–C. 1st century. B.C.E., and has been repeatedly handcopied, reprinted, and reedited through the centuries. The earliest surviving set of woodblock illustrations is from a rare edition dated 1597, during the late Ming dynasty. Low Khay Hooi has re-imagined the Shang Hai Jing for Malaysia. Shan Hai Jing, literally translated to means the look of the Mountains and the Seas is an postcard exchange exhibition by artist, Low Khay Hooi, developed over a period of 7  years. Low takes the topographical maps of Malaysia as his starting point. He extracts shapes from these maps as found in school textbooks and develops them into imaginary hybrid monsters that affect the weather,  bring disease, protect or threaten the population of the area. In this exhibition, Low presents his artworks like pages from an imaginary anthropologist logbook, with each artwork introducing one of his monsters associated with a town or region in Malaysia. Accompanying the images, is Chinese text explaining the mythical significance of these fantasy creatures to their  environment. The format loosely refers to that of Chinese almanacs and early anthropological texts. For Low, these artworks are a fun and enjoyable strategy for him to develop a body of imagery that will form the visual vocabulary for his  future work.  For the viewer, they recall a school child wild with imagination, at work doing doodles during the long hours of boredom in the classroom. Low Khay Hooi holds an advanced diploma in print-making from the Central Academy of Art, and has been running an art studio in Cheras, called Art Generation Studio, together with his wife since 1999.   In addition to practicing his craft, he also teaches Chinese calligraphy and art to children in his studio.  Low Khay Hooi is also committed to the conservation of heritage and to the environment. This is reflected in his art and the books he has illustrated.

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shan hai jing

low khay hooi

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zhu

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six legged fish

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pedan

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si

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xuan mang

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george

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lenggang

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jiao long

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masirat

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photography and text martin bradley

daughter’s

story

in need of s 32


solace and refreshment

I ambled homeward.... 33 33


back to home and hearth and the sweetmeats of my youth

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finding succour

and comfort in delicious memories 37 37


beliefs haunted me I prayed they might cease

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into the deepening night I prayed

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drawn to record every detail

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of my love for you

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C

ambodia

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leang seckon

bloody shirt

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next life let me not be a woman

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rama rescues victims

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Every so often a book appears that reveals and illuminates a project that might otherwise remain largely unknown by the outside world: ‘Colors of Cambodia’ is such a book. This is a highly personal and passionate account written by Martin Bradley and illustrated by Pei Yeou Bradley of her encounter with a remarkable art-based project in and around Siem Reap in Cambodia, and how she was drawn into practical involvement with the children for whom the project exists. Richard Noyce, Artist, Wales 2012

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cocthebook@gmail.com https://www.facebook.com/ groups/138402846288849/ http://colorsofcambodia.org/

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apey mutrak

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apey mutrak

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covering skirt

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my feeling from the buddha

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female body

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the eyeballs have all fallen out

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dusun nurture yourself with

asian arts and culture emagazine

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remembering whiteness & other poems

by martin bradley

downloadable as a free pdf from http://correspondences-martin.blogspot.com/2012/04/open-publication-free-publishing-more.html

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Talks, sharing, painting and poetry at the Colors of Cambodia charity gallery in Siem Reap

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a new look for the Colors of Cambodia charity gallery

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Four Poems for Cambodia by Martin Bradley

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clouds in ten layers brought me inquisitively back to Siem Reap Languidly writing beside drying waters Strolling in heat drenched streets. I became kissed by brief rains Stroked by sun And finally deferred To salad jazz cafes Where Americans and Australians gather Watching motorcycle taxis. Charity hands give thumbs up Blind musician toots flute Anonymous cars pass In dust sprinkled streets Beneath Buddha smiles And sudden sun. We wrangle the difference Between Art and art Citing men who paint ants And men who don't Men who splash abrupt rainbows And men concerned with mimesis. Eventually the debate seems limp Like so many watches When listening to Edith Piaf Sparrow of Paris And seeing the birdless street Outside Srey Cafe. Cambodia you would haunt me Even without Colors Angkor French Cirque Children slipperless and smiling. It would have something to do with the pain The stoic resigned pain That you swallow like so many cold foreign beers.

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A fat man walked Searing heat Sweating Along Khmer river Drawn by gamelan Icarus like Moth like Singeing wings in fires of ethnicity. The large man Sandal clad Behatted Besotted with difference Plodded weighty foot After weighty foot Past sellers of bottled petrol Motorcycle pig passengers Pavement games of chalk and tile. Fishers but not of men Cast thin lines into brown waters in expectation. Motorcycle taxis tooted Cyclists whispered by Tourists lugged Zoom lens

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Weighty straps cutting into Sun reddened fair shoulders Dollars pulling pockets Guilt pulling hearts Offset by tokens of perfunctory generousness. The heavy man ponderous man Dragged his weight Along dust sprinkled roads thinking of Woody Guthrie Allen Ginsberg Jack Kerouac And every kind of Dharma Bum Past and present. The silence of the kingdom Brought thoughts of kamma and metta Saffron robes Hands waving incense Roasted insects French baguettes And delectable markets

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Cambodian sun kisses glistening pate drinks in hairy armed way talks of Kerouac Cambodia beer sinks below unusually white froth penultimate day absorbs Black Magic Woman (instrumental) rub shoulders with Jayavarman’s Angkor Orange robed monks flood from temple ease into brick built huts. Frangipani perfumes air water tank dank lone sketcher brushes paper with pen Walls reflect enlightenment sangam pink bag carrying students nestle temple garden tree gives shade.

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Rest in Buddha garden Drink deep of scents Watch children play red balloons Statues smile Trees listen five pm Temple bells ring balloon bursts guy in a white crimson t-shirt Passes It's Siem Reap

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I sit peacefully

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much hard work by students and teachers has paid off

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the gallery has been re-painted and re-hung to great effect

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everybody chipped in

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art talk by Martin Bradley

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artworks by teacher Honey K

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Khor (aka Pei Yeou Bradley)

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artwork by Ratana

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artwork by teacher Kiri

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artwork by Ponleu

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artwork by teacher Narong

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artwork by Sophea

artwork by teacher Seney

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artwork by Bundeth

artwork by teacher Seney

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poetry and song by writer Paul Gnanaselvan

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art discussions by top Cambodian artists

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A Cambodian Affair

by Paul GnanaSelvam

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Love implanted, a seed of hope, a seed of kindling, from a forgotten mirage, reincarnate, of a twenty-three man years, rejuvenating, living, vivid, by an old clandestine affair, built of none but dreamstranslucent, luscious, enigmatic, fuelled, the night skies illuminated, dancing to the cosmic rhythms of Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, elusively, stalking the foot-prints of Chola, Sailendra and Jayavarma. The moon stood to witness, of sudden dreams, from unbecoming, murkier and foreboding, perturbed at times, old and wavering, disturbed of unruly noises that stirred the forests, by marauding wars, shrill piercing and deafening, and hence, evaporating, dreams halting, and nightmares began. Drifting, floating, resting, the walls of Angkor, opened the fortress of living sandstones, brightened a cloudy night, welcoming, soft as the crickets songs of night, bequeathing, seditious apsaras at play teasing the court musicians, quenching a thirst unknown, dreams rallied, tenderly, charmed, comforted and chiming, chim-ching, chim-ching, chim-ching along ancient anklets and arm bracelets.

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Tickled and eluded, the garuda eyes, revealed sharply not of the prized jewel, but lands plotted and stretched, squared and parched, browning paddy fields, winding dusty roads, lonely, empty, desolate, barren. Your children- grieve, those that loosened your earth, ploughed your fields and worked your oxenfor, peace, nourishment and comfort, there was none any.

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You gave me breath, awakening, the dream within dreams, immersed in the warmth of your breasts, suckled the tits of your sweetness, the amritha, the elixir the gods had laboured to churn, and lifted my spirits, for my eyes did not fail, to see and behold, happiness, content and faith, free and abundant. . Everywhere, intriguing smileshands raised, palms clasped, reverentlybenignly acknowledge the Brahman, say I am no differentI am humanpart of youpart of this cakerawala.


Do not despair, do not lose heart. For now, I hear the heavens open, ready to unleash the soft petals of hope, and bring forth the rains of change. Then, look up to the north, your children will play again in the thickets of the forestmemories of pain and suffering gone forever for they will stay, never sold or bought. Then, look to the west, kernels of rice will bow Look to the south, Tender sea breeze will soothe your weary soul. And, at first sunlight, when the morning mist lifts, infused with the blooming champaii, look to the east, for I will come, and dwell with you, within the walls of Angkoronce again.

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Colors of Cambodia Gallery

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by the book, the calendars or artworks and support this vital charity in Siem Reap, Cambodia

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this dog barking “This Dog Barking – The Strange Story of UG Krishnamurti chronicles the bizarre history of The Cosmic Naxalite; from his troubled childhood with the Theosophists and subsequent disillusion with many of the leading spiritual teachers of the twentieth century, to his catastrophic personal life and years of homelessness and destitution in London and Paris. Nicolas C Grey’s haunting and beautifully detailed drawings capture both the personalities and atmosphere of UG’s life and times, and vividly bring to life his uncompromising, contrary and unbalancing conversational style. Discomforting, irreverent, intimate and nihilistic, UG’s freewheeling and radical non-teaching undermines the very foundations of human thought, freeing the hearer from illusory goals and ‘the tyranny of knowledge, beauty, goodness, truth and God’.” The publication of the graphic novel is due to be released in 2014 (date TBA). Updates and details can be found at the website: http://thisdogbarking. com/

James Farley James was born in the UK, studied English Literature at the University of Oxford and has been a children’s social worker for the past 22 years. As an unsuccessful writer, his previous works include the never-performed stage adaptation of “The Radiance of the King” by Camara Laye, “Those Crazy Gurus” (unpublished) and “The Sand Pit”- a novel about a drugsmuggling air hostess in a Saudi Arabian prison (unfinished). James began working on the text for “This Dog Barking” in 2004, and lives with his wife and son in Cambodia.

during this time which were shown in the UK with the Britart agency. He works in a range of media, including collage, photography, comic art and mixed media wall sculpture. But, his signature style remains pen and ink drawings - the intricacy and psychedelic density of which never fail to fascinate audiences. Nic lives and works in Cambodia and is represented by Dana Langlois of JavaArts Phnom Penh. He has been working full time on drawing “This Dog Barking” since 2009.

Nicolas C Grey Nicolas was born in London, but grew up in Brighton on the south coast of England, and, having left both school and home at 16 is a self-taught artist. Working under the name Dead Nic in the 1990s he was involved in the underground comix scene, producing, together with Benjamin Heath, the now legendary Watermelon comic. Nic also produced stand-alone pieces

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JavaArts is a cultural enterprise that was launched in partnership with Java CafĂŠ & Gallery in the year 2000 in Phnom Penh, where it operates a gallery and arts lab. Supported by the cafĂŠ and gallery activities, JavaArts is a platform for the development of contemporary visual arts in Cambodia. It works to sustain arts practice for artists, researchers, curators and other creative practitioners and has provided a launching pad to many emerging artists who have since gone on to become prominent figures in the contemporary art world. In response to the changing artistic climate in Cambodia, JavaArts launched the Arts Lab and Residency program in 2012 to formalize and expand the support for art production, providing grants, workspace and logistical support to Cambodian artists. Initially, the space was created to showcase emerging artists, but it became clear that it served the community best in a generative role. The space evolved to be a modular arts lab that functions as an office, a studio, a gallery and an incubator for contemporary concepts and ideas. The JavaArts Lab extends its support to other arts practitioners to further the knowledge, documentation and critical discourse on contemporary Cambodian art both in the country and in the wider global context. It continues to experiment with this new platform working with artists, researchers and curators. Dana Langlois, Founding Director

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guest Karim Fakhoury is a 20 years old freelance graphic designer from Montreal, Canada. Since his young age, Karim has been passionate about visual arts and informatics, and here he is today, combining both. He is best known for his ability to convey a poetic and sentimental visual through the characters he creates, often in surreal, fantastic or magical landscapes that surrounds them. Karim's eye for detail, composition and overall quality has gotten him where he is today. Karim is currently available for hire. contact@karimfakhoury.com

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life

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departed soul

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the island

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new era

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Richard Noyce guest Richard Noyce has been interested in and involved with the visual arts and with writing for most of his life, and the two have come together to become a central part of what he does. He has been fortunate in being able to travel widely to explore the world of the visual arts, particularly printmaking, and equally fortunate in being able to share the results of those explorations in his books, lectures and magazine articles. Richard is also an accomplished poet, with links back to the 1960s and The Liverpool Poets.

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Han Shan in the Highlands

1 BEN NEVIS Han Shan walks along a small road That leads to the top of a mountain Where most men see nothing but stones But the rare eye sees patterns in the rock. Han Shan pauses at the top And continues Knowing the impossibility Of falling off a mountain. Besides there are lakes to be passed Roads to consider on the way to the sea. 2 ABHAINN CUAG A GHLINN The sun slides behind a sharp ridge. Han Shan sleeps among the drying reeds Where dreams and rivers coincide And there is sleep enough. The darkness in this place Covers rocks and footmarks with equality And as the day and journey slip away No other night awaits the coming dawn. The dream is of a clear and shallow river.

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Han Shan in the Highlands cont. 106

3 CORRIESHALLOCH GORGE There is in one place a deep cleft Darkened in the sunlit afternoon Where trees rise from the bare rock Beyond which a hard stream of narrow water Cuts into the rock Deepening the cleft Forever. Han Shan observes a single bird Gliding beneath a swaying bridge. 4 SUILVEN Behind a bare-coned mountain The red sun flashes. Light slips into a dark sky Darkening the fast river That flows through an empty land Where the previous day Will be the following day And all days change the same.


Space Between

The dry staccato clicking of the computer Disturbs In some further place The dust that has settled On the rim of a Chinese vase. To combine and separate Disparate images such as these Is an act of mercy In a world grown unkind. To cast sunlight into shadows From a mirror on a string Is in its brief finality An act of creation.

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Verses of Japanese Music 108

The sky is hung with painted characters; Stern lines of face and mountain Melt into smiles and clouds. In the water-garden petals fall; The koto calls the hours In the hands of the blind maiden. Distant percussion disturbs the sparrows; The sun between the jasmine trees Is mirrored in the echoing gong. The bamboo flute sings of loneliness; In the evening and in autumn My feet turn towards the mountain.


Lake Land Sky Song

I sing softly in the mountains The lake that mirrors mountains Holds the sky that changes always I walk softly in the forests Smoke rises from the island Seen through mist that tangles trees I dream softly in the valleys Blue flowers beside a rocky path Echo autumn’s stillness in a time of changes I sing softly in the mountains

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S

ingapore

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gallery

TINTED BY TRADITION waswo x. waswo

created in collaboration with third generation rajasthani hand-colourist

rajesh soni

first incarnation the first

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first incarnation the second

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radashyam dancing

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Indigo Blue Art, 33 Neil Road, Singapore 088820

Waswo X. Waswo was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in the U.S.A. He studied at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee, The Milwaukee Center for Photography, and Studio Marangoni, The Centre for Contemporary Photography in Florence, Italy. His books, India Poems: The Photographs, published by Gallerie Publishers in 2006, and Men of Rajasthan, published by Serindia Contemporary in 2011, are available worldwide. The artist has lived and travelled in India for over ten years and has lived in Udaipur, Rajasthan, for the past seven. There he collaborates with a variety of local artists including the photo hand-colourist Rajesh Soni. He has also produced a series of autobiographical miniature paintings in collaboration with artist R. Vijay. Waswo is represented in India by Gallerie Espace, New Delhi and Sakshi Gallery, Mumbai; in Thailand by Serindia Gallery, Bangkok; and in Switzerland by JanKossen Contemporary, Basel. Waswo’s works have recently been acquired by numerous public and private museums, including White Rabbit Gallery, Australia. He is currently exhibiting in a group show alongside leading international artists including Damien Hirst and Tracy Emin at the Mori Art Museum in Japan to mark its tenth anniversary this year. Rajesh Soni was born on the 6th of August, 1981. He is an artist living in Udaipur, Rajasthan, who has become known primarily for his abilities to hand paint digital photographs. He is the son of artist Lalit Soni, and the grandson of Prabhu Lal Soni (Verma), who was once court photographer to the Maharana Bhopal Singh of Mewar. Prabhu Lal was not only a court photographer, but also a hand-colourist who painted the black and white photographs that he produced. His skills of handcolouring photographs were passed down to Rajesh through his father Lalit.

A traveller and photographer of American origin, Waswo is a distinguished artist renowned for his Indian miniature painting and vintage photography. Tinted by Tradition features a selection of photographs that subvert ethnographic clichés, and play with calendar art and popular iconography.

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www.indigoblueart.com

Waswo uses backdrops painted especially for his studio by local craftsmen, which were done by copying Waswo’s previous photographs, or painting forest scenes from imagination. Props (cycle-carts, clay pots, antique armchairs, Indian musical instruments, etc) culled from streets, farms and local shops in Udaipur, and sometimes live animals are also used in his staged photographs. Central to the theatricality of his photographs are his models, whom he employs – often acting as themselves – to become participants in a mutually constructed enactment of life and fantasy. Photographing exclusively in natural light, Waswo creates images that hover subtly between the real and the imaginary. Rajesh Soni's gentle handcolouring of Waswo’s black and white images adds the finishing touch to works that blur the line between traditional and contemporary.


ganpat as a village man

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C

hina

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langmusi’s red monks photography Pei Yeou Bradley Text Martin Bradley

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Langmusi lays at the border of China and Tibet and mixes Han Chinese, Hui and Amdo Tibetans in that small town. It has become famed as a stopping off place for Western travellers heading into Tibet. Langmusi is also known for its collection of Buddhist monasteries and the monks’ red clothing. The distinctive red dye worn by the monks comes from boiling sappan wood with metal, like rusty nails, to produce a deep red dye, without the nails sappan dye is pink. If left for some time the sappan red dye turns purple.

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The area is also known for still practicing ‘sky burials’, or jhator - a Tibetan style of ‘burial’, giving alms to the birds (vultures). The body of the deceased is flayed, and taken apart to facilitate faster and more thorough consumption by the vultures in the spirit of inter connectedness of all beings and the environment. Buddhists believe that the deceased’s body is nothing but an empty shell, and that the spirit has moved on, towards a new incarnation - a re-birth.

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The vulture is a sacred creature in Tibet, and is known as a "holy eagle" or a dakini (feminine sky spirit). It is thought that disposing of the deceased via a ‘sky burial’ , may have originated due to the lack of soil and the paucity of wood in the Tibetan area, mixed with a reverence for vultures.

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gastrognome Sweet, White, Perky. By Martin Bradley

siew pau (pork buns)

Sultry songstress Sarah Vaughn had Black Coffee. Cliff Richard preferred Expresso Bongo, and Robert Plant had One More Cup of Coffee, but in Ipoh (Malaysia) the coffee is white, sweet and has more than a hint of mischief about it. Over the last few years in Malaysia, the sleepy town of Ipoh has become synonymous with White Coffee – a light roasted coffee bean. To attain this, coffee beans are roasted on a large metal platter, along with margarine to caramelise them, giving that unique Asian taste to silky coffee. The other form of Malaysian coffee – used for the ubiquitous ‘kopi-o’, is a darker roast including locally derived sugar in the roasting process. It is conjectured that coffee arrived in Malaysia either from Arab traders or, more likely, from Indonesians fleeing their home country. The Dutch originally planted coffee beans in Java and later Sumatra

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chinese muffins


(Indonesia) in the later half of the 17th century. It is rumoured that Ipoh coffee drinking followed migrating Chinese tin-miners, making their fortunes in the silvery tin fields of Perak, and in particular Ipoh. From those migrant workers grew the coffee market stalls and, eventually, the coffee culture and the kopi tiam (literally coffee shops). Those cafes have proliferated from the 1950s onwards. Today, the coffee drinking culture is as ingrained into the Malaysian way of life as eating noodles or rice. It was a customarily languid day as I stepped out of my friend’s car, in old town, Ipoh. An equatorially hot sun warmed my back as we sauntered past the aged buildings which, in their antiquity, lent a unique character to that area. It was a different world from the rest of Ipoh. Those gnarled antique buildings, resplendent in their history but faded with the passage of time, surrounded us, as did the last few mountains off the Titiwangsa Range. Aged, flaking, wooden blinds were half-drawn to protect people, and produce, from the bright, glaring, sun. Brilliant red paper lanterns, emblazoned with gold, bounced in a slight breeze. It was getting close to Chinese New Year, red was appearing everywhere. I had, literally, been steered towards a coffee shop called Sin Yoon Loong Kedai Kopi – at least that is what it said on the business card. My friend, a veteran of Ipoh and drinker of only the best Ipoh White Coffee, guided me to the unassuming shop mentioned on the card. Sin Yoon Loong, the shop next door and the one opposite also claim to

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be specialists in the Malaysian traditional coffee house experience. That particular experience comes replete with tantalising food dishes and good, silkily sweet, Malaysian style coffee. The coffee shop was full of ambience and people. We stood waiting for a few moments, ready for a table to clear. I was longing to dive into the kopitiam* experience, taste for myself the toast with coconut jam (kaya), and steamed bread accompanying lightly cooked eggs. I wasn’t disappointed. Sin Yoon Loong was all I wanted it to be. Many Malaysian people eat noodles for breakfast – pawn noodle soup, fried flat ricenoodles etc, yet despite my years in Malaysia it is not a habit I have taken up. Sin Yoon Loong is as an authentic Malaysian coffee shop with all kinds of delicious food. It has the best luxuriantly smooth coffee, and the sort of friendly ambience you might come to expect after several decades of serving discerning customers. While other shops in the locality might proclaim that they serve the eponymous Ipoh White Coffee and have branded that fact, Sin Yoon Loong serves it with humility and without drawing undue attention to the fact. The coffee itself is filtered the traditional Malaysian way – through a cotton sock, held at the top by a thick metal wire. Ground coffee is placed into the ‘sock’ and hot water poured. Malaysians like their coffee sweet, so condensed milk is added to the mix. The brew is served in what appears to be an antique Portuguese cup - which had become synonymous with coffee drinking in Malaysia. The cup and saucer have an off-white colour, with a green floral design. Unlike Middle Eastern coffee shops, Malaysian kopitiams are not an all male preserve. And, unlike certain American branded coffee chain stores, kopitiams are not expensive. The coffee does not come in a paper, or plastic bucket tarted up with cinnamon, but straight, humble, honest, and cheap. The choice of food shames any Western attempts, and varies from the already mentioned noodles to freshly baked cakes, Portuguese egg tarts, steamed breads and wondrous concoctions such as my breakfast of kaya on toast and boiled egg. The kopitiam, and Sin Yoon Loong - in Ipoh, especially, are experiences not to be missed by any traveller to Malaysia. *(Traditional Asian coffee shop)

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Dusun fourteen  

Dusun is an Asian Arts and Culture e-magazine bringing only the very best imagery, literature and poetry to the world

Dusun fourteen  

Dusun is an Asian Arts and Culture e-magazine bringing only the very best imagery, literature and poetry to the world

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