The Blue Lotus magazine issue 55

Page 102

Yusoff

MohamedBaleshPilarBoburAnukalMichaelDimHaldarDharaIsmailovVivienteJindalZakaria

Soltan

Weaver

Jill

ElizabethDesboroughMorris LotusTheBlue issue no. 55 autumn 2022

James

Papia

Zulkifli

Sabah Nhek

Carrim

Ghoshal

LotusTheBlue

contents A quick word Editor’s comments AAmA 19th AAmA international art exhibition 2022 The Story of Tantra Czech Film review p36 Zulkifli Yusoff Malaysian artist p48 Sabah Carrim Freedom - book extract p50 Nhek Dim Cambodian artist p62 Michael Haldar Bangladesh artist in Australia p72 Anukal Dhara Indian make-up artist extraordinary p82 Writing Through Creative Writing charity Cambodia

p90 Bobur Ismailov Uzbekistan artist p102 Pilar Viviente Spanish artist - Rodete p112 Balesh Jindal The Clinic - book extract p118 Mohamed Zakaria Soltan Egyptian Poster Poser p130 James Weaver Mersea - British artist p140 Jill Desborough Asterion - British artist p150 Elizabeth Morris Studio - British artist p160 Halia Authentic Malaysian Cuisines ISSN 2754-9151 • NO. 54 • Autumn ISSUE • 2022 • THE BLUE LOTUS Published quarterly by The Blue Lotus Publishing (M.A.Bradley), Colchester, Essex, England, UK. © 2022 M.A.Bradley. All rights reserved. FIND MORE ONLINE: …… facebook.com/bluelotusartsmagazine

From Central Asia, to India and eastern realms of Britain, The Blue Lotus magazine delights and intrigues. Submissions are encouraged to be sent to martinabradley@gmail.com Take care and stay safe for Covid 19 and its variants are still with us.

Martin (Martin A Bradley, Founding Editor)

Autumn is coming Time does what time does best. It strides across the salt marshes, marches down the roads and drags us all into futures we can only try to imagine. This issue spans the continents with exhibitions and displays vibrant and intoxicating. It informs of creativity in writing as well as personal culture and visuals to make you drool.

LotusTheBlue

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10 Óscar Varona, Cover

Although the epidemic era has hindered our travel and networking opportunities, we have found, a little ironically perhaps, that these difficulties have expanded our exchange of ideas, concepts and realised art. The preparations for the 19th AAmA international art exhibition in 2022 have proceeded with unprecedented fluidity. The exhibition has received support and response from artists based in more than 80 countries, interest which has informed the selection of 120 artists from 60 countries for participation in this exhibition. The increase in the number of art works has not affected the academic quality of the AAmA International Exhibition. On the contrary, it has consolidated and strengthened our position and our faith in creativity because of the high standard of concepts and aesthetics. It has enhanced our spiritual life, today and tomorrow. Art has never once abandoned us since its birth, and remained close to us throughout the pandemic. Different periods have brought us different spiritual forces and experiences and the recent past has generated fresh responses to extraordinary circumstances. This year, the AAmA art exhibition has piloted new protocols for international exchange. Through cooperation with art institutions around the world, the exhibition has not confined itself by opening solely in China. We have incorporated the works of our 120 artists into video productions and exhibited them in art museums in 8 countries. At the same time, we have also held offline exhibitions with artists from these 8 countries, making AAmA a truly international exchange.

Artists live in different regions and cities in the world, accepting the influences of their own history and culture, and thinking about the significance of art within the context of society and life.

Luo Qi, China 2022

Bearing artistic witness throughout an unprecedented period

Together we explore different artistic languages. AAmA international exhibition is a verdant forest of world art, which is collaboratively nurtured by some of the world’s most outstanding creatives. Under the planning of Maria de la Vega, an outstanding Argentine artist, the AAmA International Exhibition opened in August 2022 at the St. Martin Art Center of the national visual archives in Buenos Aires. Video exhibitions of 5 important Argentine artists, 8 specially identified international artists, and work created by an additional 120 artists were held simultaneously at the St. Martin Art Museum. In this way an exhibition of significant and substantial content was created.

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Under the auspices of Mario Quadraroli and Mario Diegoli and Professor Renato Galbusera of the Brera Academy of Fine Arts in Milan, the AAmA International Exhibition opened in September at Villa Biancardi (the site of the Villa Biancardi Biennale). The works of 10 famous Italian artists and those of 10 artists from Asia, Europe and America were jointly exhibited, juxtaposed with the videos featuring the full cohort of 120 artists.

https://www.facebook.com/AAmAInternationaExhibition/about/?ref=page

12 Luo Qi, Family 2

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14 Young Ho Shin, Jade Ants

15 Kalli Kalde, Dreamscape

16 Fang Limin, Untitled

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With this annual series of exhibitions and displays AAMA encourages ideas and art across cultural boundaries, aiding greater understanding of and between world Becausecultures. of the collaborations and juxtapositions involved across many countries, artists find that they have greater access to more creative resources, ideas and materials, engendering evolving universal creative vocabularies.

Each year, AAMA champions Modern and Contemporary Arts across the globe, demonstrating that art is worldwide, universal, and transcending national, regional, and local cultures.

Again the creative spirit of humanity triumphs, spreads camaraderie and well-being not just between the artists themselves but to those venues which house them and beyond into the ether through digital networking and the interconnection of the internet.

Each year the AAMA series of exhibitions spreads, presenting newer and older artists together in myriad venues and in divers ways for you all to enjoy. It is a triumph. Thank you the AAMA team. Ed.

18 Fabrice Matondo, Clouds on the hill

19 Fabrice Matondo, Cloud subliminal

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Sea

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Percy Kuta, The Embrace of the with Abundance

22 Jaana Paulus, Self Portrait In April

23 Alyson Souza, Untitled

24 Denis Smith, Gestural Piece

25 China Academy of Art, Hangzhou, China

The narrated voiceover (representing Papia Ghoshal) explains “ Actually the whole tantric practice is a purely personal and private matter”.

Papia Ghoshal (also known as Papia Das Baul) is a ‘bohemian’, Indian, tantric artist, actor, poet, Baul singer and generally multi-talented individual. She was born into a traditional Brahman (Hindu) household, in Bandel, West Bengal, India and, early on, developed a keen interest in Tantra and its followers. Ghoshal is a graduate from the University of Calcutta (political science, sociology, Indian classical and the music of Bengal), earned her master's degree in Indian music and studied fine arts in Merton College, London. She is also the international editor of 'The London Miscellany', a British magazine dedicated to art; cinema and literature, (founded 1825). Currently she spreads her time and various practices between the Czech Republic (Prague), England (London), and India (Kolkata).

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“Sometimes as a little girl, I left home for several days, I was fascinated by the tantrics living on the burial ground. I sat there with them and meditated. I saw the end of life. I don’t believe in reincarnation. I don’t believe in any religion. I don’t like them. The only things that remain after we’re gone is our work and our image in people’s minds. I believe in nature and its power, in the god who is within us” (Papia Ghoshal, from the film The Story of Tantra) In Poltikovič’s documentary film ‘The Story of Tantra’, we are informed that, “In Tantra everything is allowed. We break all conventions and prohibitions, to create a new free space, where we can do anything, however with consideration to ourselves and others.”

The Sanskrit word ‘Tantra’ may be thought to mean loom, weave, or warp, and is derived from the root word ‘tantu’, meaning a filament, thread (perhaps like a spider’s), or a cord. Tantra may be seen as the bringing together and intertwining of such filaments or threads such as in the harmonious weaving together of the body’s energies. Tantra is ancient, “mystical, profound” (according to Chökyong Palga Rinpoche, in the film), as well as being spiritual.

Shmashana Adhipati, or the Glorious Lords of the Charnel Ground

Due to her early and continuing fascination with the philosophy and practice of Tantra, Ghoshal was invited to feature in the Czech documentary ‘The Story of Tantra’ (Viliam Poltikovič , Prague 2020). She acts as a conduit, to ease an audience into and guide us through the complexities of the esoteric philosophy of ancient Tantra. ‘The Story of Tantra’ (Příběh tantry in Czech) won the ‘best film’ at the Rishikesh International Film Festival and was screened at the Spiritual Film Fest in Israel’s Tel Aviv.

“The Tantrik treatises are mostly composed between Siva and Sakti, aiming at awakening the cosmic power

Review of the film ‘The Story of Tantra’ I'm pickin' up good vibrations

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28 Papia Ghoshal performing

By its pronouncement the whole universe is formed, persists and ceases. It is a symbol of the eternal ‘now’ , a manifestation of the creative emptiness into multiplicity and a return to the consciousness of unity”. A tattooed (cosmic?) dancer (Anežka Hessová) appears in seven images. Her appearance provokes questions regarding numerical significance. Perhaps seven stars, named from seven great saints, or of Saptapadi (Sapta - seven, padi - poignant steps) taken in the marriage ceremony, or perhaps seven promises? Does the dancer bring forth a reflection about seven gurus, seven seas, seven worlds, or the seven Chakras? More poignantly, does that dancer symbolise the seven Indian musical notes (vibrations) - Sa; Ri; Ga; Ma; Pa; Da; Ni? And are we then, at this point in the film, continuing to ponder on the resonance of the universe(s)?

The female figures dances. A voiceover narrates… “Since ignorance has its roots in the divine, it is as extensive and unlimited as knowledge itself, and appears equally true. But when we reach knowledge, ignorance disappears.” The film fades to black. Light is revealed in an artist’s hand painting on a white canvas. We begin to see that it is the Indian tantric painter Papia Ghoshal’s hand, brush and canvas. It is explained that she paints with semen and menstrual fluids, giving us insight into her ‘Tantric’ paintings and her “personal way to God”. A female voice brings Ghoshal’s thoughts to the already enraptured audience. Enlightening the dark is suggested. The avoidance of enslavement by religious doctrine too, but, for me it was the gentleman draped in red, wearing a Tibetan hat, who grabbed my attention. He is seen using his prayer beads to chant the mantra ‘Om Mani Padme Hum’ (The jewel is in the lotus, or Praise to the jewel in the lotus). He repeats the mantra, quickly, so quick that we can barely discern his words. Over and over he chants while the narrator explains that mantras may be recited internally, or externally. In Sanskrit the term ‘mantra’ means ‘protection of the mind’ or ‘protecting the mind’, a calmness for the mind (again Chökyong Palga Rinpoche),which is gleaned by the concentration on the mantra to the exclusion of all else. It was that re-occurrence of ‘Om’, in the mantra ’Om Mani Padme Hum’ which fascinated me. That mantra had captivated me some four decades ago, and has remained as a personal mantra ever since. The Om mantra seems to stem from the ‘Karandavyuha Sutra’, and the possibilities of a meeting between tantric Mahayana Buddhist and Shaivite (Shiva) followers.

29 (Kundalini-Sakti) through various meditations. For the rituals five items are essential: wine (madya), meat (mamsa), fish (matsya), mystical gestures and roasted wheat (mudra) and sexual intercourse (maithuna).” (Tantrik Literature and Culture (Hermeneutics and Expositions)’ by Andrea Loseries Buddhist World Press, 2013); The Story of Tantra (2020) opens, significantly, with the chant of ‘Om’ (or aum ). The ancient chant of Om is often seen as referring to the ‘Ātman’ (or self) or to the divine and the underlying vibration of the universe. In the film the sound of Om segues to images of (Himalayan?) Mountains, acknowledged by some as being the seat of Eastern spirituality in which mystics and things mystical are seen to be rooted. Written in the ‘Taittiriya Upnishad’ (6th century BC), it is believed that Om (Aum) brings about “creation, preservation and destruction”. The film’s images and Om vibrations of spirituality ready us for the pending revelation… “Om…

Tantra practitioner, artist, poet, actress and the only Indian to receive the Trebbia International Award EU (category of contribution to the dialogue of national cultures) in Prague, Papia Ghoshal, explains (during the Czech ‘The Story of Tantra’ program recording for the ceremonial première of that film in Prague) that some Muslims, Fakirs as well as Baul have become practitioners of Tantra. She indicates that far from just being a modality for sexual release, with which things ‘tantra’ have been associated in the West, the practice of Tantra also leads to cosmic spirituality as well as being a conduit for universal knowledge (truth?).

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31 The Black Kali represents the destructive aspect of Mother Nature

By the Beach Boys Songwriters: Brian Douglas Wilson / Mike E. Love, Good Vibrations lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

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“Meditation is the foundation of spiritual practice to fully perceive the present as an eternal NOW” we are told. Mantra reciting is one way of meditative concentration, focussing on being in the present moment to the exclusion of all else, where possible. The ultimate goal being “emptiness and compassion” (Chökyong Palga Rinpoche).

GoodEd.

Vibrations

“Since ignorance has its roots in the divine, it is as extensive and unlimited as knowledge itself, and appears equally true. But when we reach knowledge,disappears.”ignorance

During length of ‘The Story of Tantra’ documentary (1 hour, 31 minutes) many important figures appear, such as His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso; the spiritual teacher Daniel Odier; psychologist and Tangkha painter Rob Preece; psychiatrist Stanislav Grof, and His Eminence Chökyong Palga Rinpoche (philosopher and a tulku of the Drukpa Dragon lineage of Tibetan Buddhism), as well as, the already mentioned, Papia Ghoshal. Through the medium of documentary these notables explain a variety of perspectives to present clearer understandings of Tantra, its complexities and its philosophies in Viliam Poltikovič's 2020 film Příběh tantry, or The Story of Tantra. Along with exhilarating visuals, intriguing audio resonating with well paced narrative the uninitiated, the seeker and the curious have their feet carefully placed on the initial stepping stones which might just lead them from out of the darkness, and towards the light, as this documentary proves itself to be a poignant springboard into the subject of Tantra.

33 Tibetan ritual

34 A meeting of ‘sisters’

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Zulkifli Yusoff is a contemporary Malaysia artist who flexes a flat style to draw disparate images together forming distinct narratives, which frequently relate to the emergence of Malaysia, from Malaya, and consequentially reveals conceptualisations of identity and place.

YusoffZulkifli

From screen printed images of war (planes and Samurai swords), film images of illustrious film idols – P. Ramlee and Saloma, up to and including a Time magazine cover proclaiming a new nation (Malaysia – April 1963), Zulkifli Yusoff reveals what it has meant, semiotically and symbolically, to be Malaysian, unshackled from the colonial yoke. Weaving a comprehensive tapestry of imagery, from the 1940s, 50s and 60s, Zulkifli Yusoff achieves a narrative concerning an outsider’s view looking in and an insider’s view looking out. This, with the greatest of fortune for the onlooker, is not done is any dry, dull, academic exposition, but rather in a colourful, joyous, intriguing revelation which, while in one sense looks back to the works of Yusoff’s countryman Rezda Piyadasa, simultaneously looks forward to a fresh, exciting era of contemporary Malaysian art, with just a hint at the Expressionism of a Malaysian James Ensor, or an Asian Emile Nolde.

The artist’s ‘expressionism’, however, moves ever toward abstract, with intriguing, works strangely reminiscent of the Latin American artist Wilfredo Lam and the character ‘Nemesis the Warlock’ (from the comic 2000AD) drawn by British artist Kevin O’Neill. These abstracted works are full of painterly movement and dynamism with canvases reflecting the Yusoff’s interpretation of narratives concerning Malaya and the creation of Malaysia. Ed.

Pahlawan Yang Berani Dari Pasir Salak

38 Power Series

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40 Harimau Malaya I

41 Jelingan V

42 Itik Pulang Petang IV (Malaya Series)

43 Itik Pulang Petang iii

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45 Dalang Wayang Baru

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Questions about meaning and existence haunt

"Humeirah…stands out as a particularly courageous story of looking within for answers." Vasudev Murthy, Author of What the Raags Told Me and Sherlock Holmes, The Missing Years: Timbuktu

"Humeirah is the touching story of a philosophical quest." L'Express Dimanche, Mauritius "There is a depth to...[Humeirah]...that belies mere storytelling." The Sun, Malaysia https://www.amazon.com/Humeirah-Sabah-Carrim/dp/9671107400

Humeirah, filling her with a sense of dread and unease as she wonders why thoughts that bother her don’t bother others, why she isn’t happy with things that make women around her happy, and why she can’t fit in. Humeirah spends most of her time thinking, reading, destroying and reconstructing the ideas and beliefs she was raised with. This is the story of a woman who seeks something beyond freedom from a suffocating marriage and a cluster of people who don't understand her. A story of a swim against the tide." The Hindu, India

“To dilute pain, Man seeks the company of those who share the same suffering ” Humeirah, Freedom Seated in the rear of her husband’s new Mercedes, Humeirah was deep in thought as the car glided over a freshly asphalted road. Outside were hues of a Mauritian summer: grassy mountain-hills that could be ascended in a few hours; tall and wispy coconut trees on the sidelines separating tarred from untarred, and shoots of sugar cane sprouting from fields of fertile-brown. In motion, the colours fused kaleidoscope-like and could put an aesthete in a state of trance, but a usually sensuous Humeirah felt nothing.

“The problem is with me,” murmured Humeirah, conscious that the driver was within earshot. Her lips curled into a smile. How does it feel when a sharp knife penetrates soft flesh and vomits blood on contact? What exactly lies beyond this dark world? More darkness? No. Everything will end when I die. My world won’t exist.

But people who are united seek things in common. They seek to homogenise values, and standardise conceptions of good and bad in order to apply the same formula to everything. No. That’s not what I want. What can I fight? Who can I fight? My life, my existence, and my mind are always dominated by scattered thoughts that have no direction, no meaning, no purpose. There’s no one to share them with; nothing constructive to do with them. Am I fighting to be a free woman, enjoy the same rights as men, and have a say in everything?No.Iwant something else. Why do thoughts that bother me not bother others? Why am I not happy with things that make other women happy? Why can’t I fit in?

Humeirah’s thoughts were interrupted by scenery that looked familiar. The car moved past Zeba’s house, and another equally ornate building with fewer windows. The house had an air of abandon and disuse, apparent only to those who could see. The driver swerved into the driveway and parked at the entrance. He was Vijay, a forty-two-year-old employed by the family for the last five years.

The sun was setting, the last beams casting strange shadows on the house. If one peered closely at the walls, one would discern desperate attempts to wipe off the dark coating of dust, adverse weather, and primarily time. The dark coating was a sign of wisdom the bricks had earned; yet their owners had made them look like what they were not. “Maintenance” they called it; “disguise” it was, and a necessary means of consolation.

48 -FREEDOM - (extract)

Decades ago, women paraded the streets chanting “freedom” with fervour and passion. In the end they got what they wanted. Was it because they were united? Where can I find like-minded people?

The following was published in ‘The Cambodia Daily’ (2009) and written in an article called NHEK DIM

50 In an occasional series, The Blue Lotus delves into the history of Modern and Contemporary South and South East Asian arts. This issue highlights Nhek Dim, who has been considered to be one of the leading lights in ‘post independence’ Modern Cambodian art. King Norodom Sihanouk declared Cambodian independence, from France on November 9, 1953. In ‘Phnom Penh : a cultural and literary history' (Milton E Osborne, 2008), it is mentioned that… “Far more than is the case in Vietnam, where there is a lively modern art movement, Cambodian visual art is struggling to establish a presence and an identity in contemporary Phnom Penh. Before 1975 there was an active art scene that benefited from the support of expatriates and foreign diplomatic missions. By far the best known artist of this period was Nhek Dim whose landscapes were technically accomplished, perhaps reflecting the period he had spent working in the Disney studios on pieces such as ‘The Wise Rabbit’ cartoon (1967) . Like so many others who worked in the arts, Nhek Dim died during the period of Khmer Rouge rule.”

51 La Moisson (The Harvest)

52 Cambodia National Tourist Office Travel Poster

‘Painting by Famed Nhek Dim Returns Home’, by Michelle Vachon… ”Born in Prey Veng province in 1934, Nhek Dim spent four years in the US studying animation at the Walt Disney film studio, returning in 1967 with the studio’s studentcompetition first prize, according to Lors Chinda’s 2001 book on the painter titled “Nhek Dim”. There is something deeply satisfying about research. Through access to the ‘Internet Archive’ (which is a non-profit library of millions of free books, movies, software, music, websites, and more) I had searched for the Cambodian ‘Modern’ artist, Nhek Dim. There were few ‘hits’, but one did interest me. It was a reference in ‘Asian Comics’ by John A. Lent. I remembered John Lent’s excellent volumes on the history of comics and cartoons from my interest in the history of comics, but had not expected Nhek Dim to feature in ‘Southeast Asian Cartoon Art’ (John A. Lent 2014) and the ‘Cambodia’ section of ‘Asian Comics’ (John A. Lent, 2015). In the latter Lent had said that… “Phseng-phseng, Kambuja, and Le Sangkum, magazines directed by Norodom Sihanouk, Angkor

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Nhek Dim was born in February 1934, in Reap village, Reap commune, Pea Reang District, in Prey Veng Province, Cambodia. He loved art early on, and in 1949 his parents enabled him to go to the School of Cambodian Arts (now the Department of Plastic Arts of the Royal University of Fine Arts), in Phnom Penh. The art school had been overseen by George Groslier and Suzuki, a Japanese teacher who had trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Tokyo (by Japanese painters who had studied Impressionism in France), became one of the most important art teachers at the School of Cambodian Arts. Nhek Dim worked as a designer for the American Embassy in Phnom Penh and, in 1957, spent six months in Manila studying printmaking and publishing techniques with the support of the United States government at the United States Information Service in the Philippines. In 1963, Nhek Dim travelled to the USA, spending over three years studying under the celebrated animator Walt Disney and bringing back to Cambodia a white Mustang convertible, as a sign of his material success.

Nhek Dim has been seen as more of a ‘romantic’ painter, somewhat in the mode of Indonesia’s Raden Saleh Sjarif Boestaman (painting in Java, during the mid-1800s). Nhek Dim painted seemingly sentimental images of apsara dancers, idyllic landscapes and villages, such as his ‘Village Scene’ (1960) which was “…featured in a 1961 exhibition organised by the United States Information Service in Phnom Penh, and subsequently reproduced in Free World, a magazine published by the United States in several Southeast Asian languages and distributed widely” (we are informed by the National Gallery, Singapore, 2021). ‘La Moisson’ (The Harvest, 1961) is another such painting in the same mode as ‘Village

During the 1950s, back in Phnom Phen, Nhek Dim made a living as a cartoonist and a designer/commercial artist producing advertising/ travel posters, such as ‘Landscape of Angkor Wat, Visit Cambodia’ and “Cambodia Game Hunting” for the Cambodian National Tourist Office’. Nhek Dim also created record covers (like Saravann) for artist such as Sinn Sisamouth, Ros Sereysothea, Pan Ron and Huoy Meas from Cambodia’s musical golden era. That is before the killings of artists and intellectuals (who emulated the West), by the Khmer Rouge. Latterly Nhek Dim produced “more or less naturalistic drawing and painting” (Roger Nelson, Lasalle Art History Forum, 2017, Singapore).

54 who was alternately king and head of government (Marston 1997, 60). Huy Hem, Nhek Dim, and Khut Khun were the magazines’ featured cartoonists.”

55 Album cover for Ros Sereysothea and Sinn Sisamouth

56 Young child sleeping a hammock

By1960, Nhek Dim had adopted a fresher style for his fine art paintings, one more easily recognised across South East Asia. In his Phnom Penh gallery (at 367 Kampuchea Krom St.), where he promoted himself as an ‘Artist and Cartoonist’, Nhek Dim’s new painting style appeared to have had commonalities with Nanyang painting styles championed by artists such as Cheong Soo, and Georgette Chen (from Singapore), a decade earlier. This is evidenced in ‘Village Scene’ (mentioned above) and a beach scene (in uncharacteristic gouache), from 1963, which rests somewhere between the illustrative and ‘fine’ art. That style, developed in oil paint, includes an image of a monk, a sailing vessel (both1965) and a domestic scene of a young child sleeping a hammock (undated).

Sadly, the artist who is arguably the father of Cambodian ‘Modern’ art, Nhek Dim, having been perhaps the most famous Cambodian artist in the 1950s, 60, and early 1970s, and had developed a very Western ‘artist’ lifestyle, had his life cut short by the after-effects of the tragedy which was the Cambodian civil war (effectively from 1967 until 1975). Lors Chinda, himself an artist, in his well researched book about Nhek Dim (Nhek, Dim, 1934-1978, Lors Chinda Art Publishers, 2001) suggests that the Khmer Rouge may have killed Nhek Dim in the December of 1978, along the Takeo-Kompong Speu province border. Ed.

57 scene’ demonstrating that Nhek Dim was one of Cambodia’s first renown ‘Modern’ Cambodian artists who had adapted the more gentler, prettier, Western styles of painting to suit an idealisation of Cambodia and heavily romanticised images.

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Image of a monk

59 Studio address on rear of canvas

60 A digital chapbook published by The Blue Lotus Publishing

martin bradley

"There is always madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness." Friedrich Nietzsche These love poems stem two decades of being in Asia (essentially Cambodia, Malaysia and the Philippines), some were previously presented in the collection ‘Remembering Whiteness’ and re-visited, others lay patiently waiting for this brief chapbook volume to share with you. Love can be beautiful, and devastating.

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https://issuu.com/martinabradley/docs/love_s_texture

Love’s Texture poems and pictures by

62 MICHAEL HALDAR

Michael Haldar is a modern,contemporary artist based in Sydney Australia. Haldar was born in Chittagong,Bangladesh where his father was a teacher, musician and writer. His childhood memories are of going to the theatre and being immersed in local culture. Since going to Australia he has maintained his interest in the arts and now divides his time between painting, drawing and working as a makeup artist.

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After sipping my chai, Michael says,” I love my job with CHANEL. It giving freedom to women: look good, feel good and be confidence in every phases of life.” He transforms their lives as part of his job which he enjoys the most. His goal is for women to enjoy life and not to be restricted by option or crippled by personal problems , just like his

Who does Nicole Kidman, Roslyn Packer and Natalie Imbruglia have in common: Michael Halder

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Michael is a national make up artist for CHANEL by profession. Specialises in lifestyle and beauty makeup. Born in Chittagong, Bangladesh. Graduated with commerce degree. Attended Sea Forth College of TAFE - NSW/ National Art School : two years in 1986. Worked for many years at the Australian Water Board as graphic designer and publishing companies. Chanel Makeup Artist and Painter: In Harris Park (looks like Little India) with people eating warm jibalis , tandoori chicken with Nan bread and momos in butter chicken sauce, we drank out warm chai, I listed to Michael about his childhood and how he spends time enjoying local culture including theatre in Bangladesh. Father was a teacher, musician and writer. He translated Hamlet to Bengali language to be performed on stage. Lost the house after war of 1971 and father died. But Painting and drawing remained a significant part of his life.

On a cold Friday winter night, I meet Michael Halder in an Indian restaurant in Harris Park, Sydney. A decade ago, while working in Sydney CBD for a medical company, I used to visit David Jone(one of the oldest Australian departmental store with an osmotic effect for customers looking for best in a historic building that stands tall and grand in Elizabeth Street) to buy CHANEL gifts for my wife. And Michael Halder was there to assist me with a smile. Who is Michael Halder?

During his childhood, Bangladesh childhood friends, he loved to Competition for art award. He attended the Literary & Cultural Competition Award 1978 Leo club of Chittagong (Bangladesh), “Painting" Second (Senior) Position 1971 Friends of UNICEF (Pakistan) “National Exhibition of Children”. Then came to live in Australia. After reaching Australia, he has maintained his interest in the arts and now divides his time between painting, drawing and working as a makeup artist. Life has given many opportunities to Michael to work as weekend makeup artist for an Italian modelling agency, followed by a company paid trip to Italy for photo shoot in Florence, Milan and Rome but he always remain honest to himself and love for painting. He opened his own shop with original hand painted T-shirt’s in Surry Hills, Sydney. Then, while he was working as casual for CHANEL counter in Chatswood David Jones, offered a full time makeup artist position with the company. Travelled to Hong Kong and New Zealand for company trips.

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69 own life. He had served actress Nichole Kidman who purchased CHANEL gifts for her mother , singer Natalie Imbruglia and Roslyn Packer , wife of late Australian billionaire Kerry Packer. He had also served men who would purchase one gift box for their wife with white ribbon and another for a friend (with benefit) with black ribbon. In 2021, he went to Melbourne to enjoy Gabriel CHANEL FASHION exhibition, celebrating the genius of CHANEL’s vision, influence and creations as an artist. Michael, himself is an artist. He had done his Associated Diploma in Arts, Graphic Design and Photography from University of Western Sydney. In 1986 - 1987, he also attended the Seaforth College of TAFE/ Sydney College of the Arts (Fine Arts). He is a member of Lane Cove Arts Society Members Exhibition and had been finalist for Waverley Art Prize, The City of Ryde Art Society and Blacktown Art Prize.

Last year as CHANEL celebrated 100 years anniversary, Michael cannot be any more happy to be celebrating 20 years association with CHANEL next year. Enjoying the Niche style , unique , originality of CHANEL as makeup specialist, he chose keeping creating paintings with originality and personal touches. Australian influence landscape , blend of Micheal Hadarengali and Australian heritage are his foray. He enjoys his time exhibiting his art works across various galleries in Sydney, Australia and we cannot get enough of his art works. Spending hours in creating colourful pieces that have been in magazines too. What I love about his art work is his style, the use of colours and techniques. His mobile phone is mosaic of his paintings which also tells the story of an artistic individual who had successfully blend in cultures and techniques together. As a Bengali Australian, he is definitely a celebration of life in the Land DownUnder.Indranil Haldar

He was “The Joyce Mills Prize" Commended 2008 Cabravale Diggers Foto Art Annual Exhibition - First Prize "Your World" Category and 2004 Fishers Ghost Art Award - Campbeltown Finalist. Followed by 2013 and 2014 - Finalist Woollahra , 2013 Lane Cove Arts Society Members Exhibition and 2011- 2012 Julian Ashton Art School, Sydney.

Facebook:Instagram:Phone:mhaldar89@gmail.com+61425350213@michael_haldarMichaelHaldar

Email:

"Art means everything to me. It's like being an addict. I have to touch brushes and draw every day - If I don't draw for a day I get very restless"

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"My art has no particularmessage or politicalconnotations, it is purely aprocess of my nature andimagination. It’s like givingbirth to my most intimate self."

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Anukul

Dhara (Rajkumari Coco Sundori)

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Anukul Dhara is a brave and talented artist from Kolkata. She breaks gender stereotypes with the power of makeup. She’s a celebrity makeup artist and a beauty influencer too. Even though she hails from Kolkata, her name is renowned in the Pollywood industry. She is an art model and also working as a textile designer under Sabyasachi to quitting a salon job and becoming a freelance makeup artist, she’s had it all. One can often spot him with the leading ladies of Pollywood such as Sonam Bajwa, Mandy Takhar, Wamiqa Gabbi and Sara Gurpal or Punjabi singers like Sunanda Sharma, Jasmine Sandlas and Barbie Maan. She is the first choice of Punjabi actresses. For her work purpose, she has to work in Punjab, far away from her hometown, Kolkata.

Anukul Dhara shares her secrets and tips and why she loves working in Punjab, away from his hometown Kolkata. She is a self taught makeup artist and is inspiring all with her hard work. She is for sure a very talented makeup artist and no one does the subtle yet gorg look better than her. She is an amazing person who has such an outstanding level of confidence.

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Anukul Dhara, Coco Ballucci, also known as Rajkumari Coco is a Chandigarh based makeup artist who was born and brought up in Kolkata. She is a freelance makeup artist and have been seen working closely with famous Pollywood celebrities like Neeru Bajwa, Sonam Bajwa, Sara Gurpals and many more. She consider herself to be “Princess of Kolkata”.

76 “...brave and talented artist from Calcutta. She breaks stereotypesgenderwiththepowerofmakeup.”eup.”

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“She is the first choice of Punjabi actresses. For her work purpose, she has to work in Punjab, far away from her hometown, Kolkata.”

#rajkumaricoco

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80 A very different publication from The Blue Lotus Publishing

81 # Dada #Surrealism #Fluxus #Asemic #Noir #Beat #Satire #Baudelaire #Tagore #Ray # andAbusurdistmore “Thereisnorealityexcepttheonecontainedwithinus.Thatiswhysomanypeoplelivesuchanunreallife.Theytaketheimagesoutsideofthemforrealityandneverallowtheworldwithintoassertitself.” Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf “Oneshouldalwaysbedrunk.That'sallthatmatters...Butwithwhat?Withwine,withpoetry,orwithvirtue,asyouchose.Butgetdrunk.” Charles Baudelaire, Paris Spleen

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Writing Through

Writing Through is a charitable organisation which uses creative writing as a tool to develop thinking skills, language fluency and self-esteem in marginalised and at risk populations throughout the Writingworld.Through is a not-forprofit organisation registered as a US charity dedicated to promoting the education of some of the world’s most at-risk children and adults. Via our workshops, taught jointly in both English and the school’s native language, students are helped to think conceptually and then critically, to write more fluently and creatively in English, and to increase their sense of selfesteem and self-worth. We believe that arts education allows both children and adults to view their difficult world more hopefully. In this way, they can imagine and then work towards their own better futures. How It Started Sue Guiney’s first time in Cambodia was an eye-opening and inspiring experience. Like so many others, she was captivated by the kindness of the Khmer people, the beauty of the landscape and the wonder of the ancient temples. This inspiration prompted her to write a novel set in Cambodia, ‘Clash of Innocents’. She decided to give back to this country that acted as her muse by sharing her knowledge. Sue contacted an organisation, Students Cambodia

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‘Anjali House’, to offer a workshop to teach creative writing to the students. These students were from extremely disadvantaged families with a passion for learning that brought them to study at the educational centre in Siem Reap. Their focus on adding art education to enrich the lives of these students made it the perfect place for Sue, a poet and writer, to bring her talents.

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While the non-governmental organisation was thrilled with the offer, they countered with an important condition. It could not be a one-off, this would need to be the start of an ongoing relationship. And with that, the seed was planted. The first workshop took place in 2010. Sue used her experience as a writer to teach the group of nervous students some strategies for brainstorming and exploring different themes. It was a hit! The students loved it and it became an annual trip to Cambodia to meet the students and keep working with them to help them develop their thinking skills, language fluency self-esteem and to find their unique voices.

Through these initial workshops, it became clear that this was filling a gap in the education system in Cambodia. Rote learning is the standard, and the students get very little space to explore ideas and express themselves. For many, this was the first time they were asked what they felt about something, and Sue was able to watch them slowly come out of their shells and really express themselves. Year after year, these students grew into teens and are now young adults with thriving careers and they are still in touch with ItSue.also became clear that the issues they faced were not unique to their circumstances but were true for most students in Cambodia. Today we recognise that those same limitations exist across many marginalised groups and education systems worldwide, not just in Cambodia. In 2014, a second non-governmental organisation in Cambodia approached Sue asking for her workshop. The big difference was that they operated on six campuses across the country, mostly in rural areas. This was the tipping point. It had officially grown into something bigger and at this point Writing Through was born. After becoming a US registered charity, it was time for growth. Sue hired staff and recognised the need for passionate people to be there when she couldn’t. A trip to Singapore and some meetings with communities there led to a pool of volunteers willing to fly to Cambodia and facilitate workshops around the country. Now, not only did the workshops help shape the lives of the students, but our volunteers were able to share their passions for writing and get to explore new places. Many even say that they feel as though they learned just as much as the participants.

What We Do The mission of Writing Through has changed slightly through the years. Today, it is to use creative writing as a tool for teaching thinking skills, language fluency and self-esteem. We know that everyone has a voice and a story to tell, and we want to help amplify those voices. We do so in a number of ways, including the Big Event, where the participants stand up and proudly share their poems, journal entries or stories in front of an audience. We can help them reach a further audience through our anthologies, the first of which was published in 2019 and can be purchased from our website. Finally, we share poems, journal entries and stories on the Writing Through social media channels both in written form and as beautiful videos. Our program uses tested pedagogy and creative tools to inspire insightful discussion, contemplation and finally, expression. We use our set of rules to make clear that this isn’t a regular classroom and that they should not be afraid to express themselves. We use various prompts related to the workshop theme or Big Idea and use a deductive approach to elicit empathetic thinking and deeper connections. Finally, we always write in English to help them break free of the typical rigidity they might have been taught or practiced in their writing up to that point. At the Big Event, they are presented with a magazine of their own work to take home as well as a certificate of achievement. We work with very diverse populations, including disadvantaged teens, elderly women and young adults with disabilities. We have found over the years that our program works for

virus started getting a bit too close to home. In Siem Reap, there were no cases, but the US was starting to see a spread. This meant that Sue and her husband Don had to leave ahead of schedule just in case travel restrictions were implemented. As we watched the world shut down and people everywhere being told to stay at home, our workshops began to be postponed and some cancelled. The Writing Through team began meeting over Zoom and discussing our fears and worries, and with that, we began to realise how helpful it was to talk to each other on opposite ends of the world. This is how we were inspired to begin offering free, online workshops to the public. We would have a few each week, some in Asian time zones and some in American time zones. We tailored the themes to what we were experiencing and introduced the group journal writing session. It was incredible! We had people joining from different backgrounds, countries, generations and situations. It was an incredible way to come together during such a scary and isolating time. These also helped us to realise that we could take our full workshops online. By practicing and honing our skills with the public taster workshops, we learned what worked and what didn't and with that, we finally unlocked the potential to truly go global. We are now fully capable of running an entire workshop completely online. This means that we are not bound by physical location, and we can reach out to new partners wherever they are in the world. We were exclusively doing online workshops from March 2020 until December 2021. Of course, online workshops only work in places where the participant all have access to the internet and devices and so not all our partners could move online. This meant that some were just postponed until we could meet again in person. We decided to use this downtime to really look inward and grow Writing Through into a scalable non-profit that was ready for expansion. Sue worked with a group of Harvard alumni to create a business plan, we worked with fundraising and grant writing consultants to upskill internally, and we wrote new training and facilitating guides. We stayed connected to our volunteers, partners, and supporters. Where are we now? We are very happy to say that everywhere we physically work is back to allowing gatherings and we have been very happy to come together once again and are able to continue using our new online techniques to reach those that choose to continue online.

Not only are we back with our old partners, but we have managed to add new ones in the past few months! We are always thrilled to be approached by organisations that have heard great things about us and want to work with us. It is this organic way of reaching people where we started and how we hope to continue. We have also seen another organic expansion and that is in our new Chapter Model. We realised that we could work anywhere, with any partner as long as we have someone there to take charge. Throughout COVID, many of our volunteers spread out around the world and are itching to get involved again. We had a volunteer in Mexico come to us with two organisations in Oaxaca that were interested in having workshops and so the Mexico Chapter was born. Another volunteer who repatriated back to Australia saw the same need there as she witnessed in marginalised communities in Cambodia and is currently setting up a chapter there. All we need to begin somewhere new is someone to plant the seed and to have the passion to spread the mission of Writing Through.

COVID Sue was on her annual trip to Cambodia in late February 2020 when the news about a new

86 anyone. This is what has inspired us to continue growing the organisation and try to bring our workshops to as many people as possible.

Another volunteer of Writing Through moved back to the UK and is a Mathematics professor at the University of Southampton. When supervising masters’ theses, she found two students who were interested in non-profit work and they created algorithms to assess the poems coming from our workshops. This is incredible for showing the impact and evaluating the success of our techniques. We now have received a grant through the university and are in the midst of a randomised-controlled trial of our programs which we will hopefully be able to publish and will help us to continue monitoring and evaluating our programming. This is a necessary and difficult step that we still cannot believe we have been lucky enough to be performing under the guidance of such a talented and expert advisor. We have come out of the pandemic stronger and more determined than ever to help people find their voices and to become global citizens ready to take on any challenges this world might throw at them. For more information, or to become involved in our work, contact us at … www.writingthrough.orginfo@writingthrough.org

Sue Guiney, Cambodia

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89 Anjali House Cambodia

Bobur Ismailov

Artist’s studio photo by Anna Crossey

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94 Diptych "Touch"

95 Touch

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Bobur Ismoilov’s artistic background lies in theatre and stage design, therefore his paintings are often perceived as episodes in a theatrical narrative of some kind. The paintings’ surfaces reveal the effect of old frescoes where the artist explores pictorial space with his stylishly constructed mis-en-scenes and addresses love, the quirkiness of human relationships and humour as well as something of sadness and pain. He is influenced by the dynamics of visual language in the traditional miniature painting and strives to reconcile ancient values with the particular complexities of his own storytelling. Further, he creates memorable images rooted in his cultural inheritance. The purpose of the metaphorical work is to engage with the cultural and aesthetic values of his homeland.

Phone: +99890 186 93 76 e-mail: baburism@gmail.com

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Babur Ismailov was born in 1973, in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, where he lives and works. He studied Fine Arts at the Benkov Art College in Tashkent (1987- 1990) and at the State Institute of Fine Arts in Tashkent, Uzbekistan (1990-1996). Since 1997 he has taught at the national fine arts and design institute. He has been a member of the Creative Union of Arts of Uzbekistan, in Tashkent, since 1998 and A member of Moscow Union of Artists of the International Art Fund, since 2000. Babur Ismailov holds a great number of diplomas and awards, such as a Golden Medal of the Fine Arts Academy of Uzbekistan and The Medal of the Honored Artists of Uzbekistan.

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María Pilar Viviente Solé Pilar Viviente

Rodetes

Green Rodete Violet Rodete Yellow Rodete Silver Rodete

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For some time now, I have been developing in my work the concept of “Rodete”, so present in the headdresses of Iberian women. And to this series belongs the work featured here, in 2022. The wheel-shaped ornament on each side of the Iberian bust ‘La Dama de Elche’ is called “Rodete”. We can also find Palaeolithic Rodetes similar to Chinese disks in the Altamira Museum. In addition, the “wheel” is also a mandala. I’ve been working inspired by the shape and symbolism of this particular design, which carry liberation through repetition, either visually or through sound (solo piano). It refers to cosmic consciousness and archaeological themes, mythical and universal patterns beneath the surface, and is related to an artistic research into light and colour.

The “Rodete” connects contemporary art with archaeology and brings archaeology and knowledge from the past to the present, thus redefining identities from an ecofeminist perspective (feminism and ecology), focusing on ecological sustainability, women and gender issues. Here is the search for a primitive, but powerful way in which to express a feminist framework. As Eva Klaehn points out, “The multimedia project Rodete of Pilar Viviente explores the forgotten balance between history and gender.” Catalogue Garmisch-Partenkirchen: New Art Salon Foundation,Pilar2022).Viviente

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108 María Pilar Viviente Solé (Madrid, 1958) is a multidisciplinary artist belonging to the “reflective generation” in Spain of the 90s (EL PAÍS 16 Ago 1989). She won an Award for the Best National Degree (1987) & FPI Dissertation Research Fellowship (1988-1992). Doctorate by the UB (1993) she is lecturer & Ph.D. advisor at the Faculty of Fine Arts, UMH, since 1998, being Director of Drawing Area 7yr. & IRO 2yr. She is (since): 1997 InSEA member (UNESCO); 2015 Contributing Editor (Spain) of Socialist Factor magazine; 2021 General Editor of the IACLSC Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies and Member of the IACLSC Research Council.

With nearly 200 publications on her authorship, articles both national and international, she has published in media as Grupo Noticias, The Word UK, Socialist Factor magazine; art and culture magazines as Arte Omega, La Brecha, Km 0, El Temps d’Art, The Blue Lotus, Crisis -Erial Ediciones; academic journals as Arte, Individuo y Sociedad, Reencuentro: Análisis de problemas universitarios, Visual Culture & Gender, UMH Sapiens, Hofstra Hispanic Review; and art catalogues and proceedings books.

From 1985, until now, she has put featured in 200 national and international exhibitions in galleries, museums, and art spaces, taking part in Biennales and Fairs. She has recently received the Museari 2022 Award for Artistic Career. Her work is represented in important Museums as MACBA and Private and Public Collections all over the world. Blue and Pink Rodete pilarviviente@gmail.com Blue Night Rodete Orange Rodete Fushia Rodete

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The book Faded Reels: The Art of Four Cambodian Filmmakers, 1960-1975 brings to light the essential contributions to world cinema made by Cambodia’s greatest pre-war directors: Ly Bun Yim, Tea Lim Koun, Yvon Hem, and Uong Citta (Kanthouk). With in-depth plot summaries, stunning screen shots, and discussions of 16 rare Cambodian films, this book gives readers access to a largely undocumented period of Southeast Asian film history. A Cambodian cinema history for movie lovers and film scholars alike, Faded Reels includes detailed scene descriptions that feature the technical craftsmanship, innovation, complex storytelling, compelling characters, and beautiful cinematography of each director, while situating their biographies in the socio-cultural context of Cambodian history. Highlights include an exclusive interview with director Uong Citta, and chapters focusing on key films such as The Snake Man, The Twelve Sisters Story, Sovannahong, and Thavary Meas Bong. Extensively researched, this first analysis of the early Cambodian films is an addition to global Dr.cinema.LinDa Saphan is an established voice in the field of Cambodian cultural studies and has published extensively on Cambodian pre-war popular music. She was the lead researcher and associate producer for the documentary film Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock and Roll and acted as executive producer for several other film projects. She is currently an Associate Professor of Sociology at the College of Mount Saint Vincent, New York City.

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113 Publisher Vitasta Publishing Pvt.Ltd Publication City/Country New Delhi, India ISBN10 9390961742 ISBN13 9789390961740

By Balesh Jindal

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A new paediatrician had opened up shop just across the road. It was obvious that if I sent the mother to Safdarjung which was an hour away, it might be too late. I sensed that the mother’s confidence in me had become rickety. “Why don’t you try the new doctor across the road?”I looked at her impassive face and could not figure out her thought process. Without a word, she picked up her child and crossed the road to find the new paediatrician. Within five minutes, she was back, her face tear stained. “He refused to see my child.”

“Quickly, lay him here,” I said pointing to the table. I gave my shot and waited for the muscles to relax. Five, six, seven, eight minutes, went by and the convulsions were as firm as before. At ten minutes, I gave the second shot and waited again. One, two, three, I counted with bated breath, five, six and seven minutes went by. The child was stiff and still in a convulsive state. There was no sign of the body loosening. I knew the child had gone into Status Epilepticus. My brain was working like a spinning machine. There was no help anywhere near. I realised the vulnerability of practising in this area. I could turn nowhere for help.

A couple of weeks later, the mother rushed in with the convulsing child in her arms.

This rankled deep. I felt helpless. He should have seen the child and tried to help but I could understand his refusal. The child was my patient and he saw me as his competitor so it was natural he didn’t want to step in at a late stage.

Once, there was a two-year-old child, Sonu, who had come a few times earlier for epileptic attacks. He laid helplessly on my examination bench as he convulsed and frothed with glassy eyes, but he always responded to my shots of Diazepam and I never had to repeat a shot for him. Even though I had prescribed the usual medicines for epilepsy that had to be taken, I suspected that the mother would fail to be regular as he came in at least once in two months.

“You need to take him to SFJ, they will be able to “Howhelp.”do I go there, I have no conveyance?” She The Clinic

The road between life and death is short. It's all about that one second. In that split second, one can judge wrongly and lose a patient. The moment someone sits in the consultation room at a small 4/4 ft. table with a small letterhead, an inexpensive stethoscope, a steel torch and a small wooden stool, one is all alone. There are no senior residents to turn to if a patient stops breathing; no nurses to calculate the electrolytes that need to be pumped into a lifeless, limp body; and no one behind your shoulder as you witness an epileptic child frothing at the mouth and convulsing spasmodically. Regarding the latter, I would just give the correct dosage of Diazepam and wait and repeat if necessary, just as we were taught. Most of the time, the child would be relieved of the convulsions and the parents would look gratefully at me as they carried the sleepy child in their arms.

I heard his sombre words and vowed to be more selective in my patients. I stopped treating epilepsy patients and some emergencies after that day. The children with asthmatic bronchitis and epilepsy were the worst affected. I referred them all to SFJ with a heavy heart. Even though I knew that just one shot would cure them, I had to safeguard myself from serious implications. With that patient, I realised that along with immense glorification, denunciation was not far behind. No matter how adept or artful I was, I was defenceless in the face of unexpected accidents and the betrayal of the human body.

Limitations of the art of medicine and the response of the human body to medicines, had to be understood and respected. Along with the strategies for a private practice, I imbibed some survival techniques too.

After listening to my narrative in detail, he thought awhile and said, “It’s not your fault at Iall.”looked up in surprise and relief. ‘New Husband’ was my biggest litmus test. “You did what any good doctor would have Idone.”could have cried in the comforting solace his words gave me. “I hope you realise that heroism does not work in real life,” he reasoned patiently, “for along with the deification comes the risk of being attacked and vilified.”

115 rasped at me, clearly aggrieved. “You need to take him there immediately,” even as I said this, I saw that the child suddenly became flaccid. He wasn’t taut anymore. I looked into his pupils, felt the pulse and saw the pallor almost all at once. The mother’s face changed from one of grievance to accusation in a matter of seconds. Her beady eyes, looked accusingly and aggressively at me. I knew the battle for life for the child was over. The battle of my life had just started. “You’ve killed my child!” Said the mother. She was inconsolable and pushed the glass of water away which my staff offered her. If I state the obvious, I can say I was disconcerted and felt “Pleasecornered.call your husband,” I said gently “Hmmm, I will, surely I will.” I was shaken too, as it was the first death in my clinic in over two decades. “If you didn’t give him the injection, my child would still be alive,” she sobbed. There was no point in justifying myself or looking for absolution as she was in no condition to listen or reason. Her husband arrived ten minutes later. I told him that the child did not respond to the treatment and told him that it’s common for that to happen. I expected to face his wrath, but the husband seemed to understand. “Yes, doctor, you are right, I am sure you did your best.” He said. “It is god's will.” He took the child in his arms and walked away quietly. Besides the crisis that ensued in my clinic that day, another battle awaited me at home. I had to recount the whole incident to ‘New Husband’. I was certain that, being the disciplinarian he was for medical protocols, he would find many faults in my line of actions.

‘New Husband’ drilled the new and stricter guidelines that had been laid down for GPs over the years. Spontaneity, treating from the heart, trying to save the patients, and all of these lofty ideals flew off like the years of youth that I had

On taking a detailed history, I got to know that almost every family had lost an infant to either fever or gastroenteritis. I vowed to myself that I would make sure that no child died of gastroenteritis. I spent a lot of extra time with various mothers to educate them about the benefits of oral solutions. For them, it was just water and they did not understand the importance of giving ‘just’ water.

The evening at KWSCH in 1982 flashed before my eyes and I felt like a lone warrior who got left behind on the battlefield without her army, yet I was determined not to give up. “Ok, I will try an injection,” I said to the distressed mother. “It may help or it may not.” I followed my gut feeling and the memory of the evening in KWSCH where I had witnessed the same procedure in the ward. Armed with a syringe full of adrenaline, the magic drug, I thought awhile. I had promised ‘new husband’ that no more of heroics and no more of trying to play God. I had to try to save the child. My heart beat faster in anticipation and fear. I had never done this alone ever. There was no time to think and weigh. It had to be done. I injected the adrenaline straight into the child’s heart and continued the resuscitation. With all my prayers and belief. I waited and continued pumping the heart with my hands. I knew exactly the amount of pressure to apply to a child’s heart without cracking the soft ribs. Lo behold! The child coughed and moved his legs. The mother, my staff of three girls and me looked at each other, speechless and incredulous. Patting the child’s back to elicit more crying, I handed the child to the mother. She immediately pressed him to her chest. I realised that rare occasions such as this were the stuff of miracles. I also realised in that moment that it was some higher power that brought the child back. It wasn’t the injection, not the CRP and. It was preordained that the child had to survive. I never repeated an intracardiac adrenaline injection as ‘New Husband’ warned me that these gallant acts could get me into grave trouble and I knew that he had a valid point. A private practice is a highly vulnerable place to be in because the GP doesn’t have the backing of paramedical and other medical staff, and there is no luxury of a second opinion. All good deeds and saved lives are forgotten in a moment. Just one patient who may succumb can be a nemesis for any doctor. Asthmatic children were more predictable in their response rate. A heavily wheezing child would settle down with regular breathing after a few minutes of the nebuliser, but many children lost their lives to asthma and epilepsy before my arrival on the scene. Gastroenteritis was another common cause of death. Mortality rate due to these big three dwindled to zero in just two or three years. It was not that I needed any special knowledge or powers to achieve this, it was just my presence in that area at the right time. Just a bit of valiance and good intentions were enough to save thousands of lives.

116 been clinging on to. Failures and loss of patients are the fastest teachers for a dilettante doctor. A two-year-old child was brought to me once. The eyes looked glassy and unblinking. It appeared to be clearly dead on the first look. Instead of just shooing the mother away I thought that I would examine the baby. There was no time or need to take a history of ‘why’, ‘when’, and ‘how’. I asked the mother to lay him on the examination table. On auscultation, I could not hear even a whisper of a heartbeat. The stethoscope was silent as a rock. ‘No heroism, ‘ I remembered ‘new husband’s’ words. I should have sent the patient away. I had to try something to revive the child, My gut said I could save the child. I tried CPR, but to no avail. The parents waited for a miracle which would not happen. I looked at the parents and shook my head. The child had passed away. However, it wasn’t that easy – the mother sobbed and pleaded for me to do something. “Please doctor, I have only one child,” she wailed, “please help us, help us.”

In the summer months, hundreds of limp children came to my clinic with sunken eyes and fontanelles. They were so limp that it seemed hopeless to even try to revive them. They hadn’t passed urine in hours, they would be vomiting and had incessant stools, which was enough for a one-year-old to be suspended between life and death. Just prescribing some medicines and sending those children home would never serve any purpose. Losing a child involved a short period of grieving until the woman because pregnant again. The dead child was soon forgotten. I saw this resilience for death because it was so common and came so easily. It appalled me to see so much complacency about sickness and Stilettos

Fromdeath.thebook The Reluctant Doctor:

to Stethoscope-True Stories from inside a Clinic Vitasta Publishing Private Limited

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Mohamed Zakaria Soltan has mentioned that “…many of his digital creations draw inspiration from the tales and symbols of the ancient Pharaonic civilisation. His visual and psychological conscience is extended and fed by his culture and visual cultural legacy, which generates an internal equilibrium for the artist and the human.”

One website from Britain’s ‘The Tate’ indicates that in the early 1980s, computer engineers “… devised a paint program which was used by the pioneering digital artist Harold Cohen” the result was ‘Untitled Computer Drawing’ (1982). (2) From 1990 (the year the first web browser was developed by Tim Berners Lee and the creation of a virtual world) the notion of ‘digital’ expanded and has continued to expand until the notion of a ‘digital original’ is considered.

We are informed that “The Poster was one of the earliest forms of advertisement and began to develop as a medium for visual communication in the early 19th century…The poster quickly spread around the world and became a staple of the graphic design trade. Many artists as well, such as Henry Toulouse-Latrec and Henry van de Velde, created posters.”

Poster Poser: Mohamed Zakaria Soltan

Like his contemporaries in Egyptian art Hazem Taha Hussein and Khaled Hafez, Soltan’s graphic visualisation not only has roots back over seven thousand years to Egyptian ‘picture writing’, more commonly known as hieroglyphics (logographic, syllabic and alphabetic elements too), but also in Cairo’s brief interest in ‘Surrealism’ (the Art et Liberté group 1938 - 1945) through the poet Georges

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From hand painted posters to stone lithograph and screen printing then, onward, until the digital designs of today the poster has gone through many permutations and innovations. The Egyptian artist Dr. Mohamed Zakaria Soltan is a full-time lecturer in the advertising department of the faculty of applied arts at Egypt's October 6 University. With his intriguing work he treads the very thin line between commercial and fine art with his chosen process of digital origination which effectively cocks a snook at Walter Benjamin, his notion of ‘aura’, the notion of authenticity and the idea of the limited accessibility of an ‘original’. Soltan, and digital design, presents the concept of a non-tangible ‘original’, that is an original item of visual ‘art’ which has no physicality before being made tangible through printing (possibly on archival 'pigment print’, 'Giclée print’ or art print). The digital artwork (poster) resembles Schrödinger’s cat, it is in existence (digitally) but also not in existence (as a tangible).

120 Henein and his correspondence with Andre Breton which had led to surrealist rumblings, in Egypt, from 1937, then in more modern times with Egyptian writers such as Yūsuf Idrīs (1927With1991).his digitally rendered and complexly imagined ‘Fine-Art posters’, Mohamed Zakaria Soltan frequently touches upon the notion of Pharaohs and other symbolic representations of Cairo and Egypt’s ancient past within his graphic work. This can be especially witnessed in his astoundingly colourful and impactful series of digital production Chromogenic prints, titled ‘Digital Pharaoh’ (in an exhibition in The Museum of the Factory, Lolz, Poland, titled International Print Biennial Collection, in 2017). With ‘DigitalthePharaoh’ series of images, Soltan fully realises the power of graphic images and firmly brings his country’s visual heritage fully into the 21st century. This continuity of Egyptian symbolic construction may be also be witnessed in Soltan’s 2015 ‘Pharaonic Digital Structure 1’ and a poster from ‘Pharaonic Perspective’ for the Brand Design Association of Korea (BDAK) in the 22nd International Invitation Exhibition - Brand & Society, in Seoul, 2020/21 and further continued with images such as 'Metaverse Digital Pharaoh’. More recently (2020), Soltan addressed the issue of the Covid 19 pandemic, with the poster ‘My Emotional Design’ (for Korea Institute of Cultural Product & Design) depicting ‘Life after Corona's disappearance’. That poster is a “philosophical view that extended in literature and arts worldwide in the era of online and metaverse” according to Soltan’s promotional material (The Creative Journey of Soltan in designing the style of fine-art Posters). With that poster the artist/ designer expresses his hopes for a post-Covid world and his wishes for humanity. Soltan’s most recent Solo Art & Design Exhibition, also showing of his Egyptian cultural pieces, was at the VIDAK, Moorim Gallery in Seoul, Korea, during the July of 2022, showing

There is little doubt that the Egyptian design/ artist Mohamed Zakaria Soltan is at the forefront of the concept of his country’s digital fine art, as his many works have been in exhibitions (physical and online) around the globe. Soltan re-imagines the notion of fine art and brings it firmly into the digital age. Soltan, in his works, challenges Walter Benjamin’s notion of an original work of art, and questions the sense of

Ed.Books,Zohn,editedReproduction,Thedigital-arthttps://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/d/http://www.designishistory.com/1850/posters‘aura’WorkofArtintheAgeofMechanicalBenjaminWalter,in:Illuminations,byHannahArendt,translatedbyHarryfromthe1935essayNewYork:Schocken1969

one print "OCDI 47" (One Concept ... Deep Inspiration 47) originally created in 2018, and previously shown in Poland.

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125 https://soltanart.weebly.com/

A digital chapbook published by The Blue Lotus Publishing martin bradley on the island poem and pictures by https://issuu.com/martinabradley/docs/on_the_island

128 (Mersea Island, Colchester, Essex, UK. Images on the

This is a chapbook containing a poem and some images taken on Mersea Island. There’s a clue in the name Mersea Island. Mersea is an island. The definition of an island is land surrounded by water. Mersea Island, which lays off the Eastern Coast of another island (comprising of England, Scotland and Wales), is reached over a causeway called ‘The Strood’. At high-tide, that causeway floods, making the road impassable.

Mersea Island

129 Images and poem by Martin A Bradley, 2021/2) island

Since before Roman times Mersea has been inhabited. The author only recently came to live there due to the island's peace and natural beauty. ...It hasn't disappointed.

James was born on Mersea Island and can trace at least 200 years of his ancestors there. He studied Graphic Design at Colchester School of Art from 1979 to 1983. After many years working as a freelance graphic designer his interest in painting was re-kindled when he and his family moved back to Essex from Cornwall. He then started full-time as an artist, initially painting in watercolour and more recently in pastel. He now lives on Mersea Island working from a studio overlooking the harbour & marshes.

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James Weaver

“In my work I try to portray the deep feeling I have for the landscape around this very unique part of the coast. I regard drawing & painting, ‘mark making’ as central to everything I do and within my realist approach the aim is to develop my own visual language in response to the

Merseasubject.”

James owns and runs the Art café in West Mersea with his wife Maggie and their daughter Jenny. Here he regularly exhibits his work, James’ paintings are in many collections both here and abroad. In 2005 his work was included in the Anglia T.V. Series 'Coastal Inspirations' about artists living and working around the coast of East Anglia. In 2020 when the Earl & Countess of Wessex visited Mersea Island James was one of the artists chosen to meet and show them his work.

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139 James Weaver Artist 40 Mersea Avenue, West Mersea, Colchester, Essex, CO5 8NA, United Kingdom +447904 011885

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There never seemed to be an alternative career other than one in art. Drawing was what I did from the earliest age and going to art college what I aimed at, with a change from illustration to sculpture during Foundation.

Jill Desborough

Another series I am currently working on is a procession of depictions of generous friends and family each accompanied by the artefact or thing that they would choose to take to the next world. Some very interesting choices.

The Dance Macabre series are sculptural responses to the popular medieval Dance of Death, depicting an ever growing procession of motley characters that celebrate human idiosyncrasy and diversity.

The work has always been figurative and often revels in fine detail, with subject matter drawn from my imagination or mythologies and historical imagery. I am fascinated by the darker side of humanity and the bizarre; emotional states of being, our idiocyncracies and mortality underlay much of the work. The Minotaurs are expressions of loneliness and isolation; a current project where small individual figures, placed in architectural settings, express different states of being, joy, sadness, loneliness, stillness.. depictions of the undervalued as in the series of golden rat sculptures and three versions of The 3 Graces celebrate the beauty of the ageing face.

The puppets come from a delight in creating characters, sometimes drawing on literature and mythology, usually flights of imagination. Asterion

The Minotaur

142 Taurus Etching

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144 Ghost

145 Black Minotaur

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147 Solitary Minotaur

148 Asterion Gold Caged

149 jill.desbo@ntlworld.com +441206 795758 Colchester Essex

ElizabethStudioMorris

Printmakers.Lizisaprintmaker who enjoys islands and the sea, and her work has come to reflect two particular island environments. They are Mersea Island where she lives and works, and Heir Island, a small island in West Cork where for years she has spent much of the summer, sailing, walking and drawing. Sea and sand patterns, shapes of stones, textures, imprints in mud and tracks of birds, fish, gulls - and most recently – sea myths and biblical stories with sea references, are all used as starting off points for my prints

Elizabeth Morris trained as a painter at the Southern College of Art, Bournemouth, at Goldsmith's and the Central School, and only much later discovered etching at Morley College in South London.

Living in Greenwich, Liz taught art and ran a printmaking workshop in her studio, and was one of the founder members of the Greenwich Printmakers, a co-operative with its own gallery. Living now on Mersea Island, she belongs to the Gainsborough’s House Print Workshop, and was for ten years a member of the East Anglian based 12PM Twelve

In recent years

Liz has exhibited at the Royal Academy and at ‘Originals’, the contemporary printmaking show at the Mall Galleries. Also at the Barbican in print exhibitions 1996- 2000, and at the Affordable Art Show, Battersea. In East Anglia Liz has frequently shown at the Eastern Open at Kings Lynn. In 1999 she was awarded the Coley and Tilley prize by the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, and in 2005 was featured in the Anglian Television series ‘Coastal Inspirations’.

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159 Stone House 112 Coast Road West Mersea CO5 8NA T: 012063851 M: 07393893556 liz@elizabethmorrisprints.co.uk

Nasi Kandar

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I decided to write about Halia, no not the port town of Hermionis, in ancient Argolis at the mouth of the Argolic Gulf, but the freshest Malaysian restaurant in London. The Halia restaurant was recommended to me by a friend. It only opened in April (2022), and is situated near to where I used to live in Westbourne Grove (near Notting Hill), some half a century ago. Halia, Incidentally, is the Malay word for ginger, and there are 160 species of ginger across Malaysia, which is one of the richest regions for ginger in South East Asia. Halia Food for Thought

163 42 Prince's Square,London W2 4AD Open Monday to Sunday 7.30am to 10.30pm

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There was no strain for the train to take travelling via Great Eastern rail, the London Underground, and following my hungry friend who in turn was following the ubiquitous Google Maps to Bayswater, London, which is anchored beside Kensington Gardens, Hyde Park, the Peter Pan statue, Italian Gardens, and the Serpentine River et al.

Hujan

There’s a fundamental challenge when opening a Malaysian restaurant outside of Malaysia, and that is in the representation of Malaysian food, of which there is a copious Nasi Panas

Once we’d traversed the ‘Tube’ (the nearest ‘Tube’ or London Underground station is Bayswater, but Lancaster Gate is fairly near too) we, or should I really say that Google, found Halia at the rear of Whiteley’s shopping centre (circa 1911, with its La Scala staircase and beautiful glass dome). Halia is secreted away inside the Grand Plaza serviced apartments (which is, incidentally, part of ‘Felda’ or the Malaysian Federal Land Development Authority) and resides at Prince’s square, AndBayswater.whata good idea that is, to build the prospective diner’s suspense and hone the building excitement of the Malaysian dining experience (that Halia certainly is) so that by the time the diner actually reaches the eatery, and are welcomed into a friendly dining hall reminiscent of the old, downstairs, Malaysia Hall, they are more than ready to dive into what is undoubtedly one of the best Malaysian food dining experiences in London.

These are train-striking days in England. Journeys by train have become risky but, feeling excited about the prospect of sampling this fresh establishment I grabbed the proverbial train by the rail, navigated from my island hermitage, grabbed my Chinese Malaysian foodie partner who is currently studying in London (although I’m not quite sure who is Watson and who is Holmes) and rushed headlong to Bayswater.

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168 amount from the three major races (Chinese, Indian and Malay) as well as representations from tribal ethic communities.

It’s very difficult to have one restaurant covering such a rich diversity of truly authentic Chinese Malaysian food, alongside authentic Malay food because of the differing ethical/ religious stances. Malay Halal purity does not mix with Chinese cooking and the eating of pork products. This is why many Malaysian restaurants serve Halal compliant food (suitable for Muslims) and adjust their recipes (like Char Kuey Teow which traditionally is flavoured with pork fat) to the exclusion of the non-halal (haram). My favourite Char Kuey Teoh comes not with chicken, but duck egg beaten into the noodle dish, and kerang (cockles), but that’s a whole other story. Many of London’s Malaysian restaurants serve the more traditional Malay beef soup, such as Sup Ekor (or oxtail soup). The best beef soup I've tasted was when I lived just outside the Malaysian bougainvillea city of Ipoh. I had built a ‘bungalow’ in a small town called Malim Nawar and would travel in my old Rocsta ‘jeep’, in the evening, to Ipoh and its marvellous street market, with one stall specialising in beef soup. The trick was to get there just before the stall closed as the soup which had been, by then, boiling for several hours, became dense with taste. My friend and I ordered Nasi Kandar (rice [nasi] with other dishes) and Wan Tan Hor seafood (rice noodles, mixed seafood and served in a

169 Char Koew Teow

170 Chicken Satay

171 thickened sauce). Well, what can I say? Both dishes were as authentic and any of its ilk that I’ve tasted in Malaysia, although in Malaysia you wouldn’t normally get scallops in the Wan Tan Hor (which is a variation on Mee Suah), nor would you get actual fish in the fish curry presented with the Nasi Kandar, so both were very good value in so doing. As the restaurant is still ‘young’, there remains copious amounts of press interest still, and any day a prospective diner might be visiting may coincide with a videographer or random news hound turning up to spread the word. I’m glad. My only hope is that this restaurant may be able to maintain its current ambiance, and food excellence. It is fine just as it is, with its concentration on good food, served well, by staff who actually seem to enjoy being there. As Arnold Schwarzenegger says in the 1984 science fiction film ‘The Terminator’, “I’ll be back”. There is so much more on the menu to taste. Ed.

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173 Nasi Ayam Hainan

174 Singapore 2012 Malaysia 2012 Philippines

Martin Bradley Canada 2022

Martin wrote two books about Modern Chinese Art with Chinese artist Luo Qi, Luo Qi and Calligraphyism and Commentary by Humanists Canada and China (2017 and 2022), and has had his book about Bangladesh artist Farida Zaman For the Love of Country published in Dhaka in December 2019.

Martin Bradley is the author of a collection of poetryRemembering Whiteness and Other Poems (2012) Bougainvillea Press; a charity travelogue - A Story of Colors of Cambodia, which he also designed (2012) EverDay and Educare; a collection of his writings for various magazines called Buffalo and Breadfruit (2012) Monsoon Books; an art book for the Philippine artist Toro, called Uniquely Toro (2013), which he also designed, also has written a history of pharmacy for Malaysia, The Journey and Beyond (2014).

175 Bangladesh 2019 China 2017 Philippines 2013 Malaysia 2014

176 THE BLUE LOTUS

177 LOTUS CHAP BOOKS

178 THE BLUE LOTUS The Blue Lotus magazine is published by Martin A Bradley (The

179 LOTUS BACK ISSUES...aselection(The Blue Lotus Publishing), in Colchester, England, UK, 2021 ...a selection

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