Wednesday, December 28, 2011
I have just finished the overall sketch for the 2.5 meter by 1 meter kain of a scene full of climbing plants and figures in a forest inside Kebun Raya Bogor. There are 2 figures framing the kain acting as borders. One is myself in Javanese clothes and the other is Nyai Blorong (snake Goddess). Again to execute this kain, I need to find good batik workers who not only can do detail patterns but have painting skills as this kain is more like a hanging painting. I will also pray to Nyai Blorong when I am at Parangtritis Beach inside the Queen of the South Cave Goa Langse to ask for permission. It might even take a couple years to execute the batik.
Once the line drawing is done, then I can post here some details.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
From the local Taiwanese supermarket, I found very fresh birdnest fern available. I stir-fry it with anchovies and almonds and added some water celery and winged bean. The dish tastes good and here is also a photo of traditional dance by Taiwanese male dancers in a festival.
Thursday, December 1, 2011
Friday, November 18, 2011
Originally, I thought this plant is Tinospora teijsmannii originally from Borneo. It was collected and cultivated by Teijsmann when he was the director of Hortus Botanicus Bogoriensis. The plants exist in the garden since early time being recorded in the 1914 catalogue. I have to look into the herbarium specimen at Herbarium Bogoriense to confirm the characteristics of stems and leaves and possibly the flowers in order to accurately identify the species. But when I go thru the taxonomy of Menispermaceae, all the species in the several genera do not have any tendrils. As you can see in this picture, this plant has tendrils to climb so it will not be Tinospora at all. It might be a plant from Passifloraceae or Cucurbitaceae. I am going to check the new issue of Flora Malesiana of Cucurbitaceae to confirm.
Friday, October 28, 2011
I just finished a new small painting of an imagined scene of the Sultan of Yogyakarta meditating at the circular mosque at Taman Sari. Now Taman Sari is a ruin among small houses built within the Kraton. But during the centuries past, it was the pleasure garden of the Sultans and it means water castle. The circular mosque is very spectacular recently renovated. I've already painted several paintings based on the architecture of Taman Sari. The latest one is the raised platform on top of the well. Meditation was said being down by the Sultans under the moonlight. For the robe of the figure, I wanted to depict a well made Prada Batik (gold leafed handmade batik). Nowadays, it is very difficult to find this.
Sunday, October 23, 2011
Vancouver is in rain again and again.
But my flowers are indoor starting to open. Rivea corymbosa from the Mexican highland is starting to open with white morning glory flowers. Speaking of morning glory, Ipomoea orchacea is opening too with yellow flowers. Otherwise nothing really interesting other than Murasaki Shikibu plant with mauve berries outdoor now, and the Akebia purple fruits had been consummed by hungry birds already.
This is an image of fruits of Phytocrene sp. in the Phillippines, it is quite different from P. macrophylla from Bogor.
Friday, October 14, 2011
Here is the front of the new batik design. This is the dramatization of adventure to Cave Langse near Parangtritis Beach of Yogyakarta. I think it is a simplier batik design, so I will select a cotton that has a weaved pattern, so the surface will be richer.
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Now I have 5 plants of Phytocrene macrophylla that originated from Bogor. The seeds have very short viability, approximately of less than 2 weeks in tropical condition once ripe and out of the fruit. The plant is totally covered by short stinking hairs which are white to golden. The leaves of these young plants are the size of my hand, but from herbarium specimen, the size of leaves of mature vine can be very very big. I hope they will be fine indoor overwinter. It will be difficult in Vancouver as it is cloudy all the time without sun.
Monday, October 10, 2011
It is rain and wind in Vancouver for more than a few days now. Fall is here with typical fall weather which is more rain and wind. On a sunny day, if ever we have one coming up, I have to prune my tall Paulownia tree and the aristolochia tomentosa vine and Akebia trifoliata that are tangling up on it.
I am working on my botanical illustration of Phytocrene macrophylla and started another batik design shirt called Batik Parangtritis featuring the victim of Ratu Loro Kidul, the Queen of the Southern Sea. The front of the shirt has a young man climbing down to the Cave Langse, the back of the shirt is the same young man drown at the Parangritis Beach with the huge oncoming waves. He wore a light green swimwear, green being the favourite colour of the Queen.
When this work is done, I will post the design here and then work on the actual line drawing and then bring it to Java to have the workers do the batik, but I will go to Cave Langse to pray to the Queen to ask for permission first.
In the meantime, this is the beach.
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
I have just finished a new design for an Indonesian costume that I will be wearing next time going to Java. The silk surjan (shirt) will be in purple silk (going to buy the silk with some traditional Heian design from Kyoto Japan next year and then have it made into a surjan), exact colour and pattern unknown now that is why it is still transparent. Then the batik sarong is modeled from a Yogyakarta Batik length that I got. The obi (belt) that wrap around the waist is going be be made in Kyoto next year. Then on top of the obi, I have this velvet belt with gold beads and royal Yogya belt buckle fastening everything. I have the blangkon (hat already) but I need to buy the karset (the jewelery necklace) next time in Java.
The other picture is the same guy in Surakarta costume that I finished a few years before. Style between Yogyakarta and Surakarta is different.
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Saturday, August 27, 2011
This is a video by the famous Yuzen House in Kyoto. I think next time when I do Yuzen again, I will try the Gold Leafing on my last Obi and then when I finished my new Obi, then may have to request to have it done so I can wear it in Indonesia the following year.
The area that I want to gold leaf is the Jizo Bosatsu.
Thursday, August 18, 2011
This one is an Indian style classic chogan with coloured ribbons as trims around the edges of the garment. The inner panel of cloth, I designed an embroidery based on Yogyakarta's royal emblem. The headdress is from Madura of Java, so that is why I chose the overall red colour for this Indonesian batik pattern as Madura is famous for the beautiful rich red colour.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
I finished Batik Phytocrene design today. So now it is a matter of nailing down the exact pattern in life size on a big tracing. I think 2 years from now, I will go to Bandung again to initiate the execution at Batik Komar.
Sinofranchetia chinensis is now available at UBC Botanical Garden's garden shop. The plants are from layering or cutting I think, very vigorous, and so will flower faster than the ones that I grow from seeds. I bought one plant in a gallon pot for 15 dollars. The plant is hardy to Vancouver as here we share similar weather of highland Yunnan which is the place where the plant originated.
The deciduous climber has beautiful leaves and fascicles of tiny flowers in June and then translucent purple fruits in September. I highly recommend it. I planted it against the sour cherry tree which already has a plant of Akebia quinata 'rosea' and a plant of Aristolochia macrophylla.
Friday, August 5, 2011
Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Monday, August 1, 2011
I just finished this painting of a chogha from late 19th Century in Jaipur City Palace Museum. The chogha is made from a delicate khaki net covered with small cream and burgundy butis, front, back and sleeves are richly embroidered with tree of life and foral motifs in subtle colours giving a regal appearance.
Friday, July 15, 2011
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
I am designing my own batik shirt. I am starting with the back panel. It is more of a visual style than an overall pattern. The panel depicts a Javanese Prince in Surakarta royal costume sitting on a Phytocrene macrophylla vine (with male flowers) surrounded by beautiful clouds. The colour scheme was tested and 1st wax is to outline and preserve white area. Then light green and pink should be spot-painted, followed by more waxing and then dipped in aqua and where the area of pink that was not protected by the wax will be turned gray. Then more wax and then another dip of peacock blue and then followed by more wax and then jade green. One last wax and then dipped in purple to finish the colour scheme. Overall colour scheme is light and vibrant showing the influence of Cirebonian batik.
The front panel is in the planning stage. It should feature a Cirebonian Prince with green costume and royal dodot sitting on a Phytocrene macrophylla vine (with fruits and female flowers) with a sea dragon twining on. There will be the leaves of the vine drapping down from the canopy.
The overall shirt will be aqua blue.
Friday, July 1, 2011
Thursday, June 30, 2011
Saturday, June 25, 2011
This is the pattern of Deer (from Istana Bogor where there are lots of deers on the lawn) and Bunga Bunkai (Amorphophallus titanum). Batik Bogor is all tulis (hand drawn) but the work is more simple and rustic, but the colour is charming. There are other patterns such as taro plants, agricultural tools and cloud rain thunderstorm, rafflesia, waterlily and others.
Batik Bogor is quite different from other West Java Batik and certainly very different from the post Independence Batik Indonesia.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
The shirt is from Batik Komar of Bandung. The batik is done from both Tulis (hand drawn) and Cap (from a metal stamp) Combinasi. I observed both processes and they are equally time consumming and fascinating. Cotton fabric top grade has a special weave, and both front and back of cotton need to be waxed before dipping in dye. That is why it takes at least a few weeks to months to work on a single fabric. The more colours the more complex the work and more time is needed.
Good works are generally hard to find nowadays as cheap printing (which is not batik at all) competes in the market. If this and the next generations of Indonesians do not know how to appreciate or do not care about batik, then the good work and art form will gradually disappear. Batik already started the decline since 1930s and thru the 1970s and only in recent years with the status of UNESCO heritage for Indonesia starting to see the light...
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
I bought all these batik cloth, shirts and traditional items from Java. All of the clothes are of exceptional quality. The colourful ones from West Java, with Batik Bogor featuring the motif of deer and Amorphophallus. The more serious ones from Yogyakarta and has the court motif of Garuda.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
I wrote about my recent visit to Kebun Raya Bogor. Here is the link, or just go to the article link on the right to thingsasian.
I would never forget the cats at the Guesthouse. In the afternoon, they sounded like little babies needing attention.
Friday, June 10, 2011
Sunday, June 5, 2011
I have written a new article here at Thingsasian. Just copy this link or go to the right side of the page to the article list.
Friday, June 3, 2011
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Tuesday, May 3, 2011
Here are some photos of our Spring. The flowers are nice on a clear day but rain is so often and wind is strong. Right now cherry blossom is starting and the trees are pink. I planted the new kind of Tulip with the shocking colour and riffle edges. I also have new Muguet (lily of the valley). Akebia plants are all in full bloom with wisteria and bluebells coming soon. Paulownia will be late this year and I will be able to see it flower when I am back from my trip. But maybe I am going to missed my wisteria, since I think it will flower in late May. Some rarer plants I have in pot this year include: Sinofranchetia chinensis, Aristolochia gibertii, Illigera celebrica, Mucuna sempervirens, Aristolochia maxima, Rivea corymbosa, and Marah oreganus coming out from the ground very strong.
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Day 0 May 15 Sun pass midnight go to airport
Day 1 May 16 flight Vancouver YVR by Cathay Pacific 2:45 AM to Hong Kong
Day 2 May 17 Tue Arrive in HK6:55 AM, go to Ricky's house, Wanchai Kapok G/F 5 St. Francis Yard near star street (11-8)to get James Heeley perfume, then go walking 10am to noon in HK Zoological and Botanical gardens, Central, HK, then shopping at Joyce Beauty New World Tower, Central for perfume, Lane Crawford IFG Mall Mariage Freres for violet tea, late afternoon to evening buy books from Page One Time Square and General Bookstore 449 Hennessy Road, Causeway Bay, early supper
Day 3 May 18 Wed take 9:20 AM flight to Jakarta CGK arrive at 13:05, take taxi to Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, stay there in accomodation 1 night
Day 4 May 19 Thur Taman Mini Indonesia Indah, take taxi to Bogor via Widayanto Studio to see ceramic art and have lunch, then to Bogor stay inside Kebun Raya Bogor for 5 nights, photographying and painting
Day 5 May 20 Fri Kebun Raya Bogor, morning Zoological Museum
Day 6 May 21 Sat Pasar Bogor, Kebun Raya Bogor, Kebun Raya Bogor painting, hire tour guide to search for Phytocrene macrophylla male flower, lunch at Cafe de Daunen, Botani Square get Garuda ticket (Yogyakarta to Jakarta), Gumati dinner www.cafegumati.com
Day 7 May 22 Sun Kebun Raya Bogor
Day 8 May 23 Mon Hebarium Bogoriense
Day 9 May 24 Tue Puncak Pass, Rindu Alam Restaurant, hiking at Gunung Gede Pangrango National Park then to Bandung, go to railway station to buy Lodaya ticket, stay at Amaroossa Hotel for 2 nights
Day 10 May 25 Wed learn Batik at Batik Komar, Bandung
Day 11 May 26 Thur take Lodaya train at 8am to arrive at Solo's Balapan train station around 5pm, stay at Roemahkoe Hotel in Laweyan Village for 2 nights, dinner at restaurant and watch dance performance.
Day 12 May 27 Fri explore Laweyan Batik Kampung, then Kraton Mangkunegara, Pasar Klewer for Batik fabric for bedspreads and kimono, lunch at Cafe Solo, then visit Batik DanarHadi Museum, shop at Batik Danarhadi www.houseofdanarhadi and Dancer's Requisites at Toko Bedoyo Serimpi (Jl. Hayam Wuruk and Jl. Ronggo Warsito) for costumes, masks, golden headdresses, armbands, keris, buckles for belts, Batik Semar, and Batik Keris
Day 13 May 28 Sat Train from Solo to Yogyakarta, stay in the Pheonix Hotel for 3 nights, drive to Kaliurang to visit Ullen Sentalu Museum www.ullensentalu.com and have lunch there, then walk around the cool resort town, then shop at Tjokrosuharto for dance costume, Ramayana Ballet at Prambanan in the evening
Day 14 May 29 Sun go to Sono-Budoyo Museum to see Wayang Kulit Puppets, Keraton watch Wayang Orang performance at 10 AM, shop at Jl Tirtodipuran, then walk on the streets to the batik factories and antique stores such as Batik Plentong, Batik Indah, Batik Winotosastro, Mirota Moesson, lunch at Hanoman's Forest Restaurant with classical javanese dance, wayang golek or wayang kulit and dinner at Purawisata theatre 8-9:30 pm in the amusement park to enjoy Ramayana ballet dance performance
Day 15 May 30 Mon Drive to Parangtritis Beach and then to Jatijajar Cave along the south coast
Day 16 May 31 Tue Yogyakarta flight 9:35 AM to Jakarta 10:40 AM, then 15:05 flight to HKG arrive 20:50 then at 0:30 flight to Vancouver YVR arrive 21:25
Day 17 June 1 Wed rest
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Friday, April 1, 2011
I cut some spring flowers from the garden and saved them from drowning in the heavy rain. It was beautiful full sun yesterday but pouring today. The lawn is so wet and muddy, and the flower beds are not looking great. But the Spring bulbs in raised pots are fine and forming good leaves and buds or starting with seedlings that will be flowering in summer.
I made an arrangement with fragrant hyacinth, narcissus, arum's leaves and helleborus. I have a perfume that captured this scent exactly as the arrangement: Guerlain's Aqua Allegoria Foliflora.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Finally, I settled on another violet scent: Penhaligon's Violetta. This is a sharp and strange one. It is not gentle like Bosari's Violetta de Parma, or spicy like Caron's Aimez-moi, or embracing like Serge Lutens' Bois de Violette. L'Artisan's Verte Violette is greener and Tocca's Florence is sweeter. Penhaligon's is sharp and has guts. This is the perfect image of the scent. The colour of the jus is the same strange neon blue with violet bow on the bottle. The scent called to mind a room full of old fashion English wall paper and items such as stuff animals that reminding of one's past. It is not modern at all but aged. I think it is eccentric!
Friday, March 18, 2011
I went for a perfume tour again and bought a new one. This is special all the way from Paris. Bois de Violette by Serge Lutens. It is exquisitely beautiful. The violet scent is in the forest all enveloping. It is exactly like walking very slowly in a lightly shaded forest full of violet. This image called to mind when I sprayed it on my neck and wrist. It is a very warm and at the same time cold, intimate and at the same time melancholic, eternal but at the same time transcient moment in time. A scene from the movie Maurice. I remember watching this movie with all 10 of my classmates in an art cine theatre and we were engrossed in this scene.