Barong Elephant Mask
After seven years, I'm picking up where I left off. I last posted on a mask from Burma. This is another mask. A mask from Bali acquired by the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco.
My neighbor went to Burma a couple of years ago and brought this mask back. It's a beautiful and compelling image.
Kenji Hasegawa, a master Japanese craftsman, has just completed a new restaurant in San Francisco. Click here to go to his website .
Cousin Tony's Xi'an Chili Oil
Hardworking gregarious Tony Lu (Lu Wei) our tour guide in China is a native of Xi’an, Shaanxi province. Xi’an -- west and south of Beijing -- was the center of ancient China. Tony made friends everywhere and they became his “cousins” meaning someone who he could go to for help and advice. After he gave Chris his family’s recipe for chili Oil, we decided to call it, “Cousin Tony’s Hot Chili Oil”. Click here to see the recipe.
Shanxi Province - China
I'm riding in an air-conditioned bus, playing with my ipad, on my way to see the oldest wooden structure in China, the Nanchan Temple built in the 8th Centure. My eyes lift up and out towards a scene that could be just as old - a farmer plowing the field. The skies are grey from coal coughed exhausts sending power to factories. I sip chilled water from my plastic bottle.
Nostalgia for the Past
Seen at Rainbow Grocery store in San Francisco, there is a new brand of tea. The striking package design conjures up a multiple of thoughts. Even though economic growth and modernization in China has brought prosperity to many people, many have been left behind. And many have been perplexed with the complexities of modern life and yearn for simpler times -- even hard times.
This socialist worker is holding up what would have been Mao's Little Red Book is now holding up a cup of tea -- all in the service of capitalism - only $7.99.
Sometimes conventional wisdom gets in the way of creative thinking. Sometimes conventional wisdom is good.
West Coast versus East Coast
The barristas in San Francisco have been stylin' the skinny pants for a while now. Last week I overheard two debating the nuances between slim cut and skinny cut pants (I didn't stick around long enough to hear the conclusion). Still the guys on the left in San Francisco don't come close to the guy on the right --- seen at the Museum of Modern Art in NYC!
Chinese Diaspora in Japan
Two Chinese ladies by a Stream - Japanese painting 渓辺二美人図 by Sakai Hyakusen is currently on view at the Berkeley Art Museum. He is considered one of the three founders of the Nanga School in Japan, a group of painters who longed for the ideal life of the Chinese literati of the Ming and early Qing Dynasties and looked to Chinese literati paintings as their model.
James Cahill, the noted Asian Art Historian, explored Sakai Hyakusen's background in a lecture I attended yesterday. Cahill's research on Sakai Hyakusen's life revealed that he was born into a family that operated a Chinese pharmacy and Cahill believes that Sakai Hyakusen was of Chinese descent - a surprising and interesting fact.
Food as Art
Chris made this salad for lunch yesterday and said that the paints were part of the presentation. She used a couple of hard boiled eggs I made the day before. My method of cooking hard boiled eggs is an adaption of the Cooks Magazine shallow boiled method. Click this link to look at the method. Note that these eggs are steamed for 8 minutes rather than the 10 minutes in the recipe.
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