Sunday, 11 August 2013

A personal passion: Orientalism & Modernism in Play (Final part)


The whimsical east meets modernism in the bedrooms of the house because of the lack of space for antique closets, bed frame and book racks usually found in a scholar’s study. Here too, hidden in the study is my collection of figurines and busts of Chairman Mao and the Cultural Revolution. The collection is purely because of my idolization of the Chairman’s charisma. After a tour of the house, relatives and friends will remark; " Jadryn, you should move to a bigger house", little did that they realise that it is not easy to upkeep this house. A bigger one? Perhaps, one day. 


Paintings by Zhang Daqian, Lang Shining, a set of calligraphy by Master Wang Yung Shen written in 1951 and Japanese woodblock paintings that I pick up from Nihonbashi in Tokyo lined the corridor leading to the three main bedrooms of the house. I nicknamed this corridor "The Philosopher's Walk".


A Tibetian cupboard and two lacquer boxes stacked on top of each other and finally, my picture in a greetings posture greets one into my bedroom. 

A Qing Dynasty bed frame replaces the original poster bed that I have in mind due to space limitations. A pair of yellow silk and 1930s art deco lamps placed in a pair of painted chests. Teddy bears courtesy of Fullterton Hotel sits on top of the lamps to create a more informal setting. 

My simple dressing table consists of a Qing Dynasty basin stand with an attached mirror and a cupboard that origins from the Shanxi province. The camphor wood chest here is where I dump everything that needs to be ironed by the maid. 

This study room can be easily mistaken for the Chinese Communist Party's mini museum.The grand 19th century rare nanmu table with a matching chair occupies the center space of the room. I hardly use this table for I much prefer another smaler  huanghuali table in the guest room. 

A couplet originally written by Emperor Yongzheng which describes a man's mandate to rule. The original piece by the Emperor can be found at the Hall of Mental Cultivation in the Forbidden City。

 A reminiscent of a scholar's study with a huge floor to ceiling bookcase house stacks of books and selected pictures of myself and some Cultural Revolution propaganda posters. A fan sits on the table with the calligraphy that took a quote from Li Bai's poem which reads "Heaven gave me the talent that there must be a usage for it" (天生我才必有用). 

My favourite working desk, made of huanghuali with cracked ice design and a matching horsehoe airchair. A clock made during the Cultural Revolution that I pick up from a flea market in Beijing announces the time of the day and the porcelain table lamp is one of its kind made in Jingdezhen. Looking out from this room is a 17 century painting that describes the immortal beauties of Peng Lai. 





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