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Entries in travel (24)

Thursday
Jan272011

one of a finds: painted elephant painting

This original canvas is hand-painted by an almost extinct community of Bollywood artists known for their kitschy, glamorous movie posters and sets. Sadly, with the Mumbai film industry’s move to digital vinyl billboards, the talent of these fine artists is no longer in demand. In an effort to keep their art alive, these paintings are created by the original masters and each is individually signed.

Once required to produce up to 20 posters a day during their movie careers, this special initiative provides the artists not only a new source of income, but also the opportunity for a slower pace focused on their skills and passion for painting. This portrait—of a divine symbol in Hindu mythology dating back over 5,000 years to the elephant-headed god Lord Ganesha—takes its inspiration from an old photograph of a painted and adorned elephant in royal procession from the Amber Fort outside Jaipur.

One of a Finds original works are offered one time only as a limited edition for collectors and enthusiasts—painted elephant painting has a release of 504.

Monday
Oct182010

travel: taipei night market

During a recent buying trip to Taiwan, we took the night off and visited a local favorite of Taipei—the Shi Lin Night Market. The market isn’t just one big open food court featuring all sorts of ‘street food’, there’s also shopping and entertainment.

Starting at the food vendors, we tried a bell apple, some squid soup, deep fried dough with peanut flavoring, and a pancake with oyster in it. The Oyster Omelet is one of the most popular foods at the night market but it’s… an acquired taste. The ‘small roll wrapped in a large roll’ (translated from its Chinese name) is a mix of two kinds of pastry—the deep fried pastry with stuffing flavor of sesame seeds, peanut, red beans, curry; and the white pastry is actually the same as for spring rolls.

Besides shopping, the market also has movie theaters, video arcades—including weightlessness and virtual reality machines. For just a few dollars, it constantly amazes us what you can experience and what souvenirs you can take home to remember the visit. At the revolving balloon game, I won a fan and a little flashlight keychain!

Get a taste of the States by bowling at the Yuan Shan bowling alley or visit the FINS Taipei Sea World. For great night views of the city—or to take a dip in the hot springs—trek to Yang Ming Mountain. Whichever you choose, it’ll most certainly be a memorable adventure.

Thursday
Sep232010

inspiration: los angeles

Arriving early at LAX, we hit the ground running. We’re eager to explore, to soak up the Pacific sun—but first: lunch!

Hungry?  A great deli/café in West Hollywood is Joan’s on Third. After devouring a veggie sandwich and some vinho verde, our next stop is the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Artsy? LACMA has a fabulous new addition, The Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion, by Renzo Piano. We got lucky and just made it to the John Baldessari exhibit before it was dismantled on September 12th. If you’re close by, the weekend of October 2nd and 3rd is free*—a great opportunity to catch photographs by LA-based Catherine Opie

Thirsty? Ready to dip our toes in the ocean and sink into the sand, we head to the Santa Monica Pier… and detour at the Viceroy Hotel for cocktails before sunset. There’s a photoshoot happening in the lobby, so we carefully make our way into the bar and we’re just in time for happy hour—bonus, we get the undivided attention of the mixologist on duty!

Shopping? Top on our list is to check out the new CB2 in Santa Monica Place. It’s a quick walk up to the Pier then we head east. Two floors of home furnishings displayed with unbelievable creativity—what a great team?!

Dinner? We head back to LA and drop the car off in front of The Little Door restaurant—an oasis from the hustle and traffic. From the non-descript “little” door in front, opening into a walled garden with soothing music and candlelite where they serve delicious tagines of lamb and couscous.

Sleepy? By the end of the meal it’s 1:00 a.m. on our biological clocks and definitely bedtime. We check into an urban nest at the Avalon Hotel in Beverly Hills. No relation to Frankie but who knew that in the 50’s they filmed the Hollywood episodes of the ‘I Love Lucy Show’ here? As for tomorrow—we can’t wait to wake up to another beautiful day in southern California!

The Lynda and Stewart Resnick Exhibition Pavilion, by Renzo Piano

*Free Community Weekend at LACMA: limited, timed tickets are available at lacma.org and at the ticket office.

Thursday
Jul292010

one of a finds: seven fortunes vases

This assemblage of miniature ceramics is the vision of an emerging Chinese design collective, Spin.

In their studio just outside Shanghai, seven young designers honor the 13th Century Yuan Dynasty porcelain-making traditions of the town of Jingdezhen in stunning pieces that speak to modern times.

At the same time, they are reviving the ancient qualities of Jingdezhen porcelain: white as jade, thin as paper, clear as glass, sweet-sounding as a chime. Using only the finest Kaolin clay, natural drying techniques and authentic Jingdezhen glazes.

The Seven Fortunes, derived from Chinese mythology and considered gifts from Heaven, are each designated with an auspicious Chinese character whose meaning finds expression in the hand-shaped form of each porcelain vase. Prosperity is the largest; Joy opens wide in laughter; Health is robust.

What meaning can you interpret in Longevity, Happiness, Inner Peace and Contentment?

Monday
Jul192010

one of a finds: wabelerbeler

Crossing the centuries-old gender lines of his native Rukai tribe in Taiwan, a young male artist, Kaludasan, is reviving the matriarchal art of jute weaving, one of the many Taiwanese cultural traditions lost with the beginning of colonial rule in 1895.

Raised by his grandmother and four aunts—all skilled embroiderers—Kaludasan persuaded them to pass down to him the intricate weaving skills of the women of his village.

Taking those techniques to a new level, his sculptural wabelerbeler (“twisting”) wall art intertwines colorful ramie fibers “to weave my dreams, little by little…and to connect past and future generations.”

Even with the assistance of skilled female weavers in his village, Kaludasan can handcraft only 10 time-intensive weavings a month, making each piece rare and unique—works of art for these village artisans to share a living storyline to their past.