28 July 2013
Schwabach is near Nuremberg, in the center of the region of Franconia in the North of Bavaria.  It is famous for its craft of Gold, especially gold foil.

Schwabach has more than 500 years history of producing Gold and export it around the world.  Examples are towers of Orthodox churches in Ukraine, palaces dome in the Emirates.  The town is very proud of its gold leaf.  
Permanent exhibition of the gold leaf history is housed at the main restaurant Gasthof Goldener Stern.  The restaurant is also a museum, every corner is filled with antique stuff.  Very atmospheric and the food was good. Waitress in traditional clothing, old weigh, cook, saw, porcelain salt container, nameless.
After lunch we had a pleasant walk a bit away from the town centre, a tranquil path along a stream, silent and almost people free.  Green plants and blue sky, dotted with houses scarcely.  Very nice!
Walking around are a few antique shops.  Their windows display art in the old days.  Most are house stuff or for home decoration. Craftsmanship is superb.   Unfortunately they were closed on Sunday.  I wish I could be there on a weekday and take a few home.


Berching, Altmühltal

22 July 2013
Berching is a lovely medieval town with a well preserved town wall interspaced with 13 towers.  The first settlement dated AD833.  It is located in the district of Neumarkt, a part of Bavaria. Famous persons include Christoph Willibald Gluck (composer) and Claudia Brücken (singer).

Berching is very well organized, not a sleeping town but actively advertising itself as a good place to live with many possibilities.  For sightseeing, here is a full menu of tours that one can participate in.
We were quite late there, around 8pm.  Yup, long day in high summer in Germany.  We did not have a chance to do much but walking along the main street, passing a gate to the other end seeing the outside of a church and part of the canal.

When we were heading back to the car park, the parents were sitting down for ice coffee and ice chocolate.  Oh oh, our sweet at the end of the day and sweet goodbye to Berching.


Ju Ming's Sculpture - the Living World at Hong Kong Museum of Art 2014

15 June 2014

'Hell is within the living world, but the living world also has a paradise.  Which way would you go?  It's all decided by you.'
地獄在人間, 人間有天堂. 問君何處去, 但憑一念間.

Life in the living world is both hard and happy.  It depends how you treat problems and appreciate good stuff around you.  One can perceive work is difficult and demanding.  The other can treat it with happiness to challenge itself and to win,  Results: satisfaction and joy.

Ju Ming is a Taiwanese sculptor, got famous in the 1970s and well known in New York in 1983.  His artist life began as teenager's time.   He learnt sculpture from Lee Chin Chuen and works on various materials: stone, stainless steel, painted wood, styrofoam, pottery, etc.  I like his works as it is around people, at his time or the modern time.  Affection, relations are reflected.
His core series include Nativist, Taichi and Living World.  Most of the exhibits in Hong Kong this time is his Living World series. Fabulous and full of warmth when appreciating his talented art.   The exhibitions showed his three facets, from the Affectionate World to the Floating World towards the Carefree World.  

The subject and the content have undergone a multitude of changes, beginning from the more down-to-earth depiction of the living world and eventually returning to a deeper philosophical inquiry.  They reflect how the focus changed from concern over the form to an internalised philosophical quest.

Each of us plays different roles in the society.  They interweave into a complex network.  Through his series of works of different subjects He shows the status and people's behavior within the social stratum.  His value at family is reflected through the sentiments permeated through his art pieces.

Works of the Floating World series depicts all walks of life.  They are people you see every day.  They look realistic but you may not know what they are doing and they do not have an intention to tell you.

Those below show the overcrowding in the reality.  People squeezed together, have no individual space.  Helpless!

The content of the Carefree World is the opposite of the title.  He complaints about the society.  No freedom to the point that humans are in cages.

The one below depicts the Chinese character 囚.  In the middle is human 人.  It is caged in a prison 囗.  Abstract and philosophic.