Vancouver – Chinatown R-Evolution: Qingming Festival

The Qingming or Ching Ming Festival, also known as Tomb-Sweeping Day in English, is a traditional Chinese festival on the first day of the fifth solar term of the traditional Chinese luni solar calendar. This makes it the 15th day after the Spring Equinox, either 4 or 5 April in a given year. The Lee Association kindly gave me permission to photograph the day which included ceremonies in the Chinese section of Vancouver’s Mountain View Cemetary and in the Lee Association Clan House. This was followed by a banquet at a restaurant.                                                                                                                                       “The word “clan” has been used in the past to translate two Chinese words: zu and zongZu is narrower in meaning and refers to a family with unilineal descent and institutions such as ancestral halls, graveyards, and lands. Two or more zu with the same surname and linked by common, distant ancestor belong to the same zong. Overseas Chinese who shared the same surname – although not directly related – assumed that they may have had a common, remote ancestor, and that in the broad sense of the word (zong), they were clansmen to each other. The majority of Chinese immigrants in Canada belonged to a few large clans and shared a small pool of surnames. Clansmen formed clan and native-place (district) associations or huiguan, which flourished in early Chinatowns across Canada. These associations were based on models which the migrants were familiar with from China, and provided social services as well as opportunities to express cultural traditions. The associations also attempted to protect their members and negotiate on their behalf against discrimination and other problems. Chinese immigrants paid dues to their clan associations, and their counterpart clan associations, back in China, were notified that the dues had been paid.” Terms and Explanation Courtesy of  Vancouver Public Library

These images are part of Chinatown R-Evolution a photographic project on Vancouver’s Chinatown – This project received assistance from: Vancouver Foundation DTES Small Arts Grant  & Historical Chinatown Tours

– Tallulah

 

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Vancouver – Chinatown R-Evolution: The Chinese Tea Shop

The Chinese Tea Shop is located on the corner of Columbia & Pender Street, in the heart of Vancouver’s Chinatown. The shop sells very high quality teas, all sourced, tasted and approved by owner and tea master: Daniel Lui. If you want to taste tea before you buy it Daniel, prepares  “Gong-fu Cha,” a  ceremonial method of brewing and bringing out the flavours of the tea. On my last visit, Daniel started by choosing a 2003 pu-reh (tea cake) to brew.  A special knife is used to break the cake into small fragrant fragments, which will be brewed in a gentle manner which allows time for conversation. Arranging a specially chosen 200- year-old YIXING clay teapot, cups, tongs, and a strainer on a porous bamboo mat placed upon a wooden tray, the tea pot and cups are seasoned with hot water.  The first cup of tea of many cups of tea is ready to be drunk. Slurping is the best way to taste all the flavours of the tea and that manner is also effective in cooling the hot liquid.

Thank you to Mr Daniel Lui for his participation in this project.

These images are part of Chinatown R-Evolution a photographic project on Vancouver’s Chinatown – This project received assistance from: Vancouver Foundation DTES Small Arts Grant  & Historical Chinatown Tours

– Tallulah

The heart sutra is written on this 200-year-old YIXING clay teapot.

 

 

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Vancouver – Chinatown R-Evolution – DTES Small Arts Grants Group Show

Vancouver Foundation – DTES Small Arts Grants Group Show

Group Show Curator: Jen Castro

GROUP SHOW June 8 – July 14, 2017 Interurban Gallery 1 East Hastings (@Carrall) The land which this exhibition is being held  is the Unceded Coast Salish Territories of the Musqueam, Tsleil-Wauthuth and Squamish peoples.

Chinatown R-Evolution – Cut-ups
The cut-up technique, called découpé in French, is a literary system in which text is cut up and rearranged to create a new piece of prose. This concept, which can be traced to the Dadaist artists of the 1920s, was popularized in the 1950s and early 1960s by American writer and artist William S. Burroughs. The Cut-ups series takes random images from one country or project, then reassembles them into a final piece of artwork. These pieces give the viewer poetic insight into remote, exotic and mysterious worlds and cultures.

REFLECTIONS                                                                                                                                        Photographic C Print 24″ x 18″ –  Unframed $300, Framed $400

These images are part of Chinatown R-Evolution a photographic project on Vancouver’s Chinatown – This project received assistance from: Vancouver Foundation DTES Small Arts Grant  & Historical Chinatown Tours

– Tallulah

 

 

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Vancouver – Chinatown R-Evolution: Modernize Tailors

Modernize Tailors was opened in 1913 by Wong Kung Lai. His sons Bill and Jack Wong  took over the business and kept it going decades after other Chinatown tailors closed. The two brothers became Chinatown legends when, in the 1940’s, they were the go-to tailors for zoot suits – a man’s suit of an exaggerated style, characterized by a long loose jacket with padded shoulders and high-waisted tapering trousers, made popular in the 1940s and increasingly desired  by Vancouver’s teenagers.  I wonder when the last custom order for a zoot suit was? Over the years international film stars such as the dapper Sean Connery, local and loyal patrons frequented Modernize Tailors.

I had the chance to photograph Bill working at Modernize Tailors earlier this year and a quick peek into a storeroom full of vintage fabrics.

These images are part of Chinatown R-Evolution a photographic project on Vancouver’s Chinatown – This project received assistance from: Vancouver Foundation DTES Small Arts Grant  & Historical Chinatown Tours

– Tallulah

Sadly, both Jack (89) 2013 and Bill Wong (95) 2017 have passed away.

 

 

 

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Vancouver – Chinatown R-Evolution – Year of the Rooster Banquet Gala

January 29th 2017 (Sunday)

Vancouver’s Chinatown Chinese New Year this year celebrated The Year of the Rooster,  its 44th Spring Festival. The Chinese New Year Banquet Gala was held at Floata Seafood Restaurant in Chinatown,  with over ten courses of food as well as featuring lion dances, ‘good luck’ greetings by the Fortune God and a Chinese variety show with singing and cultural dances.

These images are part of Chinatown R-Evolution a photographic project on Vancouver’s Chinatown – This project received assistance from: Vancouver Foundation DTES Small Arts Grant

– Tallulah

 

 

 

 

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Vancouver – The Passion of Harold

The Passion of Harold

For my long-term photo project, The World People Project, I am often aware of individuals who would be great to illustrate, but who are understandably hesitant about taking part. However, in my experience, these are the very people worth taking the time to patiently get to know, because they are often the most fascinating.

Harold and I, for instance, crossed paths in the inner folds of a group of dedicated collectors of vintage clothing, covering antique clothes of historical importance, an internationally-renowned corset collection and the more modern and ephemeral world of glitz and glamour. Harold’s remarkable collection of mannequins, clothes, shoes and accessories is a lifetime in the making and it was a privilege to be given the opportunity to visit with him recently and share a brief glimpse into a passion that is greater than our obsession with iThings, drones, and WiFi speeds.

– Tallulah

 

 

 

 

 

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Vancouver – Journeys to the Edge – Cut-ups

Journeys to the Edge – Cut-ups
The cut-up technique, called découpé in French, is a literary system in which text is cut up and rearranged to create a new piece of prose. This concept, which can be traced to the Dadaist artists of the 1920s, was popularized in the 1950s and early 1960s by American writer and artist William S. Burroughs. The Journeys to the Edge – Cut-ups series takes random images from one country, then reassembles them into a final piece of artwork. These pieces give the viewer poetic insight into remote, exotic and mysterious worlds and cultures.

Afghanistan – Flowers & Man  30″ x 16″ Archival digital print

Colombia – My Footsteps will always Fall  30′ x 16″ Archival digital print

Haiti – Ancestors Rise Erect  33″ x 14″  Archival digital print

 

 

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Vancouver – Journeys to the Edge Community Portraits & Exhibition

ARTIST STATEMENT       Journeys to the Edge – an exhibition of photography

An understated aspect of photography is that every portrait reveals not only a fundamental view of the subject in the photograph but also a glimpse of the visions, perceptions, beliefs and emotions of the photographer. As a resident of the Downtown Eastside in Vancouver, it is important for me as a photographer to participate in the community I reside in. Thus I conceived the idea of taking portraits of the individuals who are part of the Oppenheimer Park community. The portraits are taken in a studio setting with the subjects against a blank white background. This isolates them from the context of their real world and emphasizes their own uniqueness. This exhibition displays these portraits as well as reportage portraiture of people from places as diverse as Colombia, El Salvador, Haiti, Afghanistan and Soweto in South Africa. I conceived the idea of a “travelling” exhibition that would showcase the work of Journeys to the Edge from remote places — either in distance or culturally — from what is perceived as typical art environments. Journeys to the Edge reflects this wide diversity of cultures and shows lives and stories not captured by mainstream media.

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Bogota – A meeting with Dr. Martín von Hildebrand

Portrait of Dr. Martin von Hildebrand who has a PhD in Ethnology and is the  Director and Founder of Gaia Amazon Foundation.  Hildebrand  has dedicated his life since 1970 to the defense and promotion of the rights of the Indigenous Peoples and to the conservation of the rain forest in the Colombian Amazon.

Journalist Roberta Staley and I met with Hildebrand in his sunny apartment in Bogota before we travelled down to Leticia,  a small town located in the Amazon, only accessible by air or the Amazon river.

In the 1970’s the Indigenous People were still being exploited in rubber camps, and had no rights at all. These days with legislation spearheaded by Hildebrand   now have the land rights to 26 million hectares of Amazon Forest and have in half of this territory their own governmental system  officially recognized by the State and are managing their social and environmental programs.

 

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Stirling – History, Woven

Scotland’s Stirling Castle

History, woven

Published in Montecristo Magazine

Stirling Castle in Scotland is built upon a large volcanic rock above the River Forth, considered the natural meeting point between the Lowlands and Highlands of the country. Two of Scotland’s most well-known battles took place in this area: the Battle of Stirling Bridge in 1297, when William Wallace defeated the English; and the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314, when Robert the Bruce and his soldiers prevailed over the much larger English army. Stirling Castle has a tumultuous history; it has been under siege at least eight times, survived numerous fires, seen many kings and queens crowned, and even witnessed the murder of William Douglas, 8th earl of the line, by King James II, in 1452.

It was in the time of James V that the castle went through a period of stability, and the king brought to life his vision to create a vibrant and cosmopolitan royal court. James V and his French wife, Mary of Guise, constructed the Royal Palace with magnificent apartments and lavish interiors. Inventories from the 16th century show the many tapestries, furnishings, and costumes that would have existed. James V owned more than 100 tapestries; there is no record as to how these great works disappeared.

Historic Scotland decided to recreate a series of tapestries for the Royal Palace as part of an initiative to refurnish the castle as it was in the 16th century. An international search led Historic Scotland to a series of original 15th-century Flemish tapestries called The Hunt of the Unicorn at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, and so, a recreation began. It is considered the largest tapestry project undertaken in Great Britain in the past century, spanning 14 years and costing about two million pounds.

The final tapestry in the series of seven is The Mystic Hunt of the Unicorn, and Vancouver’s own Ruth Jones was its head weaver. She wove the maiden based on evidence from another artwork that included a bit of sleeve and a hand on the unicorn’s neck; the maiden’s face was inspired by Italian Renaissance portraits. Jones went to France to study a specialized skill called faiseur de chair, which means “maker of flesh,” to create the maiden’s face.

Stirling Castle is surrounded by several major historical sites. There is the Battle of Bannockburn Experience, where Robert the Bruce’s battle against the English can be relived; tourists can also climb to the top of the National Wallace Monument or wander through Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park. And of course, they can enter the castle and view the finished tapestries, hanging grandly on the walls.

 

 

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