As the year draws to a close, I will be packing my suitcase and heading to where the sun is shining on new inspiration. If you are fortunate enough to put your feet up over the silly season and are looking to catch up on some reading, may I suggest you begin with the Duende readers’ favourite posts of 2015—just in case you missed them the first time.
A cultural collision resulting from historical migration throughout South East Asia resulted in the Peranakans, a people with their own unique customs and an intriguingly vivacious aesthetic.
A little while ago I fulfilled a lifelong dream to party at Rio De Janeiro’s Carnival! I also discovered an inspired element of the tropical city that unexpectedly captured my imagination.
Ancient symbols passed down by the mystical Incan empire…or a modern day myth? I regularly find that the subjects I am researching have debated origins, and this investigation raised more questions than answers.
If you ever travel South East Asia extensively, you will be exposed to a diverse array of Buddhist architecture. Many terms for the exotic and sometimes fantastical structures get thrown about, but do you really know what makes a wat? The purpose of a pagoda? Or the significance of a stupa? In the three part series, Buddhist Architecture 101, I have decoded these three common structures. Stay tuned in 2016 as I add to this series.
A crowned heart clasped between two hands that symbolises love, friendship and loyalty; the design of the Claddagh ring of Ireland is one with a long and mysterious history full of romantic tall tales. But who can truly claim responsibility for the original motif?
Three strange Chinese fellows stare back at me through the museum glass. Their faces are familiar; I have seen them before on cloth, in porcelain and paint. But who are they and what do they represent?
In most corners of Asia, Buddhist and Hindu symbolism are inescapable. From India to Japan, there are endless images and representations to intrigue the senses. One recurring motif that interestingly appears to span multiple religions, geographies and cultures, is the lotus flower. So what is it that makes this aquatic perennial so special?