moonflowers at night, moonflowers at night
antique Chinese jewellery
Sets of Peranakan jewellery we put together.
As we curate more of antique Chinese jewellery, it feels like putting a puzzle together. Some designs go better with others by nature of their stones while some by the craftsmanship in the gold, and others we put together weighing the ‘heavy’ against the ‘light’. Because of persistent cultural symbols and repetitive adaptation of European fashion for a whole century, the longevity in Peranakan jewellery art is truly one of the best things to have come out of Singapore’s cultural and design history.
The root of influence and their re-imaginings are moving and we wonder where the @*&$ our idiosyncrasies and aesthetics go as a modern Chinese born in this part of the world? Why do we not rock these styles and reinvent as our grandmothers and their mothers and fathers did? (The act of imitation is not reinvention.)
We still find that only a discerning group of young people have it in their blood (like a bull fighter has it in his!), the rest being a mature group of ladies and gentlemen who wear or collect Peranakan jewellery with the hope of passing their jewels and memories to their next generation.
Why do we observe this?
As the youngest sellers in the local market and as we also curate and sell European jewellery, our wonders are expected. The loot is here and yet we stretch our necks across the Pacific like the blondes we are (pardon me!). We often wonder why only a certain class of hot-blooded appreciators exist, though we know billboards are to blame. Which is why we are walking the talk and ADVERTISING our jewels. Don’t blame us for turning you into a zombie; the hope is for more curiosity.
We love Peranakan jewellery and will love the newly-minted pieces too if their standards match up to their predecessors. Ok let us admit it, we love the hot-bloodedness of passionate jewellery.
It often is, but antique Chinese jewellery cannot be studied without examining Peranakan art and culture.
View jewelry at The Jealous Society
This morning, we watched Ursula Le Guin’s speech at the National Book Awards. I would like to share it with you, because everybody should watch it.
If there is one thing that I have learnt from my life with Bridget, it is that the meaning of life is freedom. Happiness is only one result of freedom.
The reason why it is so difficult for many of us to be happy is because the capitalist condition leaves us indentured to all forms of institutional control. Sometimes, our existence is so messed up that we mistake personal choice for freedom. We think “I choose to go to the gym”, “I choose to be vegan”, “I choose to wear these clothes”, “I choose to undergo cosmetic surgery”. And the biggest lie of all: I choose a sustainable lifestyle. Why is that even a choice? Unless you don’t care if the world ends in a hundred years. And most of us don’t.
The greatest trick of the capitalist condition is to make you think that you make all these choices yourself. THIS IS NOT FREEDOM. This is choosing to lie down or stand up in a prison cell.
Freedom is not convenient. It is not comfortable. It must be constantly negotiated. Freedom is resistance.
… the profit motive is often in conflict with the aims of art. We live in capitalism, its power seems inescapable – but then, so did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings. Resistance and change often begin in art.
Bridget is always quietly seething about the local arts scene and I am always loudly ranting.
Why? Because there is no resistance. Without resistance, the fate of new work is mediocrity. It is a commonly held belief for many artists that once your work goes out into the world, it has a life of its own. Without resistance, you’re jinxed by mediocrity. And that is all.
If you’re an artist of our times and you’re producing work that’s cute and palatable and unchallenging, many times because you’ve accepted money from an institution of control, rethink your vocation. You don’t have to defend yourself against my views, because they are just my views. It is just the little voice inside you that you will have to address in a matter of time.
Another reason we like ‘the people’s supermarket’ or Giant at Joo Chiat is because the radish kimchi is never out of stock and no one expects you to buy flat kimchi in place of the cube one. While on our way trying to locate this radish specimen, we came onto this Bangla worker clipping prawns while cradling his phone of course and three AC remote controllers. Ever deep in conversation he did not notice my photo taking just 2.5 steps beside him. He clipped the prawns without choosing, knowing too well how they will turn out. He walked away right after I took his photo and I stepped in place to have a good look at the prawns, though if I’ve passed it many times. I took the second photo to share with you.
What’s joyful in life?
Prawn Curry is a traditional Bangladeshi recipe for a classic prawn curry cooked in a chilli, tomato and onion sauce flavoured with garlic, turmeric and garam masala. Now I’ve watched five prawn curry youtube videos and approved of the below. I don’t know for certainty what kind of curry he will make for his prawns. But I followed my heart-gut and know it should be tasty enough to eat with a lot of rice and not necessarily many prawns or good prawns.
This is what I found.
If you are thinking of Proust by now, I don’t blame you. Maybe because I don’t cook (or marinade) but can ruminate, or because I already think I cook by imagining, but truly how does one be uninspired by joy?
HY says she will attempt the recipe by ‘Zayi’. I am not the only one who has become a fan of the way she teaches cooking. Shouting from a good distance can make the room feel like there’s only me and her. Someone mentioned in the comments “my husband loves your way of cooking”. I have assured HY it is not difficult. She promises photos of a step-by-step insight.
Frozen Thawed Grey Prawns, my friend!
antique diamond cluster rings
We have a bonanza at The Jealous Society. But at World Savage, it is considered a mountain on a molehill. Diamond clusters. In fact we will be nose bleeding through many nights until the year is over.
You know, we are dreaming of a white christmas at Bantam. Maybe Sunway Lagoon!
Please help you help us.
1. Vintage Peranakan Jewellery, Art Deco Navette Ring
2. Infinity Diamond Ring, Vintage Peranakan Jewellery