What is Chineseness?

When I think about human history and civilization, it always appears to be like a string: one extreme is old time and tradition; current and contemporary is the other. Interestingly, when we turn and join the two extremes together, it forms a perfect circle and creates a new language of art.
Ah Xian


Temple of Dendur, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Manhattan, New York, New York. SIlford HP5+ BW negative 35mm film.
New York, Manhattan

That responsibility is thrown into even greater relief at a time like this, when the Ferguson protesters are doing everything possible to emphasize that racism is a systemic problem, built into the basic machinery of our lives. That machinery, of course, includes Hollywood…
Sigal Samuel, Why I’m Boycotting the ‘Exodus’ Movie

While race didn’t matter at the time, it does now, and casting all white people as non-white people is problematic. Ridley Scott, a 76 year old man who grew up in a world where the historical epic tradition was actors with booming English accents wearing togas, probably never even thought about it.
Devin Faraci, Will Ridley Scott’s Exodus Be The Last Whitewashed Blockbuster?

Water Bearer

Garden, Para–aque, Metro Manila.

By someone’s arbitrary measurement, another cycle of this planet’s revolution has just ended. So, depending on which hemisphere you inhabit, the new year starts either during the depth of winter or the height of summer. But perhaps you more sensibly celebrate the commencement of spring? Or maybe fall is the ideal occasion to signal the Earth’s renewal? But if you’re truly smart and not a square, the year only begins during convention season.


Brassaï: A few years ago, I was in the valley of Les Eyzies in Dordogne. I wanted to see cave art at the source. One thing surprised me: every generation, totally unaware of the ones that preceded it, nevertheless organized the cave in the same way, at a distance of thousands of years. You always find the “kitchen” in the same place.

Picasso: Nothing extraordinary about that! Man doesn’t change. He keeps his habits. Instinctively, all those people found the same corner for their kitchen. To build a city, don’t men choose the same sites? Under cities you always find other cities; other churches under churches, and other houses under houses. Races and religions may have changed, but the marketplace, the living quarters, pilgrimage sites, places of worship, have remained the same. Venus is replaced by the Virgin, but the same life goes on.
Conversations with Picasso


God/Goddess, Nepal Peace Pagoda, Parklands, South Bank, Brisbane, Queensland
Brisbane, South Bank

Color version of this monochrome image.


(Finn and Jake hop on her swan, which kills all the eye creatures with laser eyes)

PRINCESS BUBBLEGUM: I hope you learned a lesson from all this!

BOTH: Uh, we learned that working together is better. Heh, whatever.

(Princess Bubblegum growls)

JAKE: (whispers to Finn) Looks like that’s not the answer she wanted.

FINN: Uhh… I learned that you’re a very… intelligent princess?


DungeonAdventure Time


Lion Guardian, Nepal Peace Pagoda, Parklands, South Bank, Brisbane, Queensland
Brisbane, South Bank


Chiyo-chichi:   Hello everyone!
Osaka:                Huh?
Chiyo-chichi:  How are you? Fine, thank you.
Osaka:               Oh my God!
Chiyo-chichi:  I wish I were a bird.
Osaka:                Why are you speaking in English?
Chiyo-chichi:  My daughter is going to America.
Osaka:                A bird?
Chiyo-chichi:  Not a bird. I am a cat. If I’m not a cat, what am I?
Azumanga Daioh


Om, Peace Bell, Nepal Peace Pagoda, Parklands, South Bank, Brisbane, Queensland
Brisbane, South Bank

Click through image to view color version

What is that sound high in the air
Murmur of maternal lamentation
Who are those hooded hordes swarming
Over endless plains, stumbling in cracked earth
Ringed by the flat horizon only
What is the city over the mountains
Cracks and reforms and bursts in the violet air
Falling towers
Jerusalem Athens Alexandria
Vienna London
T.S. Eliot, The Wasteland