Fujiwara Takanobu (1142-1205) - 1179 Portrait of Yoritomo (Kyoto National Museum, Japan) by Milton Sonn
<br /><i>Via Flickr:</i>
<br />Scroll, color on silk; 143 x 112.8 cm.
Fujiwara Takanobu (Japanese: 藤原 隆信) (1142–1205) was one of the leading Japanese portrait artists of his day.
Takanobu was born in Kyoto, and was the half-brother of Fujiwara Sadaie, one of Japan’s greatest poets. Takanobu specialized in nise-e (“likeness picture”) portraits, except instead of painting on small-size paper Takanobu painted on scrolls over a meter in height and width. Only three of his works have survived, the most notable is of Minamoto Yoritomo, the founder of the Kamakura government. Takanobu’s son Nobuzane carried on the family tradition of painting.
Kamisaka Sekka (1866-1942) - 1942c. Lily (Philadelphia Museum of Art, USA) by Milton Sonn
Ink, colors, and gold on paper; mounted as a hanging scroll;
Dimensions: 9 5/8 x 9 ½ inches (24.4 x 24.1 cm) Mount: 5 feet 3 inches x 17 inches (160 x 43.2 cm)
Kamisaka Sekka (神坂 雪佳?, 1866-1942) was an important artistic figure in early twentieth-century Japan. Born in Kyoto to a Samurai family, his talents for art and design were recognized early. He eventually allied himself with the traditional Rimpa school of art. He is considered the last great proponent of this artistic tradition. Sekka also worked in lacquer and in a variety of other media.
As traditional Japanese styles became unfashionable (such as Rimpa style), Japan implemented policies to promote the country’s unique artistic style by upgrading the status of traditional artists who infused their craft with a dose of modernism. In 1901, Sekka was sent by the Japanese government to Glasgow where he was heavily influenced by Art Nouveau. He sought to learn more about the Western attraction to japonisme, and which elements or facets of Japanese art would be more attractive to the West. Returning to Japan, he taught at the newly opened Kyoto Municipal School of Arts and Crafts, experimented with Western tastes, styles, and methods, and incorporated them into his otherwise traditional Japanese-style works. While he sticks to traditional Japanese subject matter, and some elements of Rimpa painting, the overall effect is very Western and modern. He uses bright colors in large swaths, his images seeming on the verge of being patterns rather than proper pictures of a subject; the colors and patterns seem almost to ‘pop’, giving the paintings an almost three-dimensional quality.
Momoyagusa (A World of Things) is considered Sekka’s woodblock-print masterpiece. The three-volume set was commissioned between 1909 and 1910 by the publishing firm Unsōdō of Kyoto. The Japanese name of the series can first be found in the eighth-century poetic text Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves (Man'yōshū), which refers to a multi-leaved autumnal herb (momoyogusa), possibly a chrysanthemum or wormwood. The sixty image work displays a variety of landscapes, figures, classical themes, and innovative subjects, captured in a small space. They show Sekka’s complete mastery of traditional Rimpa style, as well as combining his own approach and understanding of the innovations influencing Japan at the time.
One of the most immediate culture shocks of traveling
to Germany, especially if you grew up in the United States, is
Germany’s seeming obsession with recycling. Whereas in the U.S. you are
lucky if you can
locate a recycling bin in public areas like parks or street corners,
you’ll have the opposite problem in Germany, where you’ll find a sometimes confusing plethora
of multi-colored bins. If you have been in this situation,
looking around desperately to strangers or waiting to see what items
other drop in each bin, we feel you. YOU are not alone. Even Germans
sometimes question which bin is appropriate for which
Due to this common culture shock and the often harsh punishment one receives for a wrong move, we thought we’d give you the lowdown on German recycling.
Step 1: Prevent creating waste in the first place
Germany has created and continues to develop a culture of minimal waste. This is true for projects big and small: here are a few examples of major reducers of waste.
Bag fee: Germany
combats the environmental threat of excessive plastic bag-use by adding a small fee onto bags at stores. Even though it’s small, the fee has further motivated people to bring their own reusable bags or carts to stores. Some stores now don’t offer plastic bags at all–opting instead to offer paper bags for those who need them.
Lack of excess packaging: Say tschüss to those individually wrapped fruit packages or items wrapped individually in plastic, then wrapped collectively in plastic.
Quality over quantity: According to a 2016 report by Germany Trade and Invest, Germans are well researched and particular consumers. They are much more risk averse and likely to return items that don’t meet their expectations. This makes things like quality labels or reviews really important and generally lends towards a population that has fewer, but higher quality possessions that don’t need constant replacement.
Step 2: Pfand
Imagine if, for every bottle–plastic or glass, you bought, you had to pay extra for it. The deal in Germany is that you pay more initially but then receive that surcharge back when you give the bottles back for recycling. So, just like when you weekly take the garbage out in the States, in Germany it is a regular habit to return your bin of recycling to super markets where you will find a machine like this:
This machine scans the bar code of your items, and prints a receipt for you to redeem at the register. Basically, if you don’t recycle your eligible items for Pfand, you are losing money.
As a tourist, you have potentially experienced Pfand in a different way. At Christmas markets, stands will charge you extra for the mug that hot drinks are served in. You can choose to keep the mug as a memento, or to return it for Pfand.
You may have also been asked for your empty bottle in public by someone collecting them to return. This is potentially convenient for you, earns them a little money by returning them AND it is good for the earth. Triple whammy! There are even entire non-profits that fund themselves by collecting Pfand at events or concerts.
Step 3: Choose your bin
This part sounds really uncomplicated from an American perspective. Trash or recycling…right?
After giving back bottles for Pfand, Germans sort trash typically by paper, plastic, bio/organic, glass, and other. Though details are dependent on town or region, a general breakdown goes like this:
Paper= blue bins. This bin is for cardboard, newspapers, magazines, waste paper, paper bags, etc, etc.
Plastic = Yellow bins. This is for plastic such as body wash, shampoo, sunscreen, laundry detergent, and juice bottles
Glass is sorted by color. There are different slots for depositing green, brown and clear glass.
In this bin you should be putting any kind of jars (mustard, jam, yogurt, etc), oil bottles, wine bottles or the like.
Bio (organic) = green bins. This is for food waste like egg shells, banana peel, or scraps of food you didn’t eat.
Other = black bins. You choose your size and you’re charged accordingly. They send you a sticker each year to show that you’ve paid for it.
Residual waste is garbage that neither includes pollutants nor reusable
components. For example ash, dust bag, cigarette ends, rubber,
toiletries, and diapers are thrown into the black bin.
Step 4: Enjoy a cleaner earth!
Though the effect of one person caring about the environment is small, the collective effort of a nation makes a dent.
Germany leads the European nations in recycling, with around 70 percent of the waste the country generates successfully recovered and reused each year.
I’ve just got this BNHA idea that after they graduate they all get into the hero business; Iida does his brother’s name proud: Bakugou actually calms down a little: Shouto is able to prove he’s so much more than his father’s son.
Meanwhile Deku is well on the way to becoming the next top hero and the new Symbol of Peace ( the public is relieved: the criminals are shitting themselves, especially after Deku “accidentally” reveals in an interview that he’s reached about 50% so far ).
But one day, Deku’s facing a villain with a tricky quirk- maybe they’ve taken hostages, maybe they can absorb the power of his attacks. Anyway, Deku’s desperately trying to think of a way to beat this guy, when-
-a ball of paper hits the villain in the head. Everybody, Deku, the villain, the bystanders, see this guy jump the blockade and yell “Hey, asshole!”
The villain snarls, and roars back “You little-” and stops with a very familiar blank look on their face. Deku starts grinning as the newcomer pulls off a false nose and takes off a wig, then opens his jacket to reveal a hero costume.
And the public lose their collective shit at the realisation that they’re seeing the Hero with a Thousand Faces, who goes undercover and uses his brainwashing quirk to take down the villains from within. And as he tells the villain “Sleep”, the crowd goes wild for the sight of Shinso Hitoshi, the hero called The Word.
(Shinso gets on great with Deku: he jokes it’s like pairing a sledgehammer and a scalpel. Deku’s one of the few people who never hesitates to answer Shinso- when he asked, Deku just grinned and said “Well, I know I can trust a fellow hero!”)
Prior to the recent
Steven Bomb, some of the most divisive fan theory characterisations have been
for Blue and Yellow Pearl. Theories would range
from their having a close and intimate relationship with the Diamonds, to their
being physically abused, to it sometimes being a mix of both.
And we can understand
the source of what seems like a contradiction. That these Pearls, in
particular, are serving the Diamonds directly puts them in a very privileged
position, not exactly in the modern sense of the word.
That Pearls are in such
close contact with the ruling elite makes them privy to the goings on of upper
Homeworld that other gem classes would remain ignorant to. At the same time,
they’re also living objects, dehumanised and treated as utilities rather than
It’s a unique position
of power and powerlessness and, unconsciously, we as fans pick up on that;
hence, the muddled characterisations of what their relationship with their
Diamonds would have been like.
In the latest Steven
Bomb, we got to see more of all of these characters and we know now that their
relationship isn’t one or the other but somewhere in between.
“Oh no. It was very serious. When I still served Homeworld, I saw it myself.”
In that regard, I want to talk about how Diamonds and their Pearls relate to each another, and look at
the implications this has for our very own Pearl, who admits she served
Homeworld at one point.
The function of the Pearl class
To get this out of the way as early as possible,
Pearls are being dehumanised. It’s not right to limit an entire class of gems to objects and prevent them from having individual inclinations, when other gems can manage some level of individuality. Pearls are individuals with their own capabilities,
thoughts, and feelings.
Even before we knew
about the Diamonds, the way other gems like Peridot initially treated our own
Pearl showed us that Pearls are one of the lowest classes on Homeworld.
Words like “owner,”
“stand there,” and “hold your stuff” were being thrown around. Not much was
expected from them.
In light of all the new
information received, a consolidated understanding of what Pearls were expected to do on Homeworld would help
in the succeeding discussions. And what we know is that
Pearls were gems created specifically to serve particular individuals. This
service did not entail doing a job like other gem classes.
Other gems serve a
specific function in servicing gem society as a whole. Like builders, soldiers,
technicians, and leaders.
This public- or
collective-oriented approach to organising gem society makes a lot of sense
considering the way the gem life cycle is perpetuated.
The reason we don’t have
gem classes specifically for private affairs, like the home life, is because
their concept of “home” is much different from ours. Gems are born as full
adults; they don’t need to eat or sustain themselves physically. That means a
lot of our human necessities don’t apply to them.
That in turn puts the
service sector of Gem society, where Pearls are, as something extraneous to
It’s much the same for
social constructs. Would the Ruby Squad consider themselves a “family?”
Probably, but not in the way we understand the word. Instead of families,
gems are groups into classes. And in these classes they socialise each other on
what it means to be the gem they are.
The best example of this
would be the soldier gems, who train each other and depend on each other in
Leggy, the newbie “just
born yesterday,” according to Rebecca Sugar’s early sketches of the Rubies, was
being oriented by her more senior teammates.
Even though we felt threatened by the Ruby Squad,
and Eyeball in particular, Leggy had absolutely no fears hiding behind the
latter and it’s more than clear their shared experiences made them more
cohesive as a unit.
In that way, gems don’t
seem to spend a lot of time with gems outside their class.
very “function” of Pearls is very different from that of other gems. Their work
is relegated inward into the private
attend to very specific individuals. They are always with gems who aren’t like them.
And the key to this is
the value system on Homeworld.
I talk about the utilitarian nature of Homeworld a lot of the time. So in a society in which
utility is one of the key aspects, having work that is visible, like the
creation of buildings or the colonisation of planets, puts a high premium on
certain types of gems.
Service is invisible.
It’s not as easy to
measure the impact of telling people they’re great everyday has on the rest of
their lives. But this is the work Pearls do. Their work makes Pearls
appear like they’re of even less use, which in turn puts them lower down in the
eyes of individuals.
It’s very similar to how
the work of medical nurses wasn’t recognised as legitimate until very late on
in the history of medicine. Nurses comforted
patients, checked on them daily, and attended to them, while doctors stepped in
for a diagnosis and prescribed the treatment plan.
Because one involved
something tangible and the other involved the daily grind of caring for another
human being, the “usefulness” of latter was taken for granted.
It was (and in many
places still is) very difficult to quantify the effects of their contribution
and they were viewed lowly.
Servicing the Diamonds
Now to the specific
question: What exactly do Pearls do?
Rupert Graves as Alec Scudder in Maurice (James Ivory, 1987)
I heard rumours that there’s not enough Alec Scudder on Tumblr. ;-)
This one’s a brand-new scan by me from an original 1987 BIG Spanish cinema lobby-photos set I treated myself to on e-bay. Hence the watermark: please reblog (not repost), and don’t chop off the watermark, caption or credits. Thank you. xxx
Art publications are expensive to produce and difficult to update. Because of this, the Getty Foundation has worked with a handful of collaborators such as the Art Institute of Chicago, the Walker Art Center, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to help solve this problem. Check out the list of completely free publications below.
Chen Hongshou (1598-1652) - 1600s Magnolia and Erect Rock (Palace Museum, Beijing, China) by Milton Sonn
Chen Hongshou (simplified Chinese: 陈洪绶; traditional Chinese: 陳洪綬; pinyin: Chén Hóngshòu; Wade–Giles: Ch'en Hung-shou); 1598-1652) was a Chinese painter of late Ming Dynasty.
A native of Zhuji, ZheJiang province, was a painter of the Ming dynasty. His style name was Zhanghou (章侯). His pseudonyms were Laolian (老莲), Fuchi (弗迟), Yunmenseng (云门僧), Huichi (悔迟), Chiheshang (迟和尚) and Huiseng (悔僧). He once trained under Lan Ying, and was skilled in painting peculiar human figures, landscapes, flower-and-bird. He utilized plump, profound brushwork and precise color, creating a unique style. He always painted illustrations and made tapestry portraits.His two masterpieces,“ Shui Hu Ye Zi” (水浒叶子) and “Bo Gu Ye Zi”, were the rare examples among the Ming and the Qing dynasties. He was very famous at that time, called “Chen in South and Cui in North”, together with Cui Zizhong. He also was skilled in calligraphy, poetry and prose.
His works are kept in museums and galleries all over the world including these in the United States:
“Returning Home” Honolulu Museum of Art
“Flowers & Bird (Xi Shang Mei Shao)” Metropolitan Museum of Art
“Immortals Celebrating a Birthday” Indianapolis Museum of Art
“Lady Xuanwen Jun Giving Instructions on the Classics” Cleveland Museum of Art
“Master Laozi on the Back of Ox” Cleveland Museum of Art
“The Mountain of the Five Cataracts” Cleveland Museum of Art
“The Dragon King Revering the Buddha” Freer Gallery of Art