Archive of Posts by Amelia Bunch

Our Crush

You guys, we have a secret: the Asian Art Museum has a total crush on JVST.

Ok, here’s the story: JVST is this digital design firm who came to visit us a while ago. They took a look around and thought we were cool enough to visit again. In fact, they were so hella intrigued that the next thing is they called us up to ask if they could do projects for the museum! I know, right? We were like, “Yes! Hells yes.”

So then they made our gorgeous Out of Character: Decoding Chinese Calligraphy page (which is the exhibition that starts next week). (PS The website features Dae Advertising’s handsome image, and we are muy simpatico with Dae, but we digress.)

Anyways the point is that we think JVST is so rad and SO HOT.  Whenever we have a meeting with them, we can’t even wait to see the genius new plans they’ve thought up. Ok, we’ll be honest: just thinking about them gives us butterflies, seriously.

But we don’t know if they dig us like that too, is the thing. Except just listen to this:  they sent us a CAKE today, you guys! Just because we happened to mention it was our birthday. Which: wha???? And here’s a picture of it (don’t mind our dirty fingernails).

We have two words for you: Salted. Caramel.

K, so now here’s the question: do you think they’re into us? Because we totally hope so!

Chinese Calligraphy: What’s the Point?

It was a Friday night at my house, and to celebrate I was watching hit 1970s British period drama Upstairs Downstairs. Suddenly, a scene unfolded that reminded me of our upcoming Chinese Calligraphy exhibition and my confusion about the whole thing. Let me tell you about it.

I’ll set the stage: we have Mr. Hudson, a servant and strict adherent to the Victorian era’s hierarchical social values. And then there’s one Thomas—young, handsome, iconoclastic and, significantly, a chauffeur of motor-cars. When the two meet, sparks fly!

One day, Mr. Hudson is hunched over at the table, writing inexplicably with ink and quill. Just then, Thomas comes in from an afternoon drive, takes off his motor-car gloves, and peers over Mr. Hudson’s shoulder. “What’s this?” he asks.

“It’s handwriting,” answers Mr. Hudson in an imperious tone, “something of a hobby.”

“Handwriting! That’s very nice,” Thomas says. “What sort of stuff do you write, apart from Christmas cards?”

Mr. Hudson, a little flustered, replies, “What do I write? Well, I copy out passages from newspapers.”

“Copy!” says Thomas. “What’s the point?”

Which is what made me think of our Calligraphy show and my original question about the thing: what’s the point?

But where Thomas was right, I was wrong, as I’ve since discovered. Chinese calligraphy often reproduces poems that already exist, but it’s not a craft as with Mr. Hudson’s handwriting. It’s something abstract and amazing, once you get it: each character is an image in itself, and each style unique to the calligrapher. Seeing Guernica for the first time, you might not know its name, but you’ll know it for a Picasso. (Speaking of which, guess who was mad into Chinese calligraphy? Yes, Picasso.)

A lot of the museum’s materials on Chinese calligraphy emphasize the rigorous discipline of the art. That of course is important and interesting to some, but whatever—just think about making each letter of a poem a masterpiece in itself, so that beautifully written takes on a double meaning. One final thing: you know what else is beautiful to look upon? Thomas of Upstairs Downstairs. Just sayin.