Wednesday, August 31, 2005

World Blog Day and Henry Moore in Hong Kong

I will tie my two subjects together - trust me. Today is , a celebration of bloggers everywhere. I have been told I should highlight 5 blogs that are worth reading to other bloggers, and so I shall duly comply. While they are not new on my links list, I've never done this before, and introductions are long overdue. First up must be Simon on Simonworld, who provides us fascinating commentary on wide-ranging subjects from economic reform in China to milkshake murderers; Simonworld is also currently my alter ego since I'm guest blogging for him while he's away. Next up is Hemlock, one of the longest-running blogs in the region, and certainly among the most entertaining. His acerbic, sharp wit provides an amusing way to look at the bizarre daily happenings in the Big Lychee.

I feel a kinship with the musings of Madame Chiang, given her interest in both Hong Kong and East Asia and the Middle East; I also admire her bravery for wearing her heart on her sleeve! Asiapundit must be congratulated for marrying visual spectacle with daily links and posts of great interest. And speaking of marriage (hrmph), I enjoy reading Shaky Kaiser's experiences of a side of Hong Kong I recall from my banking days.

That's a far from complete list of bloggers I enjoy reading regularly (you'll find that list on the right if you scroll down a bit), but that'll do for this post.

Incidentally, the idea for World Bloggers Day on the 31st of August came from a blogger in Sirael that looked at the digits '3108' and thought that he saw the word 'blog'. Similar I suppose to sightings of the Virgin Mary on old ham sandwiches and such, but that's a good enough excuse.

But speaking of visual-numerical connections, now to Henry Moore, that masterful British sculptor of the 20th century that died on this day, August 31st, in 1986. Anyone that's spent any time in the Forum of Exchange Square will have seen his excellent work entitled 'Oval with Points.'

Now Moore is a master, of that there can be no doubt. And equally doubtless, Jardines subsidiary Hong Kong Land is a great admirer of artwork, given there several scultures in the Forum and their frequent art exhibitions in the atrium of 1&2 Exchange Sqaure. But why did they chose this work of art specifically for their office complex in Hong Kong? I submit to you this idea: they did it because it looks like the number '8', which as Cantonese and old HK hands will know, sounds also like the Cantonese word for fortune. It is the same reason they chose Dame Elisabeth Frink's Water Buffaloes - its bullish demeanour. It's ingenious, really, developing a reputation as a patron of the arts amongst the gwailos, while satisfying their Chinese tenants with an incredibly auspicious sculpture...

But then again keep in mind that art always has many different levels of meaning, and it's important that viewers go through the process of figuring out of a work of art is all about. About this Moore once said:
All art should have a certain mystery and should make demands on the spectator. Giving a sculpture or a drawing too explicit a title takes away part of that mystery so that the spectator moves on to the next object, making no effort to ponder the meaning of what he has just seen. Everyone thinks that he or she looks but they don't really, you know.

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