All posts by Angela Reich

Floating Silk

Chinese Women’s Fashion Through the Ages
– an illustrated talk by Madison Plantier on Saturday 20 March 2021  2pm – 4.00pm.
Uncover a world of vibrant colour and delicate embroidery as we delve back into the history behind women’s clothing in China.

Starting from the Han Dynasty, we’ll be tracking the evolution of Chinese women’s fashion as it became much more complex and, as was the case during the Tang Dynasty, increasingly controversial! Along the way, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of the Chinese painters who studied female figures and who have served as an invaluable asset to historians in documenting Chinese women’s fashion during imperial times.

From the bawdy bared flesh of the Tang right through to the conservative dress of the Ming, let’s transport ourselves back to a time of long flowing robes and luxurious silks.

Card Creativity

Cards by Colleen on her own home-made paper: water buffalo inspired by Qi Baishi, and origami valentine hearts. Water buffalo enjoying the cool water by Liz M.

Expressive water buffalo from new member Anthony:

New Year wish from teacher Maggie, and home-made envelopes from Zara:

Chris G’s card features Lao Tzu riding his ox backwards, plus amazing origami by herChinese daughter-in-law.

Cards from Hakima and Pat J. Catherine W decorated her pot-plant with Chinese knots and tassels.

Tina made some New Year cards for her grandchildren.  Firstly folded an origami ox ‘red envelope – 紅包’, (using you tube video). Put couplets (the calligraphy was written on cut up, used red envelope) in the pocket of the ox, with double sided tape on the back. The idea is for the recipient to ‘hang’ them either side of the door. The house was made from magazine cuttings!  福, fu, fortune, is traditionally written upside-down.

Village Life


Saturday 23 January 2021  2pm – 3.00pm:  an illustrated talk on  Life in the Village and Countryside by Madison Plantier.

The historic region of Huizhou, which covered southern Anhui province and northern Jiangxi province, was once renowned for its breathtaking natural beauty and unique local culture. Its sweeping vistas and ancient villages inspired countless Chinese brush painters throughout the years, yet nowadays its tourist traffic has plummeted and it represents one of the most neglected historical areas in China. Join us as we delve into the fascinating history behind this region and discover the places that played muse to some of China’s greatest artists. Along the way, you’ll be treated to plenty of gorgeous photos and videos of life in Huizhou today.
Let us transport you on a virtual journey through one of the most picturesque places in China!
Painter in Lucun
Bamboo Forest

Christmas Creativity

Claire’s festive rat!
Claire’s robin card
Angela’s mouse card
Annie H’s wistful mouse
Pat’s peckish rat
Pat says apologies to Qi Baishi, but this festive rat needed a mince pie and a glass of sherry, after a difficult year for rats!
All Good Wishes from Reg
Ann H’s colourful poinsettia
Amaryllis from Susan J

Marion has had an outburst of origami, inspired by the MEAA online course:

Marion’s trees and a fun seal!
Marion’s cards
Marion’s deer
A moon jar and tree from Zara
A Japanese influence on Frances Y
Peachy’s poinsettia

Peng says “I happen to have done a few rat studies that might make some silly Christmas stories that make me laugh”:
1, Ms rat skips healthy sprouts and goes straight to the mince pies.
2, She can’t decide on whether she should have the pigs in a blanket first or a glass of wine, maybe she is already drunk.
3, ‘Control me?!, you need to tidy your kitchen first!’ The owner of the house is having some morning lie-ins after days of celebrating and drinking.

Mince pie
pigs in a blanket
3D card by Chris G
3D tree by Chris G
bird & Pine Chris G
Peace on home-made paper by Colleen
Anne A’s reindeer

Effortless Education

There are many lectures and webinars in Chinese art & culture.  here are some recommendations from members.

ZT:   I signed up for this live talk from US China Institute and very much worth watching on the Qianlong Emperor. The events are middle of the night our time but they record and send an email later so have just watched this one. The expert speakers knew their stuff and part of the restoration team at the Forbidden Palace.  This link is the 1st talk in the series of 3 on the architecture of the Forbidden City.

Gresham College lectures include a series on Chinese Art by Craig Clunas.  His 90 second reply on Western & Chinese art.

ZT:  Podcast BBC4 short ( 13mins) on maritime trade in the Ming was on this morning- Yongle Emperor and all that. David Abulafia charts the surprising extent of maritime exploration in Ming dynasty China.

AR & ZT: Learn about Robert Van Gulik – podcast and his collection.

CK:  Have just finished a book about China and especially Yunnan. It is “The Five Foot Road”  by Angus McDonald, who is an Australian who decided to follow in the footsteps of another traveller G.E.Morrison who travelled there 100 years previously.

China: A History in Objects (British Museum)

3812 Gallery’s 12 Days of Christmas in Chinese paintings is adding daily.

Discussion of modern Chinese art.

As a change from tea, Asia House’s exploration of the story of coffee.


Things to do!

Learn about Chinese poetry with the  Museum of Asian Art.

Chinese culture and language also available with Madison Plantier (who did our AGM afternoon talk).

CityLit courses include Chinese language, Qigong, introduction to Chinese language through objects in the British Museum.

Online Tai Chi & Qigong.

Get a touch of Tantra at the BM, and have a go at a mandala

The Met’s catalogue of Buddhist sculpture is available free.

Asia House is planning A Journey Trough the Past and Future of Human Voice:

A new approach to Chinese arts.


In Praise of Paper

Ashmolean event: Unsung Heroes of Ink is a new film exploring the importance and role of paper in Chinese ink painting.  Film screening followed by a discussion.  Wednesday, 4th of November 2020 Online event, 11am.  Interesting trailer.

Some of the Ashmolean’s Christmas cards have oriental designs.

Raymond Fung, Beauty of Lands (1), 2016

Online Panel discussion and examples of Hong Kong Ink Art.  Thursday 29th October 12pm by Zoom.

Member Zara reminds us that Asian Art in London will include exhibitions at various galleries.  “Roseburys have a fab Bada Shanren scroll which will be very exciting to see in the flesh”.

CBPS Member Colleen has just finished reading Sorrow Mountain: The Remarkable Story of a Tibetan Warrior Nun by Ani Pachen and Adelaide Donelley.

North Star Studio

You can never have too much Hokusai.  Thanks to CBPS members Jane & Zara for pointing out that the British Museum has his Great Picture Book of Everything (search BM Collection for Hokusai+everything to see all the drawings).

This collection of line drawings includes this flamboyant peacock and phoenix.

Zara: “Certainly some interesting ones to have a go at to practice my line ink drawing. Not sure he had ever seen a real elephant!”