Thursday, 3 February 2011

Oriental influences ....2011 Chinese New Year of the Rabbit

Right Click To Set As Wallpaper
The Year of the Rabbit (4th animal in the Chinese Zodiac – there are 12 in total). The Rabbit is believed to be calm, sensitive, compassionate, affectionate, a peacemaker and family-oriented. The Rabbit for 2011 is the metal rabbit aka the “White Rabbit”. Celebrations take the form of traditional dragon or lion dances and is also known as the Spring Festival. Children carry red lanterns during the parade. The New Year is seen as a time for family, thanksgiving and reunions.

We all experience Oriental influences in our lives, one way or the other! Every major city in the world has a “Chinatown” in it’s city centre or downtown. Chinese restaurants and takeaways dot every corner of the world.

The Chinese introduced Oriental themes to interior design with the most popular being the use of the “fiery” red colour which stands for “Goodluck” in Chinese culture.  Let’s not forget the ancient art of Feng Shui and fabulous wooden furniture with fantastic hand-painted details and lacquer.

There’s also Chinoiserie - a French term which translates to "Chinese-esque". Or simply when broken down loosely means Chinese art and design interpreted by Europeans - Westernised Chinese styles and design. It dates back to the 17th and 18th Century.

Below is my very own lovely piece of Chinoiserie – Mother of Pearl Chinese Mirror (minus the elephant of course !!!). See the beautiful Chinese detail and Mother of Pearl Chinese women. And let's not forget the all-too-familiar "Black Lacquer" background. I think it's awesome!!!!


The Oxford Dictionary defines Chinoiserie noun (plural chinoiseries)
1) a decorative style in Western art, furniture, and architecture, especially in the 18th century, characterized by the use of Chinese motifs and techniques:[as modifier] :hand-painted chinoiserie wallpaper

 2) chinoiserie objects or decorations: his apartment was filled with chinoiserie

Happy Chinese New Year to everyone all over the world.

Tola Laseinde
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