Category Archives: Mind Philosophy 艺门

Terracotta Warriors & Cai Guo-Qiang 兵马俑与蔡国强

The Terracotta Army
Qin dynasty (221-206 BCE) (detail)
Earthenware (terracotta)
Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum, Xi’an

The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV) presents the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces, featuring a dual presentation of past and present Chinese art and culture. Opening in May, this exhibition will bring forth this concept by exhibiting the world famous ancient Terracotta Warriors alongside a parallel display of new works by famous contemporary artist, Cai Guo-Qiang.

Chariot #1 (Qin Dynasty Replica)
bronze
152.0 (h) x 225.0 (w) cm
Emperor Qin Shihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum, Xi’an (MMYL007)

The Terracotta Warriors are known as the guardians of immortality and the eighth wonder of the world. This exhibition will feature eight warrior figures and two life-size horses from the Imperial Army, as well as two half-size replica bronze chariots, each drawn by four horses. ‘The Transient Landscape’ by Cai Guo-Qiang on the other hand will see new art works inspired by his home country’s culture and its enduring philosophical traditions, including a monumental installation of 10,000 suspended porcelain birds. 

Soldier on horseback
Western Han Dynasty 206 BCE –25 CE
earthenware
68.0 (h) x 63.0 (w) cm
Xianyang Museum, Xianyang (YQD014)

维多利亚国家美术馆(NGV)宣告了墨尔本冬季的杰出展会-以过去和现在的中国艺术和文化的双重呈现为特色,也显示古今艺术冲撞的理念。此次展览将于5月开幕,除了世界著名的古代兵马俑,同时展出当代著名艺术家蔡国强的新作品。

Kneeling Archer
Qin Dynasty 221–207 BCE
earthenware
120.0 cm (H)
Emperor Qin Shihuang’s
Mausoleum Site Museum, Xi’an (2812)

兵马俑被誉为不朽的守护者和世界第八大奇迹。此次展览将展出8个兵马俑战士和两匹真实尺寸的皇军战马,以及两辆实物一半大小的青铜战车复制品。另一方面,蔡国强也以“转瞬即逝的风景”为题,将展出一些新的艺术作品,这些作品的灵感来自他的祖国中国的文化及其悠久的哲学传统,其中包括1万只悬挂装置的优美瓷鸟。

Standing soldier
Western Han Dynasty 206 BCE –25 CE
earthenware
49.5 (h) x 16.0 (w) x 12.0 (d) cm
Xianyang Museum, Xianyang (Y-1898)

Images courtesy of NGV

City of Ancient History & Good Food 必游的帝王之都 -西安

Formerly known as Chang’an, Xi’an is one important ancient city in the world that you absolutely must visit! It is now a popular tourist site because of its rich history and good food.

5 top places in Xi’an:

  1. Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum
    Listed as a world UNESCO heritage site, the Emperor Qinshihuang’s Mausoleum Site Museum located in the Lintong District is the tomb of the first emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. It also holds the world famous Terracotta Army.
  2. Bell Tower
    Built in the early Ming Dynasty, the Bell Tower of Xi’an is located right at the centre of the city and is an important landmark of Xi’an. It is one of its finest kind in China.
  3. Famen Temple Cultural Scenic Area
    Known as the second cultural symbol of Shaanxi, the Famen Temple Cultural Scenic Area is renowned for storing the Finger Bone of the Sakyamuni Buddha. One of its sectors, the Namaste Dagoba, has a fascinating theatre performance of the history of Famen Temple you should not miss!
  4. Qianling Mausoleum
    The Qianling Mausoleum is where tombs of the imperial family of the Tang Dynasty are located. This includes the tombs of the famous Emperor Tang Gaozong and his wife, Emperor Wu Zetian, the only female Emperor to ever rule in China.
  5. Muslim Quarter
    Rich in culture and it’s abundance of delicious food, the Muslim Quarter not only enclaves the majority of the Muslim population of Xi’an, but has also turned into one of the most visited tourist spots in the district!

5 top dishes in Xi’an:

  1. Biang Biang noodles
    Savoury and chewy in taste, the classic Biang Biang noodles made from wheat flour are served with vinegar and topped with assorted vegetables and braised meats. ‘Biang’ describes the sound made when the noodle dough is slapped against the working surface repeatedly.
  2. Liang Pi (凉皮)
    Made from wheat or rice flour, Liang Pi (Cold Skin Noodles) is a local snack where cold thinly sliced rice noodles are  drizzled with chilli oil sauce and topped with spices and vegetables. It is a yummy vegan dish!
  3. Rou Jia Mo(肉夹馍)
    Invented in the Qin Dynasty, Rio Jia Mo is the oldest hamburger in the world, It is a crispy handmade bread with tender stewed fatty pork patty stuffed in the middle! Other meat alternatives are also available.
  4. Yang Rou Pao Mo(羊肉泡馍)
    Yang Rou Pao Mo is a dish where hand-pulled flatbread crumbles are cooked in a flavourful mutton broth with rice vermicelli and topped with slices of lamb or beef of your choice and pickled sweet garlic. Hand-pulling the flatbread is also a time to gossip and socialize for locals!
  5. Suan Tang Shui Jiao (酸汤水饺)
    Suan Tang Shui Jiao with locally made mutton dumplings are boiled in a mouth-watering hot and sour soup. Every dumpling is an explosion of flavour! Sesame seeds, chopped leeks and cilantro are added to make the dish pop!

原以为誉有古都之称的西安还是古旧的城都,其实西安古城墙的外围远比上海、北京都来得先进繁荣,具时代感的高楼大厦比比皆是。宽阔的马路车辆络绎不绝,道路上的清洁维持指标更是令人赞叹。

古时的西安,即是繁华的长安,也是帝王之都。历代帝王的皇陵几乎都在这里。

因为涉及国家文物的保存和江山社稷龙脉之地的风水,不少皇陵至今仍然是原封不动地矗立着。这里的每一寸土地几乎是历史的最佳见证。

西安不仅是国外游客多,国内游客量也很高,毕竟那是身为龙的传人必访之地。西安的天气不是极度的燥热,就是极度的寒冷,极少有适度的气候。当地的人民风情有别与中国一般的区县,说华语身著回服的回族,多种的主食面类,都是当地的特色。不少景点,还特设该地历史有关的舞台剧,让古时事迹重现眼前,如:《长恨歌》、《法门往事》等。

说到五大必访的景点有:秦始皇陵、钟楼、法门寺、乾陵、回民街。

五大必吃的地道美食有: “BiangBiang”面、凉皮、肉夹馍、羊肉泡膜、酸汤水饺。

English  text by Madilyn Y , Chinese text & photography by Layzhoz Yeap

The Fascinating Pink 粉红魅力

Pink is unlikely the first colour that comes to mind as far as natural lakes are concerned, but Mother Earth does her wonders again. Not only one but in fact, there are quite a few dazzling pink-coloured lakes in Australia.

Unusual but definitely mesmerizing, the causes of this natural phenomenon of having the pinky-touch in the lake water can be varied, but the most common explanation is due to the existence of algae and salt. Depending on seasons and conditions, the colours can sometimes be more vibrant and bolder.

There is however, a forever-pink lake in Western Australia that does not go out of colour. Lake Hillier is a natural wonder on Middle Island, the largest of the islands that make up the Recherche Archipelago off the coast of Esperance.

Lake Hillier

The lake is about 600 meters in length, and is surrounded by a rim of sand and dense woodland of paperbark and Eucalyptus trees. A narrow strip of sand dunes covered by vegetation separates it from the blue Southern Ocean.

No-one fully understands why the lake is pink. Scientists speculate that the colour comes from a dye created by bacteria that lives in the salt crusts. Its pink colour is less accentuated when viewed from the surface but it is very prominent from above. 

The Lake Hillier was first discovered in 1802 by explorer Matthew Flinders who took samples from the lake and mentioned its existence in his journal.

The Pink Lake (Spencer Lake)

There are at least 3 pink lakes in Western Australia, but Spencer Lake is the only one that has been named as Pink Lake. However, it has not been ‘pink’ for quite a while, which is why the Pink Lake is often mistaken as Lake Hillier, even though they are located in two different places.

The Pink Lake is just 7 kilometers from the town of Esperance. Under the right weather conditions, the lake turns a soft shade of pink due to the high concentration of algae in the water. The lake has not turned pink for a while due to the climate.

Hutt Lagoon

From bright bubblegum pink to occasionally even red, the waters of Hutt Lagoon can be an extraordinary sight on the drive between Port Gregory and Kalbarri. The lake is believed to boast a pink hue created by the presence of carotenoid-producing algae, Dunaliella salina.

The lagoon is about 70 square kilometers with most of it lying a few meters below sea level. It is separated from the Indian Ocean by a beach barrier ridge and barrier dune system. 

Occasionally Pink 

Lake Eyre, South Australia

Lake Eyre is a dry expanse of shimmering salt in the South Australian Outback, in a basin so large that it crosses the borders of three states. As the lake dries up and the water evaporates, its salinity increases and it often appears to turn pink. This is in fact caused by a pigment found within an algae species that lives in the lake.

Pink Lake, Meningie – South Australia

On the road between Tailem Bend and Meningie is the Pink Lake. These pink lakes are quite common in dryer areas and are coloured by the presence of algae known as beta carotene in the waters.

Quairading Pink Lake, Western Australia

At certain times of the year, one side of the lake becomes dark pink, while the other side remains a light pink colour. During summer, evaporation causes the water level to drop and salt builds up on the banks and trees. When the water returns, the salt causes the pink colour.

Westgate Park’s lake, Victoria

Westgate Park’s Salt Lake turned pink in response to very high salt levels, high temperatures, sunlight and lack of rainfall. Algae growing in the salt crust at the bottom of the lake produces the red pigment (beta carotene) as part of its photosynthesis process and in response to the extremely high salt levels.

Murray-Sunset National Park, Victoria

There are four salt lakes in the park- Lake Crosbie, Lake Becking, Lake Kenyon and Lake Hardy. The lakes’ waters are actually crystal clear and the beds of the four lakes are made up of solid salt. However, it is the red algae (Dunaliella salina), which grows in the water that gives the lakes their pink hue. 

粉红色,绝不会是你对湖泊的第一个颜色联想,但偏偏大地之母就爱不靠谱的给我们带来惊喜,粉红湖就如此惊艳登场,而且在澳洲不仅有一个粉红湖,散落各地的粉红湖等着旅人来寻宝呢!

其实这粉红湖有各种因素导致蓝变红,其中最常见的情况是因藻类及盐所造成,同时气候及季节的变化也会使粉红湖湖水的色泽产生变化。

至于在澳洲的粉红湖中就以西澳的希利尔湖最为有名,而且将粉红进行到底,一年四季都粉红,是埃斯佩兰斯海岸外的一道奇观,处于洛切切群岛中最大的岛屿─中央岛。

希利尔湖
这粉红湖长达600公尺,并由白千层及桉树茂密的林地及沙滩环绕着,而湖与海之间仅相隔着一座狭长的沙丘带。

这湖水染红的导因至今无人能解,而根据科学家推测,可能源自盐壳中的细菌所制造出的色素。然而,站在湖旁观色,这粉红湖的水色较淡,但只要从上方俯瞰,这却是不折不扣的粉红湖。

希利尔湖是于1802年被探险家马修费莲达发现,当时他还取了湖水样本,并记截于其探险日志中。

粉红湖(Spencer Lake)
在西澳有至少3座粉红湖,但只有此湖被命名为粉红湖。不过,这湖水已久未粉红,所以一提起粉红湖,经常被误会为是希利尔湖,但事实是,这是两座在完全不同地方的湖泊。

粉红湖距离埃斯佩兰斯市7公里,如果天作美,湖水会因密集的藻类变得粉红,但这老天就是不作美,导致粉红湖久未露出真本色了。

赫特潟湖
这湖水偶而是艳丽的粉红,有时也会是烈日当红。只要途经格雷戈里小镇及卡尔巴里之间,就不难发现这一道美景。一般相信这湖水因杜氏盐藻产生的类胡萝卜素而染红。这潟湖面积达70平方公里,与印度洋之间仅由山岭及沙丘相隔。

偶而粉红

艾尔湖,南澳
艾尔湖地区是澳洲最干旱、最低的地理点,因横跨3州,也是澳洲最大的咸水湖。当湖水蒸发,盐度增加之际,便会出现粉红色的结晶,而这也是藻类的杰作。

梅宁吉粉红湖,南澳
在泰勒姆本德及梅宁吉之间有一座粉红湖,也因藻类产生的胡萝卜素而导致较干燥处变红。

Quairading粉红湖,西澳
一年内在固定的时段,一边的湖水呈深红而另一边则是粉红色,这是因为湖水蒸发时,在湖边及树上残留的盐份,会在湖水恢复时呈粉红色。

西门公园的湖泊,维多利亚
因高盐、高温、烈日及缺雨染红了西门公园的湖泊。这是因为湖中的藻类因光合作用所产生的胡萝卜素遇上高盐而变色。

穆累-日落国家公园,维多利亚
在这国家公园内有4座咸水湖,即Crosbie、Becking、Kenyon及Hardy湖,虽然湖水清澈,但因湖底的高盐成份遇上红藻而让湖水看似有点粉红。