The set today, it came from weaver's art, so it's a beautiful pick. The pieces of furniture, of course, being authentic to China come from Green Tea, and I happen to really admire and love the way this particular group looks together. I've always been a big fan of the horseshoe chair, and that's what this is. Nice and beautiful arms that kind of hug you and curve around. Although in traditional Chinese design, a lot of straight lines are used because that's the path of righteousness,
Correct. So there's a lot of straight lines. But frequently, there's a something in it to soften it, so the yin and the yang. And you'll see that symbol on that chair, that beautiful symbol is the symbol of fidelity, so this would have been a gift for someone at their wedding. That could be a happy place for you to sit in.
This is very throne-like, though. They're very throne-like, aren't they?
I would use this piece of furniture as a sculptural piece. It would be great in a hallway or something like that, an occasional chair, not as something you're not gonna slunk down and watch TV.
What about this beautiful buffet?
Well, believe it or not, this is a writing desk. Chinese writing desks were much more narrower than our typical North American desk, but they would have drawers for the different writing papers. And frequently drawers and doors like the chest behind you would have been locked because many families would live together in China. It was considered rude to lock the exterior doors, so instead people would have pieces of furniture that they could lock and therefore keep some private lives. So that's a jing-xhi chest, those beautiful red and gold colors. Of course, color is so important: red would be happiness, being a dominant color, and if you look at the petal leaves that drop the hardware, that's a lotus leaf. So everything is done with purpose and meaning. There's a lot of love and craftsmanship that would goes into the pieces. And to our western eyes, to my western eyes, sometimes I can skip those details and just think they're pretty, but there's actually a meaning there. Horses, of course, being very important to Chinese people because they were a mode of transportation, sometimes they were the way you made a living. These beautiful important crackle vases as well. Screens which surprised me. I thought that was part of traditional Chinese culture, but no, in fact, that's kind of a new idea. So, there you go.
It's taking the old and the new and putting it together.
And this beautiful stone lantern.
Yeah, what is that about?
You see these all the time, and I kept trying to figure out how to light it, but you don't light them. It's a symbol of light. You don't necessarily have to light it.
Why haven't you told us that?
So, it looks great in the house but don't bother to light it as I've done over the years, but there you go.
And this chest, I love this chest.
And the hardware, the big oversized hardware, really clunky. Pieces weren't made to be disposable just like they weren't meant to be disposable in North America.
I want you to sit down. I wanna talk about this too.
Yul Brenner? I think that he kinda looks like I hope that does not land me in hell. But I kinda think there's a resemblance. The long long ear, too, is a symbol of wisdom. So when you look at Buddha heads and see a long ear, that's a symbol of wisdom. In our case, it's just a symbol of too many dangling earrings.
Yeah, too many.
But it's not wise.
I'm sure that you have a greater appreciation since you've been back. But when we add this to our interiors, just even a piece, you know. The thing is, in fashion, as it is with our home, is to mix things up a little bit. Don't make everything such a set. Should it have something that speaks to you? Maybe you do get to travel over there, lucky you, but to pick out a piece, right?
Ya, and to go with your gut, follow your instincts. The Chinese, for centuries, have lived believing that intuition, fate, destiny are more important, or at least as important as logic. And western, is of course, we're very logical. So those two things don't work together, but used together, of course, that's a perfect balance. Right? So it's important when you're finding any piece of artwork for your home to just be able to be comfortable enough to say, "You know, what? I like it. It doesn't matter if my friend isn't gonna like it or my mother-in-law is not gonna like it. I like it, it's coming home." That's gonna bring good feelings into your house.
Good. Got so much to talk about. Gonna pick your brain. Wanna know what you bought when you were over there. And did she bring me anything back? Okay, all these and more.