asian art | zodiac animal sculptures returned to china

the controversy is over.

two of the twelve bronze zodiac animal sculptures that once surrounded the fountain in the gardens of the old summer palace (yuanmingyuan), a qing dynasty (1644-1911) imperial retreat near beijing, have been returned to china by french billionaire francois-henri pinault.

the zodiac sculptures were not only the subject of circle of animals/zodiac heads, a public outdoor sculpture exhibition by chinese artist/activist, ai weiwei... 


ai weiwei | circle of animals/zodiac heads
exhibited 2 may-15 july 2011 | pulitzer fountain | new york, NY
photo credit arrested motion

...but also, the subject of chinese zodiac, a jackie chan action movie.

christie's sold the the two sculptures for 31.4 million euros (US$40 million) during the february 2009 auction of the collection yves saint laurent et pierre berge.  but, the buyer, a chinese national, withheld payment in protest.  so, the two sculptures remained in the collection of pierre berge until they were acquired by the pinault family.

bronze rabbit and rat zodiac animal sculptures | from the fountain at the yuanmingyuan | qianlong period (r. 1736-1795)
collection yves saint laurent et pierre berge | christie's paris | 23-25 february 2009 | sale 1209 | lots 678 and 677 

the pinault family controls kering, the french luxury brand group formerly known as ppr, which also owns christie's.

coincidently, christie's was recently granted a license to become the first independently operated international auction house in china. (the chinese operations of christie's compititor, sotheby's, are a joint venture with state-owned beijing gehua cultural development group.)

does this seem like a convenient coincidence?
click here to read related previous posts, new york times, wall street journal, and financial times articles.
Pin It


garden | teak furniture

i don't usually notice wine labels...
but, the sojourn sangiacomo chardonnay label caught my attention...

1 sojourn | 2011 chardonnay | sangiacomo vineyard | sonoma coast
photo credits lisa walsh | innerspace

doesn't the label make you imagine yourself on a sunny day, relaxing on a chaise longue in the garden, on the terrace, or by the pool, sipping a chilled glass of chardonnay?

2 janus et cie | mistra | teak chaise longue with side table | 735-75-211-97-00
photo credit janus et cie

i have to admit that i am partial to chablis...
so, sojourn sangiacomo chardonnay is one of my favorite california chardonnays...
a balance of citrus, mineralality, and acidity...

i also have to admit that i am partial to teak outdoor furniture...
it's durable, easy to maintain, and ages gracefully...

2 giati | paradiso | teak platform chaise longue | GH-M3
grand wailea | maui HI
photo credit giati

outdoors, teak develops a weathered, silvery patina unless it is oiled or sealed regularly.  but, if you let it weather, it requires minimal maintenance.

giati recommends cleaning teak furniture periodically by scrubbing it with a 3:1 solution of water and laundry detergent or dish washing soap, and household bleach.

northern california has a mild climate, so my husband, bob, and i only need to clean our teak furniture once a year.

click here to read giati's teak furniture care and maintainence instructions.

3 summit | sundeck | teak stacking adjustable chaise longue | SD345
photo credit summit

have you started your spring cleaning yet?  or, are you already relaxing by the pool with a glass of chardonnay?
Pin It


art | bruno romeda

i'm in the process of researching sculptures for one of my interior design projects...

maybe, a bruno romeda sculpture?

his bronze sculptures are cast from wooden models.  so, although they are geometric, they are actually quite organic.

the living contemporary auction at wright in chicago IL on 25 april 2013 includes three bruno romeda sculptures.

a circle, a triangle, and a square...

maybe a square?  

offset to frame the mirror above the mantle in one of the adjoining living rooms? 

similar to the square in the entry of interior designer david kleinberg's new york apartment...

1 bruno romeda | untitled | bronze circle sculpture | 1 of an edition of 3 | 1999
lot 138 | living contemporary | 25 april 2013 | wright | chicago IL
2 bruno romeda | untitled | bronze triangle sculpture | artist's proof | 1997
lot 136 | living contemporary | 25 april 2013 | wright | chicago IL
3 bruno romeda | untitled | bronze square sculpture | artist's proof | 2000
lot 137 | living contemporary | 25 april 2013 | wright | chicago IL
4 bruno romeda | bronze square sculpture | entry | new york NY
Pin It