Tiger and Magpie

 

The image of a tiger and magpie was a popular theme in Korean folkart (Minhwa) during the Joseon Dynasty (1400 - 1800s). There were two types of works during this period: "Jakhodo" and "Kkachi horangi." In Jakhodo the letter “jak” means magpie; “ho” means tiger; and “do” means painting. The magpie implies that good things can happen or a valuable guest may come. The tiger symbolizes expelling bad spirits. Jakhodo paintings are thought to keep away evil spirits and influence, and there is a tradition to hang the art piece in the house in the first month of the lunar calendar. In kkachi horangi paintings, the tiger is intentionally given a ridiculous and stupid appearance (hence its nickname "idiot tiger" 바보호랑이), and represents authority and the aristocratic yangban, while the dignified magpie represents the common man. Hence, kkachi horangi paintings of magpies and tigers were a satire of the hierarchical structure of Joseon's feudal society.

There is also a folktale that may have served as the backdrop for the imagery of the tiger looking up at the magpie from "Minhwa: Tales of Korean Folk Paintings" by Yul Soo Yoon:

 

Once upon a time, a tiger wandered into a big puddle in the forest. Incapable of freeing himself, he anxiously waited for someone to rescue him. He endured three days without a meal before a goodhearted woodcutter happened to pass by.

The tiger begged the man to save his life. When the woodcutter obliged, the ungrateful tiger attempted to eat him. Startled by this turn of events, the woodcutter asked an ox and a pine tree to fairly judge the case. But the pair sided with the tiger, urging him to eat the woodcutter.

In desperation, the woodcutter turned to a magpie for a final opinion. The magpie asked the woodcutter and tiger to reenact the story so that he could make an appropriate judgement. 

The foolish tiger returned to the puddle, and the woodcutter was saved. Because of this tale, a magpie has long been considered a friend to humans.

 

My thanks again to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop.

 

Tiger and Magpie

 

Tiger and Magpie

 

Tiger and Magpie

 

Tiger and Magpie

 

Tiger and Magpie

 

Tiger and Magpie

 

Tiger and Magpie

Wet clay model

I Dream of Jeannie

 

I had originally intended to sculpt Sheherazade from the 1001 Arabian Nights, but had a tough time finding period accurate clothing that a slave girl turned princess would wear. In the process, I realized that Jeannie, played by the lovely Barbara Eden, from the hit TV show I grew up with (from syndicated reruns of course) would be a perfect alternative. I will come back to Sheherazade at some point! My thanks again to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop.

 

I Dream of Jeannie

 

I Dream of Jeannie

 

I Dream of Jeannie

 

I Dream of Jeannie

 

I Dream of Jeannie

 

I Dream of Jeannie

 

I Dream of Jeannie

Wet clay model

Blue Fairy

 

The Fairy with Turquoise Hair was a key character in Italian writer Carlo Collodi's 1883 book The Adventures of Pinocchio. For some reason Disney decided to give her blonde hair with a blue dress in Pinocchio (1940). My personal favorite version of the Blue Fairy was in Steven Spielberg's 2001 movie A.I.: Artificial Intelligence (2001). The scene with her at the end of the film makes me choke up every time. I originally intended to make a faithful reproduction of the Cony Island sculpture from the film, but decided on my original take. My thanks again to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop.

 

Blue Fairy

 

Blue Fairy

 

Blue Fairy

 

Blue Fairy

 

Blue Fairy

 

Blue Fairy

 

Blue Fairy

 

Blue Fairy

 

Blue Fairy

Wet clay model

Tuco 2.0

 

Tuco (2.0), our beloved Chihuahua forever immortalized in ceramic splendor. This is my second version of our family pet for over 15 years. Tuco 1.0 and a sketch versionMy thanks again to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop.

 

Tuco 2.0

 

Tuco 2.0

 

Tuco 2.0

 

Tuco 2.0

 

Tuco 2.0

 

Tuco 2.0

 

Tuco 2.0

Wet clay model

Adiyogi

 

"The Adiyogi (first yogi)" - based on the Shiva statue in Rishikesh, India. To my Indian friends, this is not meant to be the divine personification of Lord Shiva, but inspired by Shiva as the Adiyogi that put the seed of meditation into the human mind. My thanks again to the Ceramic Art Studio and Shop.

 

Adiyogi

 

Adiyogi

 

Adiyogi

 

Adiyogi

 

Adiyogi

 

Adiyogi

 

Adiyogi

 

Adiyogi

Wet clay model