Yesterday, as we were preparing for our Japan show and opening party, I stumbled across an 18th century folding screen painting by a well-known Japanese artist, Okyo Maruyama.  This kind of discovery is something that only occurs in the movies, on the Antiques Road Show, or in daydreams.  We have been working on the group of twenty Japanese folding screens that arrived recently.  I was in Japan in March collecting for David Alan Collection and purchased an amazing assortment of 90-300 year old screens. Continue reading Discovery

Sa Pa, Vietnam

Sa Pa area is home to eight of the fifty-four Vietnamese minority groups.  Mile high town serves as a trading center for the area and trekking base for visitors.  This French hill station was rebuilt after Chinese invasion leveled much of the town in 1979.  The Chinese were perturbed by Vietnam taking over their client state Cambodia earlier that year and retaliated by invading Vietnam.  With the help of long established military support from the Soviets, the Chinese invasion was turned back. Continue reading Sa Pa, Vietnam

Luang Prabang II

Back to Luang Prabang and the gentleness it exudes and washes through my whole being.  This town’s special quality is that of being.  There is an old saying: the Vietnamese plant the rice, the Laotians watch it grow and the Cambodians harvest the rice.  Laos is a place to come to, to be.  There is plenty to do, but if you aren’t taking the time to watch the rice grow, then you missed Laos. Continue reading Luang Prabang II

Luang Prabang I

From the balcony of our six-guest room, former French villa, we can watch the monks in the next-door monastery.  They are doing the monk routines of studying, tending gardens, chatting, playing, sending text messages and washing their orange/red robes.  These monasteries are generally the only means of acquiring an education in Laos.  There is something lovely about the vibration of Luang Prabang monasteries, which are devoted to a blend of spiritual pursuits and education. Continue reading Luang Prabang I

“I’m Still a Boy”

At 22, Putu is the youngest of the staff that cares for the Bali house. He is invariably happy and full of good will. He dashes around the villa whether cleaning floors, making beds, running up to open the front gate or serving breakfast. He’s always ready to serve with puppy-like eagerness. Everyone who comes to the villa, whether for an hour or a week, falls in love with Putu. He possesses an elf-like, unselfconscious, pure innocence that disarms and attracts all. Continue reading “I’m Still a Boy”