Newsletter May 2007

Hi Folks,

This month, the David Alan Collection opens the show: “Folk Art – Innocence and Simplicity.”  Please join us for the opening party on May 24th, 2007 from 6-9pm for a great show, good food, wine and fellowship.

My favorite quest when traveling is tracking down good folk art and this show unveils the results of those years of quests all over the East.  I think you will find yourselves surprisingly delighted by the purity of these simple human expressions.

I wish you all the best of life, success in your quests, a sense of wonder and awe, good health, good humor, and an abundance of love.


The Joglo

The joglo is the four-posted architectural centerpiece of a traditional Javanese home.  This is the heart, the meeting place, and the “living room” around which the rest of the house is built.  It is structurally integrated into the home, although the examples we have now are free-standing.  The use is the same, whether it was built as a simple village structure made of local woods, or one made for a wealthier family using teak and built on a grand scale, with gold leaf over ornate carving on posts and beams.  An iron ring is always found in the middle of the central beam, from which an oil lamp would be hung to light the interior.  A restored joglo is stunningly beautiful, whether used indoors or outside.  These 70-100 year old joglos, comprised of more than 100 intricately carved teak beams, can be viewed at each of our Cedros locations.

“Folk Art – Innocence and Simplicity”

It is the joy, beauty, and innocence, transmitted through the simple works of Folk Art that drew me to collecting it from villages all over Asia and the Pacific for many years.  It is the art of the people, of hearth and home, and is fashioned from the hands, heart and soul of the maker.

I am compelled to share my love and admiration for folk art’s pure and utterly delightful forms.  The makers of folk art are usually villagers, untrained, with something to express, consciously or not.  They are usually “playing” with an everyday household object, a tool, an instrument, toy, piece of furniture, utensil, or offering – always making that piece more beautiful, interesting, or meaningful.  These pieces are make and imbued with love, joy, and often a sense of humor and play.  They’re an outward expression of an inner life.  In the un-selfconsciousness and purity of good folk art, a window into the heart and soul of another human being is opened.  Folk art expresses emotions and dreams without the affectation of intellect.

Folk art is in fact, probably the least pretentious, most honest art form that exists, perhaps because it wasn’t made to be art.  Purity, like truth, wipes the slate clean for something new to happen, something real.  I am inspired when I look at these works and experience renewal and joy.  These are expressions of real people.  They are objects that are not trying to be something; they simply are.

Bali’s Best Coffee

A year an a half ago, my wife, Amita, and I were taken overnight to a Balinese friend’s family home high on the slopes of Mt. Agung in the Kintamani area of Bali.  After watching a wonderful sunset from the roof, we were happy to crowd into Nyoman’s mama’s kitchen to warm up.  She was preparing dinner on a traditional, open fire, wood burning stove, with the smoke escaping through a hole in the roof.  After a delicious meal and a good night’s rest under blankets and quilts, we congregated in the courtyard to watch the sunrise.  It was here we were treated to cups of amazing Balinese arubica coffee.  The coffee was grown and harvested on this land beneath the shade of clove trees which surrounded us, and was ultimately slowly fire-roasted by Mom.  This was one treat I could not help but bring back to David Alan Collection for you to sample.

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Having journeyed to the Far East and Asia over 20 times in the past 20 years, I’ve been intrigued and inspired by the ingenuity, craftsmanship, balance and human spirit that have gone into the making of those works I have seen and collected.

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