Cesky Krumlov #2- A side trip travel in a low season #2

quite street with cobble road in the morning

quite street with cobble road in the morning

The next morning I went out as my usual morning shooting hour around 7, air is a bit foggy but the diffuse light makes it a perfect setting for poetic photo shooting. Usually, we meandering a bit just to grab the sense of the town. After couple sip of fresh air to wake me up, I start to sink in and taking some experimental photos. Such as like following the kid in town to their school to pretend that you are a local, this takes me to the area beyond a normal tourist can reach. It's both fun and a self-fulfillment as an adventurous traveler. 

The castle is located on a hill of the outer bank of the river. Through a series of steps and arcade like sloped street  right underneath the castle, you can get to the tip of the region and overlook the town. The curved river channel dramatically represented as a golden belt as the autumn sun rendered it in low angle.  The enhanced experience at this point is magical, the charmed town with exquisite detail but also complement with a grand gesture that ties everything  together seamlessly. 

Town view from the castle

Town view from the castle

River Babk Chateau, Sankt Jobst, Chateau Cesky Krumlove and Vltava River

River Babk Chateau, Sankt Jobst, Chateau Cesky Krumlove and Vltava River

at the underside of towerbridge

at the underside of towerbridge


Coming down the hill, low angle sun in late fall makes architecture vivid and sharp for photo taking. It's 10am now, time for tourist flocked into this charmed town, and it's also our breakfast break. 

The towns housing arranged in 2/3 of the concentric circle. Rubbing off the church in the center hill. A 30 minutes slow stroll can pretty much go through the whole town. Walking over cobble road like a filming scene; Local stores feels like the boutique shop. We enjoyed the special moment of this medieval town demonstrate its charm and brought us back into his glory past. 

the red-orange roof tile is overly saturated under the autumn sun.

the red-orange roof tile is overly saturated under the autumn sun.

 

Cesky Krumlov#1 - A side trip travel in a low season

Listed as one of the most charming town in east Europe and one of the UNESCO site. Our experience with this little town is romantic yet a bit nostalgic.

The setting of the town is interesting, a river - the Vltava make a dramatic twist which forms two peninsulae, each situated with a dominant building in town- the church and the castle. 

We took an evening bus from Prague and arrived late. It was a time accessing data service isn't cheap, so dropping us off of a highway at 9pm without google map and two oversize suitcase does make you feel a bit adventurous and nervous. 

Judging from ambient lighting source and a diagrammatic map at the bus station- I figured the entrance to the town is probably right across the highway. However, this is not the tourist town I pictured in mind, and we did not encounter any single person before arriving the hotel. And here comes the 2nd problem, the b&b we reserved --- it was closed. 

The area is only lighted with fainting yellowish street light. Pretty much all the hostel in the area had shut their door at this point, with just a bit of faith left, we rang the door bell twice. After a long pause, a woman came out, who later prove to be the mother of our host, greeted us with hand gesture accompany her soft voice(she didn't speak English) and eventually get us to the room. After discussed our breakfast hour and other house policy stuff, she left us alone.

Now, dinner time - our night eventually turn totally amazing 30 min later, but we were simply hoping able to get bar food at that moment. 

We take a quick stroll around the town, did encounter some tourist snapping night shot and one pub with a bar inside (perhaps that's our best shot, I was thinking) --- finally we stopped foot in front of a restaurant we had researched, a tavern, and it was open. At the moment, we step in the restaurant, something magical happened --- there is an open grille right at the reception area fill the place with wood flavored warm air, the atmosphere is cozy and relaxing. We observed a bit and found ourselves a lovely setup in the lower section. With a starving stomach and an open mind, we ordered quite a solid feast for ourselves --- more than enough we end of finishing everything off the doggy bag in the next couple days, well -- that's another long story to crave in if you like.

We took a stroll after the dinner, the night light highlighted areas around the castle. Standing at the foot of castle hill, you can observe the textural graphic and admire details of the illustrious result under the reign of Rosenburg family. Unfortunately, we did not encounter the white lady as the local tale, which I'm pretty sure she can provide stories in great details. 

Prague#7 - Walking off the fog

The afternoon of our 3rd day stay, the sun finally arrives. And Prague still giving me surprises. It rendered the entire city with a bright paint. Like walking off the frog, poetic transcend to fantasy, imagine transformed to experience; the dream can be touch and seen now. This final twist of Prague is a promising future call making sure I will return. 

Prague#5 - Castle above the wind

The ride - best in action!!

The ride - best in action!!

Prague castle is located above the plain overlooking the old town, you can access it through bus but we prefer a pilgrim route with our favorite transportation - funicular. This gets us to a vast public part even slightly above the castle, and you got a panorama view of the city -- the true city of hundred-spired reveals at this point. 

Inside the park, a petite Eiffel Tower is standing - a more or less tell commute tower? Across the park, You start descending toward the castle - The meandering network path surrounding the castle add extra interest when the vanishing point constant shift in perspective. The castle complex consists  multiple buildings, it's vast and rich, to avoid digging into the history too much; let me use following photo exchanges for text. 

the prague castle - soaked with tone of fall

the prague castle - soaked with tone of fall

Prague#4 - Eastern Europe Trip - Charles Bridge and John Lennon Wall

Charles bridge and John Lennon wall.

Charles Bridge in late fall

Charles Bridge in late fall

Give you Hi Five

Give you Hi Five

Knowing the name only by its ancient old history and the epic flood in 2002, Charles bridge gave me the charm I didn't expect. First, is those detail sculpture along the bridges; 2nd - the block stone paver with romantic medieval towers on either side of the bridge; 3rd - the late fall fog adding mysterious for one's own imagination. Throughout the time of our stay, we crossed the bridge two times; I enjoyed the solitude moment in the early morning of my second visit, vaguely seeing the tram crossing over the other bridge in a damped foggy weather, noticing the sound and brisk air, reconstructing the scene by yesterday's memory.

Across the bridge is neighborhood Lesser Quater where the John Lennon wall located, the neighborhood has a charming character with a canal running through. In front of the wall; of course, the tourist act - snapping couple shot before then off for breakfast! 

John Lennon Wall

John Lennon Wall

Prague#3 - Love tale at castle steps

How far and how long can one's consciousness re-connect through time? Your secret whispering to the songster frozen in air chanting from your heart on each long and lonely walk. But it had perished and vanished, evaporated and forgotten, ignored by generations until love and forgiveness found its way back.

 

Taking a stroll through the old castle walk you will encounter the "The Songster" sculpture which memorializes the Czech patriotic song writer, Karel Hašler. I became aware of his story long after my trip, and editing deeper into these photographs stirred my initial peaceful mind into philosophical thought. A question of how chaotic moments in history could ever be initiated is hard to imagine in this current world. I wonder - if love is that deeply rooted in our collective unconsciousness can it prevent history from repeating itself?

Prague#2 - Eastern Europe Trip - Municipal House and Old Town Plaza

Municipal House is at our hotel proximity so we dived right in after dropping the luggage. This is a cloudy drizzling day, fit perfectly to visit any interior space; a small tip - my rule of thumb is always flexible on the sequencing of your list of attractions so they can be rearranged based on your real-time situation. The city hall featured Mucha's art nouveau mural throughout, looking at them as mural stirs a very different feeling from the 2d graphic. It's very engaging, the expression coming out of the body language and the starring eye of the illustration speaks to me directly, intimate and forced.

Entrance of municipal hall

Entrance of municipal hall

 

Within 5 minutes walk is the old town plaza, which includes the astronomy clock, old town hall and couple historic building, passing through the square, we stopped by the oldest Jewish joint -

Josefov, or the Jewish quarter; an area in between the old town and Vltava river, understand as an old neighborhood surrounded by a wall - ghetto, which the Jews were limited to live in this area. However, you won't feel the narrow street these days as all of the building but couple historic building were torn down in early 20 century to clear out the slum. We wondered around it and tried to avoid the crowd which take us to the riverfront, overlooking the castle up above the hill.

The sun sets early in the fall, the overcast cloud restored every pigment to its natural state; layered red tile, chrome leaves and blue river in order and ready for the night.

Prague Castle From River Vltava 

Prague Castle From River Vltava 



Prague#1 - Eastern Europe Trip - Exertion

In 2011, I was planning a 10 days trip to visit Eastern/ middle Europe. This all initiated by two little instances in my daily life, a recommendation from a colleague to check out a UNESCO town in Czech and a growing popular scene set ink-pop drama. 'Český Krumlov' and 'Hallstatt'. The rest of the trip kind of built around figuring how and where to go around these two charming towns, it's also adding additional challenge if you don't want to do the round trip flight (because I really hate losing a day just to catch the return flight) with a tight budget. After evaluating couple scenarios, we set the itinerary. Our first stop? The city of hundred spires - Prague.

Prague Castle from across Vltava River

Prague Castle from across Vltava River

 

To be fair, Prague isn't some place you visit just to kill the time in between, and I don't mean to make it sounds not important. This is a charming city has a lot to explore - part of mid-century super power Habsburg family, King of Bohemian- the reign of the region and left a legacy of oldest castle complex of the world. Plus, one of my favorite artist - Alphonse Mucha, devoted last 20 years of his life on artwork admired by his nation. And those towers, yes, if you have endless energy don't mind climbing up and down - this can also be your parkour playground.

Mucha's Mural 

Mucha's Mural 

 We took a usual red eye flight straight to Prague from New York. From the airport, you need a train to connect the closest metro stop, which you need to time quite precisely cause the bus doesn't come that frequent. We had endless debate whether to take a bus or a taxi in exchange for time. Short answer to this, if you aren't traveling alone, any option don't initiate a fight is a good answer, you truly don't want this to spoil your mood on the first day of the journey.

Beautiful as usual, because its The Central Park

Taking a stroll on Saturday afternoon, melting snow now toward it's end stretch. The short stop blizzard  in and out leaving only couple traces in the park. The cold and serene icy pond whisper quietly about this winter first snow.

 

Tangent of traffic

While constant inspired by the infrastructure in the city, the terminal is always an interest focus. It records, documents and carries people's activity ; illustrate a beautiful yet interesting interactive activity patterns. This photo was taken near Amsterdam train station. Where a  ferry terminal intersect a new bus terminal intersect. The curve bridge marked a poised moment of all the motion which I think complement well with this busy terminal 

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Desktop Rolling Clock

Time is a mystery concept- with no physical form and represent various way through humans interpretation. The clock hand utilized different media to recreate the concept the time. This is a one of a kind art work,  Mixed media with Thread sawed Vinyl enclosure with laser cut minute ring make of plaster.
  • Face size: 3.5" Diameter
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Latest Print - Sculpture Figure Head

An abstract graphic of a head figure of a Indian portrait with exhausted decorated outfit.

indian head shot _sm

This is a hand cut Philippine Mahogany (Luan) block print Image/Paper is 14”x10" - Printed with water base Black mix Red Ink on Hosho 71gsm Mulberry fiber paper . Signed and numbered.

Latest Print- Cliff Land , a spiritual landscape

I try to create a fictional landscape in the deep forest, a place where all mysterious part of nature occurs. You will be experience sensational and spiritual feeling as if go through a deep meditation. It’s like being at the edge of a cliff, extremely horrified but also frees you up to the unknown possibilities. Print using one Lino Block and one Philippine Mahogany (Luan) with hand applied textures Image/Paper is 14”x10" - Printed with water base Black mix Blue Ink on 250 gsm Lenox 100 cotton paper.

cliffland-large

Macchu Picchu & Huayna Picchu Part 1

My high altitude sickness temporary went away shortly after I had arrived Angus Calientes.After a short night, we headed on to the scarcest archeology site of this trip – Machu Picchu. The original name of the city is still unknown so it borrows from the name of mountain called by the native. “Machu Picchu” means new mountain. Looking out from the bus on the whiny road seeing those figured rock filled with moss reminds me of the animation film – Avatar. It’s an emotional sensational experience, I’ve been waiting this moment to cure my ill mental poisoned by my materialize life. Rock over here layout in a different way than those in Cusco, it’s less dressed and w/ more practical purpose. They served as a retaining wall to sculpt the endless layers of terrace. By using granite versus the limestone you see elsewhere in Peru makes it the least porous structure that support a highly functioned irrigation system which prevent the city from erosion after hundreds of years. MachuPicchu_09-25-10_46 MachuPicchu_09-25-10_39 MachuPicchu_09-25-10_49 MachuPicchu_09-25-10_63 MachuPicchu_09-25-10_103

The Sun Temple The exquisite sun temple layout in a way demonstrate the believe of ancient Inca. The temple wall build on top of a rock out of landscape. The sun on winter solstice hit right through the stone opening facing east and on the rock surrounded by the stone wall. The landscape rock is carved out right under neath the sun temple and as the home for Pachamama (Mother earth).

MachuPicchu_09-25-10_95 MachuPicchu_09-25-10_80

Pachamama (Mother earth) MachuPicchu_09-25-10_118 w/ a short stay around ruin… we start our long journey to get on Huayna Picchu…

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New York Skyline - An abstract image represents a city I live.

The wood block grain can sometimes be fairly frustrated when you try to be as precise as possible. With a little of mis-forced on your knife, the fine edge chipped away fairly quickly. But working image in an abstract form can turn this toward your advantage. I kind of like the pattern on Mahogany and you can work with those line as vertical or speedy elements as in your image. Anyway, the bottom line is: You just carve on to these blocks and forget the finicky detail you have on your paper, its kind of fun this way to play w/ your block.

manhattan manhattan a This is a hand block print. Using Philippine Mahogany (Luan) with hand applied textures. Image/Paper is 8x11" - Printed with water base ink and gouache on 100% cotton paper, 250 gsm.

Moon Rabbit and Bay Tree

Next Year's Chinese Birth Symbol is RabbitSo I did this.... This is a hand linocut print. Image inspireed from a chinese folk tale story. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_rabbit

Image/Paper is 9x11" - Printed with water base Prussian Blue Ink on 280 gsm Rives BFK cotton paper (cream color).

onthemoon_print