Welcome to the eastern edition of the online studio of Francisco Mattos, built w/ printed pieces, design endeavors, personal projects, experiments.
❛ Here’s a stain of perfume on an old ball gown. ❜
— poem by Yukio Mishima
✶|Tiger Balm Gardens
TRADITIONAL FESTIVALS| 1. | THE Lunar New Year Festival on Cheung Chau, held the first day of first month of the new lunar calendar, is total old-school. | 2. | NIGHT TIME is when the Lantern Festival gets going, held on the last full day of the new year festivities, and somewhat akin, in symbolism, to Valentine's Day. As the sun sets, folks carrying red lanterns w/ riddles written on them parade around town, in search of riddle-solvers. | 3. | MARTIAL ARTISTS GATHER every year to celebrate the Birthday of Yuen Mo, a high-ranking deity in Taoism (黑帝 Black Deity). | 4. | DEITY TO SEAFARERS and a sea goddess in her own right, the Birthday of Kwan Yin is observed by sailors who know that her miraculous interventions protect them. | 5. | A RURAL FESTIVAL w/ Taoist roots. Villagers would wander the island decked out as divines. Inside a contraption depicting their avatars as giants, they would re-enact a ceremony to ward off evil spirits. The lineup always will incl. the goddess of mercy (Kuan Yin), goddess of the sea (Tin Hau), god of the south (Hung Hsing), and a revered divinity named Pak Tai. Together they get to sponsor the annual Bun Festival, which takes place over four days and three nights. The original band of prime movers is nowadays attended by a parade of floats, and the majority of them feature children performing acrobatic mojo. The centerpiece of the celebration – and its highlight – is a competition to see who can scramble to the top of a high tower that has been festooned w/ buns, the object being the first one to snatch the very top bun. The core tradition being an example of exorcism, only vegetarian fare is served. | 6. | A ROWBOAT RACE happens around Chinese summer solstice and takes place during the Dragon Boat Festival, to remember a poet and minister, who drowned himself when he was accused of treason. Festival food is a tamale Chinese style: glutinous rice cradling meat and either peanuts or yellow beans, wrapped w/ lotus leaves an steamed. | 7. | MODEL OF CONFUCIANISM, present at the Battle of Red Cliffs, a battle that ended the Han dynasty, then after many exploits became fictionalized in prose, and went on to attain immortality as emperor deity of Chinese folk religion. Buddhists and Taoists alike are welcome, during the Birthday of Guang Gong celebrations. | 8. | HARVESTING TIME is when mooncakes, made w/ sweet bean or lotus seed pastes, and only available during this period, are a good way to fatten up for winter. Welcome to the Mid-Autumn Festival. And if one can agree that films too are festivals, there once was an on-going one, Cheung Chau Theatre, an outdoor cinema .
Fishing still happens, and Cheung Chau is the place to go for seafood. Tourists now know "dumbell island" and its swimming beaches. Ferry from Hong Kong takes 55 minutes, 20 less if its a high-speed, running every 30 minutes or so depending on hour and day. There are no roads to speak of, it's a land of lanes. Walking the one square mile island is easy enough; and bycicles are a common sight.
TodayIn all, there are now 29 security sites in Hong Kong, w/ a capacity for 8,400 inmates. In correctional institutions, half-way houses, and custodial wards in public hospitals, psychological treatments are offered as a part of the care. | • • | Inmates who are violent, dangerous or criminally insane go to Liu Lam Psychiatric Centre. For women there is either Wu Correctional Institution, which is minimum- to medium-security, or Tai Lam Centre for Women, a maximum-security site. The elderly inmates, those 65 or older and who are of low-security risk, get housed at Tai Lam Correctional Institution.
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Pamela Rita de Oliveira Mattos Zauberer
❝Great cook, talented at crochet, creative, child-like, excruciatingly honest, tenacious, compassionate and sensitive; my mother was all these things.❞
5.2.1940 – 5.3.2016|- Pam led a glamorous life as a 1960s airline stewardessfor Cathay Pacific Airways, based in Hong Kong, where she was born and raised. At work she would be pulled into photo shoots when film and television stars flew in. | Chosen to represent the airline, she participated in fashion shows, ad campaigns, and public relations as the face of flight. She traveled around the world, accruing trinkets from all cultures and a lifelong admiration of all cuisines. She traveled to all the airports in Asia, and in her suitcase out would pop magazines from everywhere else. | After landing in America, she struck out to be on her own and moved to New York, abandoning us all here in California. She dated the house photographer at Mad magazine, and lived a stone’s throw from Maxwell’s Plum, a “…flamboyant restaurant and singles bar that, more than any place of its kind, symbolized two social revolutions of the 1960s — sex and food,” located at 64th and First Avenue in Manhattan. Her walk up had a bathtub in the kitchen, sharing a hot faucet w/ the sink. | While helping a friend (wo)man a street fair booth, Pam met many people, including a man who immediately offered some helpful advice. Pam shot back and challenged him to come around to the other side and manage the booth himself, since he “...clearly knew what to do.” Laszlo disappeared and came back w/ two hot dogs and a lemonade, walked around the booth, and sat down next to her; two weeks later they were married. | Laszlo Zauberer, native of Hungary, was driving a cab in NYC when he met Pam on his one day off. An accomplished painter of the school of naive art, and the love of her life, they remained inseparable for the next 40 years. | After the birth of their daughter, Pam and Laszlo made the move to upstate New York. Never one to shy away from conflict, her generosity, thoughts and sometimes vengeance were doled out as she saw fit to those who crossed her path. Whether it was redeeming a raincheck at a grocery store or haggling over an item at a yard sale, her sense of fairness and authority got her into heated debates. | On the night of May 3 2016, Pamela Rita de Oliveira Mattos Zauberer passed away at home and in her bed w/ Laszlo and Jasmine by her side. In true stoic fashion, she had no complaints of pain. She had just celebrated her birthday the day before, and ate carrot cake, her favorite. She was 76 years old. -|
Benjamin Leung Gok Wing
2.7.1944 – 9.4.2013|- Ben visited Hong Kong at the beginning of 2013. What he must have thought about his hometown he is not aorund to tell me, but I know it’s the first vacation he’s had in a while. | It was there that Ben met my sister Sylvia, when they were both young and working in the same office. At that time my sister was learning to drive a stick-shift car and for hours and hours after dinner she would be out taking driving lessons w/ an instructor to god knows where. | Ben would also go off on his own as a young man, but where he went you can always find on a map: a local swimming pool, or the nearby basketball court. He left these pursuits behind when he came to San Francisco, and eventually took up gardening: on 44th Avenue, and later out on Bay Farm Island. Both had sandy soil, hard to take care of. | On Bay Farm he had a wisteria in ground next to a loquat tree in a pot. Ben was fearless and grew everything. And those that took to his care, he made green. -|
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In 1871 Hong Kong fell under the sway of a Victorian conception of a rebuilt Eden, gaining clout since the 18th Century, one that can be classified – and caged – for the edification and education of humankind. It is one of the oldest gardens of its kind in the world; and in its turn has been tendered to, coddled at, and dissected every one in a while.
Thirty years after the island, a stone’s throw from the mainland of China, was established as a royal crown colony by Britain, in 1871: a large parcel of land on Government HIll, 500 feet above sea level, where construction was going on to build Government House (begun 1860) and where the sitting governor was temporarily housed, conducting official business all the while puttering in his backyard w/ the young science of botany, applying his office to re-create the first garden; and w/in sight of the eastern realm of the celestials.
Within a few seasons, the appropriated space became enclosed ground, under the guidance of careful hands and inquiring minds. Flowerbeds and paths w/ gas lamps. Stonework and grand staircases. Even an animal enclosure (one of the first in the world). Here, and elsewhere in their colonies, the Victorians set up yet one more living laboratory, studied the flora and fauna, forget to look at themselves.
Since it began life in 1864, when still tendered personally by the governor, until today, the gardens have always been open and free to the public. In 1975 it was renamed, but locals have always known it as (in English) the Botanic Garden. The Chinese call it, have always called it, 兵頭花園 (bing tau fa yuen), “commander-in-chief’s garden”.
Eden In the East
In 1871, a Victorian laboratory was set up by the British Botanic Society in Hong Kong. It began as a garden behind the Governor‘s House, halfway up the Peak.
By the time the first governor of Hong Kong laid down the beginnings of what became the Hong Kong Botanic Garden, his wife had a hand in the planning. And subsequent governors carried on the work. And their wives too, as well as gardeners, builders, and laborers, all took charge and began to tame the unfriendly slope, sweeping upwards to meet the Peak. Into the ground went palm and trees from near and far. Banyans were tucked about to create backdrops. Ferns sheltered the much-sought-after sensitive plant, a natural wonder. The only india rubber tree for miles around can only be found within these grounds. Indigenous plants met their tropical and sub-tropical selves.
The first superintendent of gardens was a British botanist by the name of Charles Ford. The front entrance is on Albany Road, right side, which became the Old Garden. His domain extends over to the left side of the road also, the New Garden, a space of about equal size. The whole surrounded by Robinson Road, Upper Albert Road, Garden Road, and Glenealy.
Ferns took to the site very well and produced profusely, offering shade and, more importantly, privacy. Overnight, this open air conservatory had turned into a living paradise for Adamses wanting somewhere to take their eager Eves. The helpful illumination of the paths and staircases w/ gas lamps that stay lit until midnight offered even the animals in the zoo some measure of a safe haven.
It was deemed safe enough that late into the evening, dating couples took to strolling among evening shadows, listening to birdsong and holding hands. Here was where the norfolk island pine can be seen, nodding its airy fingers at the royal palms. Over there a white jade orchid tree perfumes the nearby, grateful, bench. Roses, mock lime, orange-jessamine, sweet osmanthus, and the “kwai-fah” add other scents. And other paths.
The Old Garden, w/ its shady boulevards and flowerbeds, came w/ an aviary and a green house, where ferns, bromeliads, orchids, climbers and house plants lived contentedly. The focal feature, the Fountain Terrace Garden, had a fifty feet wide circular pond, raised just so to allow sitting along the rim, w/ fountain works in the center, and home to water lilies. The terrace was edged on four sides w/ herbs and year round flowering shrubs. Around the bend a children’s playground could be heard [need photo].
On the western side of Albany Road is the New Garden, started in 1876 to house animal enclosures, ending up chock-a-bloc w/ uncomfortable mammals (none larger than an ape) and reptiles commingling their noises and odors. All came in carted, and unbidden: the american flamingo is left to woo the hawaiian goose, the red-crowned crane steers clear of the greek tortoise, a young burmese python hiding from the too-curious emperor tamarin. After a hundred years of ignonimity, major renovations were undertaken in 1976, and the beleaguered beasts given new digs and modern zoology practises. Forty new or renovated enclosures to separate the reptiles from the mammals, and everyone from the birds, on the other side of Albany. Twin programs were established to study captive- as well as conservation-breeding techniques; and co-existence can once again have try-outs.
A pedestrian tunnel under Albany Road has always connected the two sides, creating a grotto where none had existed. Today 900 species live side by side and learn how how to get along in a very crowded city.
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- ½ tbsp unsalted butter
- ½ onion, chopped
- 1 garlic clove crushed
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- 1 leek, halved lengthways, thinly sliced
- 1 potato, cut into 1cm cubes
- ½ tsp paprika
- 600ml hot vegetable or chicken stock
- ½ tbsp tomato purée
- 50g cooking chorizo, cut into 1cm cubes
- 50g kale, hard stems removed, leaves shredded
- Extra-virgin olive oil, to serve
- Flaky sea salt
Melt the butter in a heavy-based pan, add onion and cook gently for a few minutes before adding garlic. Add olive oil and then leek, continue to cook for about five minutes, or until soft.
Add the potato, season with salt, add the paprika and cook, stirring well, for a couple of minutes. Add the hot stock and tomato purée, bring to the boil, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook gently until the potatoes are almost tender.
Heat a small frying pan and add the chorizo; it has enough of its own fat so you don't need to add any more to the pan. Fry it until slightly crispy, then set aside.
Add the kale to the stock and vegetables and cook for about five minutes, until just tender. Season with salt to taste. Ladle into bowls and top with the chorizo and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
- 1 dozen eggs
- 1-1/2 quarts of water
- 5 whole cloves
- 4 tea-bags
- 3 tablespoons of sugar
- 3 tablespoons of vinegar
- 2 lemons (cut in 8 pieces)
- 2 onions
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 3/4 teaspoon of thyme
- Tabasco sauce
“You certainly know these thousand year old eggs, one of the crowns of Chinese cuisine. We will not presume here to reach their ultimate perfection, but we will simply try to help you follow an amusing recipe which has the advantage of being prepared ahead of time. | First, boil the eggs for ten minutes in salted boiling water. Then take them out, put them under cold running water which will make it easier to shell them. In the same water in which the eggs had boiled, add the cloves, sugar, vinegar, a lot of Tabasco sauce, the lemons (cut in eighths) and thyme. Boil for 15 minutes. Shut off the flame, dip in the tea-bag and let them steep for 10 minutes. | In a jar, put the diced onions and garlic. Add the shelled eggs, and pour the broth so that the eggs are completely immersed. Close the jar and keep it on the lower shelf of your refrigerator. | Be patient for three weeks before opening the jar and serving. These eggs go well with cold meats and fish.”
L U N C H
Daphne du Maurier
“Please pass the cream - yes - that’s enough (“I knew her years before the war”)
“I’d love some of that sugary stuff” (“She must be at least fifty-four”)
“I can’t believe your dress is true” (“He said his lines in an appalling way”)
“It’s almost a delphinium blue” (“To me he ruined the entire play”)
“The whole thing’s such a terrible disgrace” (“Surely he was the Duke’s adopted son!")
“If I were in Winston Churchill’s place...” (“My dear, you’re thinking of another one”)
“I always loathed the girl, she drinks and swears.” And everyone was thinking – “Christ! Who cares.”
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✈¦ Ocean Beach
San Francisco2017 postcard from the edge.
✈¦ Western Australia
PerthFor the past 38,000 years, the Whadjuk people have lived on the Swan Coastal Plain in south-west Western Australia. Today they still share the land w/ an administrative center set up in 1829 for the Swan River Colony. Starting around 1896, it grew into present-day Perth, capital of Western Australia. (above) Geode (a hollow rock that is mineral-filled) in Mammoth Cave, a limestone cavern roughly 1600-feet long and 98-feet deep; first explored in 1895, it has a self-guided tour everyday from 9 to 4. Coastline of Western Australia. Supermoon 2016. (below) Bridge span + downtown outdoor sulpture.
✈¦ Sacramento River
Largest river in CaliforniaRising in the Klamath Mountains in the north, then travelling 257 miles to reach a delta where it is joined by the San Joaquin River and begins this final leg of its journey to the San Francisco Bay and becoming the largest river in California, is the Sacramento River. The discovery of gold in the 19th century guided prospectors by the hundreds along the California Trail and the Siskiyou Trail, following the Sacramento River and its tributaries to where the fold fields were. Communities came into being along this river, and the City of Sacramento became its most important home.
✈¦ Asilomar State Marine Reserve
Pacific GroveFrom top left: Painting of the Engineer's Cottage, where architect Julia Morgan headquartered while she designed a summer conference center for the Young Women's Christian Association; partial view of back entrance to cottage. Merrill Hall (interior wall and fireplace) was one of several inddor-and-outdoor gathering spots. In 2007, these generous grounds were turned into Asilomar State Marine Reserve, an astonishing part of an ocean-health program from Pigeon Point to Point Conception on the California coast, where an undersea kelp forest thrives in Monterey Bay.
✈¦ Charles Bridge
PragueThis famous bridge dates to the 14th Century and became the only means of crossing the Vitava River until 1841. This “solid-land” connection made Prague important as a trade route btw. Eastern and Western Europe.
✈¦ N Virginia Street
RenoThis spot came into its own in the 1850s when a few pioneers arrived and the beginnings of a settlement evolved. Perhaps they were prescient. In 1859, when silver was discovered in nearby Virginia City, a log-toll bridge was built across the Truckee River to give easier access to the California Trail. This crossing then became Lake‘s Crossing, and the surrounding area became a town, and changed its name to Reno. The First Transcontinental Railroad made it a stopover, and the Lincoln Highway used it as a layover. This 6:08 footage shows Reno in 1953.
✈¦ Four Corners
Monument Valley Navajo Tribal ParkLocated near the Four Corners, along the Arizona and Utah borders, is Monument Valley, a corner of the Navajo Nation Reservation. The Native name is Tsé Bii’ Ndzisgaii, valley of the rocks.
✈¦ Yodo River
OsakaA confluence of cities and suburbs in the Kansai region of Japan, where 19 million inhabitants call home, is the megalopolis of Osaka, known as the “nation‘s kitchen.” With an extensive warren of underground shopping arcades as well as the largest slum in the country, it sits by the Yodo River where it empties into Osaka Bay before reaching the Pacific Ocean.
✈¦ Port Moresby
Papua New GuineaA country swept by periods wherein high levels of rape, robbery and murder is Papua New Guinea, in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, and Port Moresby is its capital city. Amongst a rampant gang culture, the Raskol, the population cope w/ poor healthcare and poverty, and a squatter camp that stretches six miles. Currently Port Moresby ranks as the worst capital to live in in the world. Photo is of Port Moresby Harbour looking southeast and the Coral Sea beyond. In his autobiography "My Wicked, Wicked Ways", Errol Flynn describes seeing Port Moresby for the first time in 1930: "We piloted our ship into the rather fine harbor of Port Moresby. We arrived during the rainy season and the whole area was brilliant green. The region seemed beautiful to me and I poked around searching its resources. About thirty miles from the port the Laloki River flowed through an emerald countryside. I fell in love w/ it. My partners made their way back to Australia, but I decided to settle there. ... Around me, from Laloki to Port Moresby, was a territory plentiful w/ nutmeg, rattan cane, the okari nut, bananas, mangrove, coconuts, and sandalwood. There was fish in the river, and the natives brought food to my door. For a pence or two I could have the fruit of the region."
✈¦ Venice Canals
Venice CanalsBuilt in 1905 by Abbot Kinney, the development next to Venice Beach was once a grid of seven distinct canals, the largest being the Grand canal, spanning two miles over saltwater marshlands and four small islands. Venice of America was lined w/ homes accessible by footpath, miniature railway line and gondolas. All that remains of the original development is now a six-canal extension built as an annex to the original, which was paved over for automobiles.
✈¦ Garonne River
BordeauxThe world’s capital for major wine industries, which it has produced since the 8th century, capital of a region, is the former port city of Bordeaux, peering down the Garonne River on its idle journey to the Bay of Biscay to the Atlantic. Having the highest count of preserved historical buildings of any other city in France.
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