3.01.2010

THE DARK SIDE

Modern man, in his well-lit house, knows nothing of the beauty of gold; but those who lived in the dark houses of the past were not merely captivated by its beauty, they also knew its practical value; for gold, in these dim rooms, must have served the function of a reflector.  Their use of gold leaf and gold dust was not mere extravagance.   Its reflective properties were put to use as a source of illumination...gold retains its brilliance indefinitely to light the darkness of the room.


...Lacquerware decorated in gold was made to be seen in the dark; and for this same reason were the fabrics of the past so lavishly woven of threads of silver and gold.  The priest's surplice of gold brocade is perhaps the best example.  In most of our city temples, catering to the masses as they do, the main hall will be brightly lit, and these garments of gold will seem merely gaudy. 
                                        Jun'ichiro Tanizaki, In Praise of Shadows
I can think of a few things that are better in the dark...

SHELTER MAGS OF THE WORLD, ARE YOU LISTENING??

Styling, photography, and hand painted metallic screen by (IN)DECOROUS TASTE.

8 comments:

The Style Revolution said...

Wow... That is amazing! Brilliant!

A Perfect Gray said...

beautiful

battlingthedinosaurs said...

I envy your ability to paint so well.

Vickie H. said...

I think you are really, really good!

Emily said...

SWOON! Your work is absolutely amazing.

Joseph said...

Thought provoking quote! I love the photos!

home before dark said...

I am reading that book. It is a bit like fudge. It is so rich and dense, it has to be savored. A bit like your work. Joining the dark side of the force has never been so seductive.

(IN)DECOROUS TASTE said...

Home before dark- Curious to hear what you think of it when you're done reading it. I read it a few years ago and something resonated. Only recently, I was reminded of it and went on a mad hunt to dig it out. You're right about it being dense. I highlighted so many passages that you'd think the publisher printed it on neon yellow pages. Have you read the part about the experience of drinking soup out of a lacquerware bowl? For some reason, that has always stood out in my mind. What he has to say about the importance of lighting in the context of design, though, is just...genius.

In class, it was taught in a very cautionary light: that it was a highly influential text that informed some very long lasting, simplified, and not necessarily accurate stereotypes about the differences in "Eastern" and "Western" design. Something interesting to think about.

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