Articles

Natural Homes Market Place: a favorite place where to be!

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The Market Place connects people who want to buy natural living services and products with those that make and provide them.

Lieux de Prédilection is proud and glad to be part of  this “favorite place”!

 

http://naturalhomes.org/theregister.htm

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Exhibition / Paris / Branly museum: cook and eat in China

This exhibition “Les séductions du Palais” takes place from June 19th to September 30th in Paris, (East floor of Branly museum) and is presented in partnership with the National Museum of China.

The food in China is so important that you rather greet someone by saying “Chi fanle meiyou !” (Have you already eaten?) than the traditional “Nihao” (Hello). “All food is good for thought” wrote Claude Lévi-Strauss. This is so true for China which table is a real emulation’s place, indeed virtuosity, where each one is brought to surpass.

This exhibition invites you to discover the transformations of crockery and the evolution of Chinese cooking, from the humble Neolithic fireplace to the table of the Emperor. The works on show principally come from the National Museum of China et are presented for the first time in Occident.

Power, drunkenness and divination in the bronze age (circa 1700 – 221 BCE)

The Bronze Age saw the true birth of Chinese civilization, which arose from the experience of various Neolithic settlements. With the advent of the first centralized state in the 2nd millennium BCE, world dominance was achieve through bronze metallurgy. In fact, bronze gave the sovereign power over men and enabled him to communicate with the gods. It was used both to craft weapons and Tools and to cast opulent tableware used for the ritual feasts held in ancestral temples.

Dou spoon in bronze –  Shang  dynasty (1570-1045 BCE.)
National muséum of China, inv. C05.0463

These feasts resulted in the development of writing, which appeared on oracle bones Under the 2nd dynasty – the Shang (1570-1045 BCE) – and gradually came to adorn bronze artefacts, mainly Under the 3rd dynasty – the Zhou (1045-221 BCE). All of these inscriptions derived indirectly from tableware and are among the oldest epigraphical specimens in the Chinese world.

Recipe of bear’s paw

Banquets and festivities in classic China (206 BCE – 221 CE).

The Shang despots were succeeded by Zhou rulers whose authority was shakier. A feudal society steeped in permanent crises, China nevertheless made the transition from the Bronze Age to the non Age. In 221 BCE, an ambitious prince named Zheng became the First Emperor through his reign was short-lived: in 206 BCE, Liu Bang, a rebel leader, founded the Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 221 CE).

Thus began four centuries of prosperity and national unity. The culinary arts strived in this environment and, far from being confined to the court or princely households, as they had been in the past, they won over new populations, both civilian and military leaders and landowners. These changes were reflected in the evolution of tableware, which left bronze aside increasingly in favor of lacquers. Culinary arts – literally known as gepeng “cutting and cooling” – now existed per se and relied on theoretical material that described a huge number of recipes.

The pantry

During the Han era (206 BCE – 221 CE), every major household had a pantry. Cooking and the hard work it involved were the purview of men. The presence of various meats within meals required the slaughter of animals, the cries of which had to be muffled by distance so as not to trouble the guests. Shelves for dishes and supplies as well as supporting structures for hanging cured meats were arrayed around the oven. In the courtyard were the well, a mill, reserves for fresh meat, and even a fish tank.

A large, specialized staff bustled about cutting wood, fetching water, carving meat, warming the wine, kneading the dough and watching the stove. Slicing and cutting were much finer than they had ever been before. The introduction of animal fat and vegetable oil made it possible to cook food at higher temperatures. Whether through roasting, frying, sautéing, browning, simmering, frying or boiling full command of the cooking stove was achieved.

Baked clay oven, mingqi. Funeral clay
Oriental Han Dynasty (25-220)
Asiatic Arts Museum – Guimet, inv. A197

Luxury and exoticism in medieval times (618 – 907 CE)

The Tang Dynasty (619-907 CE), shared a number of common points with the Han (206 BCE – 221 CE). They both benefited of several centuries of unity and ruled over a large territory which was open to outside influences. The Tang period, due to the lavish lifestyle that developed at the time represented a kind of Golden Age.

Milling techniques were introduced as a result of trade between countries to the west of China and enabled cooks of little buns, cakes and pasta – spaghetti or raviolis dipped into boiling soup. These dishes became very popular and were often sold directly to the street by itinerant merchants, some of them hailed from foreign lands and who made preparations with exotic spices.

Silver tihu coffeeport, double flask shaped. Tan Dynasty (618-907)
Excavations, Shaanxi’s province
National China’s museum, inv. C7.580

The road and river networks were organized in a way to facilitate the influx of foods coming from overseas. This phenomenon is compounded by the construction that linked the North and South of the Grand Canal and allowed the regular flow of tropical products.

Recipe of stuffed goose

The cities and the mountains during the classical era (960-1279 CE)

The imperial splendour of the Golden Age of the Tang gave way, Under the Song Dynasty (960-1279 CE), to the bustle of urban life and its restlessness Kaifeng, the new capital of the Northern Song (960-1126 CE), was the first example of a popular agglomeration where commercial life and leisure activities reigned supreme. Streets became a typical reality of Chinese cities, with their taverns, their traffic jams and their share of migrants from the countryside.

With the emergence of the modern city came the rise of a genuine hotel industry. The number of inns grew exponentially and the development of the middle classes was instrumental in bringing about the early maturing of the restaurant business. Several establishments offered their most distinguished patrons Small private rooms where they could meet their friends and sample the chef ‘s specialties.

In response to this increased urban development, some sought to find serenity and to detach themselves from worldly vanities; they withdrew into the mountains to lead a healthy, rustic life in harmony with nature. They concocted simple menus using plants gathered from the roadside.

Tea block gong shaded.
Pu’er tea from Yunnan picked on a several hundred years’old tree.

Imperial kitchens of the last emperors (1644-1911 CE)

When the Manchus crossed the gates of the Forbidden City after their victory over the Ming on 25 April 1644 – subsequently establishing the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911 CE) – Chinese cuisine had already reached its peak; a synthesis of all the wealth and experience garnered over the years.

Manchu chefs occupied key positions within the Office of Internal Affairs that was in charge of imperial kitchens. In the mid-eighteenth century, some four hundred officers, assisted by one hundred and fifty eunuchs, cooked about 12,000 meals a day –breakfast, lunch and snacks included. A thirds of the staff was dedicated to the exclusive service of bobo – cakes and tea – a clear illustration of the gastronomic Manchu Ideal, which was oriented towards snacks rather than traditional meals.

Apart from seasonal of family celebrations, and state receptions, where hundreds, even thousands of guests would gather, daily meals were traditionally taken in solitude. The Emperor sat at a table and dishes arrived from the kitchens in a very strict sequence. A steward checked the contents of each dish beforehand. The Emperor only tasted a few, while the others served merely as background. Food was then offered to the concubines, princes and princesses.

Chahu green enamelled porcelain teapot adorned, with chrysanthemum petals
Qing dynasty, Yongzheng reign (1723-1735)
Naitonal China’s museum, inv. C4.1102

This is link to a very interesting article published on this exhibition by the New York Times  “Chinese Bear Paws Tickle the French” by Elaine Sciolino: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/08/dining/the-french-explore-the-art-of-chinese-cooking.html

Arts: Between spirituality and creation at Centre Pompidou

Third Edition of the Nouveau Festival du Centre Pompidou is an invitation to explore the diversity of contemporary visual culture, to familiarize yourself with the ever-expanding territories of artistic creation today.

Interview of the Artist Fred Vaësen and Olivia Roy for the Feng Shui analysis by the exhibition’s organizer, Pascal Rousseau and ernard Blistène, Director of Cultural Development, Artistic Director of Nouveau Festival:

http://www.dailymotion.com/playlist/x1y6y9_centrepompidou_nouveau-festival-2012/1#video=xpm9x5

Galerie Sud, the trailer from the artist Fred Vaësen: a fancy between “The Wild Wild West” and the Chinese Erudites’s Secrets.

In the 1990’s, Fred Vaësen brought a trailer built in 1934 to some stallholders living in the Marne area of France.  He totally rearranged it, while keeping numerous aspects of the original trailer. He contacted me, on the occasion of this Third Edition of the Nouveau Festival in Beaubourg, in order to set the energetic card of this flagship crossing time and space, and also to decode this temporal trip in a definite space: the South Gallery of Centre Georges Pompidou.

Fred Vaësen invites us to come into his trailer, which is a train, a spatio-temporal vessel, a kind of UFO in the space-time.  It allows us to cross a certain territory: to be here and elsewhere at the same time.

The exhibition carries us between two levels:  one is a highly spiritual abstraction and the other is a children’s imaginary popular culture, the famous sixties TV series “The Wild Wild West” (broadcast in France as “Les Mystères de l’Ouest”).  The show was broadcast in the U.S. in 1965-67 and nurtured the imaginations of young French TV watchers in the 70’s and 80’s.  It was a kind of historical western combined with science-fiction (it was even then a temporal trip in an undefined space).  The exhibition creates a reconstitution of a sensible experience of the incredible memory of the Wild Wild West train, in which one plunges into a obscure time of the end of the 19th century.  A secret geometry acts as a link and unites that period with both the 1910-1920s and the sixties.

With Fred Vaësen’s trailer, there is a first level which is the popular object which has a story, a kind of melancholy, but which also has a dimension in movement and in the dynamism of forms in space… and all of this is linked in a very subtle way.

The trailer has a unique date of construction.  However, it doesn’t have a unique orientation in space as most buildings do: its orientation changes following its itineraries! This allows us to study different diagrams that are created, and which Fred Vaësen has proposed that I study.

Here at the Pompidou, the collected energetic card (the face is on St. Merri’s street and the fountain Niki de Saint-Phalle) describes a hybrid energy on the entrance as well as on the exit gathering several dimensions (several energies) and also several periods.  It goes from the 1910’s to 1925 (on the face of the trailer, which very clearly reflects Art, intense creativity, projects, innovations), to the 60’s (on the entrance doors) and to end (exit) on a very present energy (the year 2010 to the present and future).  This confirms very well the feeling that we find at the trailer, crossing the vessel to be “here and elsewhere at the same time”.

At the same time, there is a question of affirmation through representation, bringing a light linked with the “limelight” and also linked to spirituality, accompanied by literary, intellectual and spiritual communication.

Pascal Rousseau, the organizer of “The Wild Wild West” collected works around fragments of art history (years 1910, 1920, 1930, 1960 and 2011) on the spatio-temporal’s dimension: to introduce time and movement, thanks to the cinematic art, different optics to let your imagination carry you away in other dimensions, and numerous artists who all participate to take you to this other dimension, Claude Bragdon, Robert Breer, Bruce Conner, Alan Crosland Jr., Marcel Duchamp, Oskar Fischinger, Florian and Michaël Quistrebert, Charles Hinton, Frantisek Kupka, John McCracken, Ib Melchior, Melvin Moti, Jean Painlevé, Gaston de Pawlowski, Maï Thu Perret, Christian Sampson and Fred Vaësen.

Thanks to Bernard Blistène, Director of Cultural Development, Artistic Director du Nouveau Festival, who encouraged this type of exhibition.  All these juxtapositions form a common vocabulary of abstraction, an odyssey of forms in new dimensions.

 

Le nouveau Festival du Centre Pompidou Third Edition –
Galerie Sud, Espace 315, Forum, Petite and Grande Salles – 11 AM – 9 PM.

Exhibitions, spectacles, cinema, conferences and performances: 22 February –  12 March 2012 – Free access. www.facebook.com/centrepompidoufr – www.dailymotion.com/centrepompidou.fr – www.centrepompidou.fr

 

 

File: When architecture and Feng Shui join forces.

Manutan decided on Gonesse north of Paris for its European site and employed a team of creative professionals for the structural, environmental and material aspects of the project. Committed to humanism, performance, service and the environment it was founded in 2008. It is about “living better in order to act better” in accordance with humanistic and environmental principles from which this vast – a 54,000 sqm building on a 135,000 sqm lot – project originates.

 

Hervé Guichard, who is CEO of the Manutan Group and heads this project, made the decision to offer a Green European site that shows respect for its population and environment (double HQE certification). He called in the experts to satisfy his ambition for technical solutions: architect Daniel Nuret, ebi agency – Elliott Barnes Interior Design, landscape design by Arnaud Delacroix (Talpa Agency) among others… as well as a feng shui study by Lieux de Predilection.

 

This study does in no way replace the contributions of the other various participants in the project: it provides an additional component and offers valuable advice and insights. Through the filter of feng shui the space audit functions as a tool for growth and well being. It activates the energies of this new terrain in order to maximize its powers, and as a consequence, those of the individuals who work there. The analysis makes suggestions for the optimal organization of the space given its functions and the energetic potential of the site.

 

The result is a work environment where collective performance and individual expression work together and where synergies inside the company are optimized. The creation of a functional work place stimulates creativity and boldness, offering the possibility for free expression that respects both the need for isolation and privacy as well as the demand for group activities.

 

Here is an example that illustrates the space restrictions common both to architecture and feng shui: in a building dedicated to administrative purposes you will find spaces that lend themselves favorably to purchasing, editing, communication or marketing activities. At the same time there are spaces in the building that are less favorable for the development of projects and more appropriate for relaxing and relating.

 

It is the role of feng shui and the feng shui consultant to bring attention to these different aspects and that of the architect to jointly come up with an innovative solution for the area: the idea of a hut would create a different perspective – and would do away with the idea of “open space” while respecting the energetic reading of the place.

 

These huts or cabanas provide privacy for working on your own, for meetings in small groups and even for recreation: a hammock, swings and drawers full of games are available. They bring a different rhythm to the work environment, breath to the heart of the open space, respecting its code: this way the offices in the open space are in areas that are favorable for its different activities while the hut provides space for privacy and relaxation.

 

All the different approaches combined allow for choosing and planning for the optimal activity in its most appropriate environment supported by the best choice of materials. They lead to a balance between energy and gentleness, a flow of circulation, natural materials, a lightness rather than confinement in the structure, dynamic perspectives, unsaturated open spaces, plants and natural light and all the while strongly presenting modernity.

Let’s celebrate the arriving of Water Dragon today!

On February 4, 2012, the temporal energy changes in the Chinese solar calendar.  Welcome to this new year when we should run and jump, when the communication should be fluent and non-violent.  Welcome to this spring tide!

Welcome to the Yang Water Dragon!