Exchanging Greetings with Mandarin Oranges

January 31, 2009 at 11:30 pm | Posted in itchy fingers | Leave a comment
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It is a tradition to bring along two mandarin oranges for visiting during the Chinese New Year as the fruit in mandarin is ‘橘’, which sounds like ‘吉’, meaning ‘auspicious’. 

oranges
Mandarin oranges…the sweet ones are really delicious

So you wish everyone ‘大吉大利’ (auspicious and prosperous) for the new year when you present them with the two fruits and…hey wait…

Do you see anything wrong with the picture above?

Er, nothing, just some oranges…

Er, maybe one looked smoother and smaller and that’s all…but that’s normal cos depending on where you buy from, the fruit may come from different countries or farms…and it’s common when exchanging oranges that you will get back some bigger, smaller, smoother or rougher oranges…

orange
Hmm…this one must be one that was exchanged from some friends or relatives
during visits…

But look again….

open
Tada!  😀

A clever packaging design inspired by nature! This cute little orange is actually a container for moisturising cream given by Itchyfingers‘ friend when she visited Japan… 😀 Even the cream smells like oranges….hahah…. 8)

Also see related posts:
> Gong Xi Fa Cai! – Taipei, Taiwan Trip #4 
> Orange Peels

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Wow Cow! Holy Cow! So Many Cows! – CowParade @ Taipei, Taiwan Trip #5

January 30, 2009 at 9:55 am | Posted in itchy backside | Leave a comment
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Since we just ushered in the Year of Ox, Itchyfingers simply couldn’t get enough of cows, ox and bulls…but there were really many more cow sculptures at the CowParade that we like or find interesting and would like to share with all as well as credit the artists. :p

The volunteer who spoke to us earlier said that the artists were given three months’ time to complete their cows. Some spent less than a day to complete while others spent more time. One artist, started working on his work from day one till the very last day…why?? Because he had too many little monster characters to draw…:p

where
This one titled, 哪裡?哪裡? Where? Where? by 阿咧先生 Mr. A-Lei

kids
Viewers were supposed to find the location of these two little monsters among
the thousands of drawings he made…a hint by the volunteers: try looking at
the legs…Itchyfingers didn’t manage to find them…too eye-straining….hahah! 

cartoon
The words below said, “not filling up all the areas to give some breathing space…”

cape7
Wow Cow! Cape No. 7
here!

Another cow that caught my attention was this one titled, 三隻鹿 3 Deers by 莊普 Tsong, Pu. Initially I thought that the artist wanted to highlight environmental issue through the declining numbers of the 台湾梅花鹿 Formosan Sika Deers in the wild. But upon reading the rationale later, I realised the artist’s intention was to mob at the recent milk scandal involving the Salu Group from China

sika
Called “三鹿” (“Salu” in Chinese translates as “3 Deers”), but it produces milk
product. The milk scandal caused an uproar on the credibility of cow milk product

sheep
Another cow that had transformed into a sheep with ping-pong balls strung
together…牛羊變 Transformation of Two Animals by 陳浚豪 Chen, Chun-Hao

Since it is the Year of Ox, everyone hopes the new year would be better. As ‘Ox’ in chinese reads as niu ‘牛’, and sounds like ‘扭’  in ‘扭转乾坤’, which means to turn a situation around…so we pin all our hope on the poor fella to change the present world economy to a better one….:p

change
牛轉乾坤 The Super Cow that can Turn the World by 
 Lee, Ming-Hsien. Cut in halves, the cow could turn 180 degree to 
further play on the pun of the chinese idiom, 扭转乾坤. Quite clever…:p

beat2
Try whipping 穴道牛 Acupunture Cow by 丁凡 Balas King for some good luck

qian
Or pray to the divine and ask for some advices at 
虔誠 籤誠 Devotional Cow
by 劉蒨茹 Liou, Chian-Ru 

qilin
麒麟送子 Chilin Delivering the Baby by Wu, Yi-HsinChilin‘ is an
auspicious creature in the Chinese mythology 

son
And it delivered a baby with a camera! 😀

monkey
孫悟空 The Monkey King by 法利 Mohd Farid Bin Muhamad Sobberi.
Interesting to see a non-chinese depict a Chinese icon…

Some cows did not carry any political, social or religious messages but they were simply beautiful to look at…

flower
時尚名媛 -牛小姐 Miss Cow – The Fashion Queen by
林國基 Lin Go-Ji 

cheongsam1
旗袍 Cheongsam
by 陈舜芝 Chen, Shun-Chin

butterfly
Cute diamanté butterfly on the butt

beads1
行走的海洋 Walking Ocean by   Huang, Lan-Ya

feather
羽牛 Feathers Cow by 游文富 Yu, Wen-Fu

Many were related to Taiwan’s food, culture and scenery…

bao1
小籠牛 Steamed Dumpling Cow
by 郭巧雯 Kuo, Chiao-Wen 

milkshake
珍珠奶茶牛 Bubble Milk Tea by Tsai, Chieh-Hsin and Ji, Ling-Yu

egret
台灣風情 The Breeze of Taiwan by 樊哲賢 Jason J.S. Fan 

green
最牛的台灣 Wow Cow! What a Harvest in Taiwan! by
Teddy Ho

harvest
Cute birdies perching on the cow’s body

101
Girl on Taipei 101 on 台北景色 The Scenery of Taipei by 王秀琪 Wang, Hsiu-Chi 

There were two separate exhibition venues for the CowParade, unfortunately we didn’t have the chance to visit the other one. But it was a fun visit, for me, I enjoyed the many quirky, fun and beautiful cow sculptures. For Tisu Boy, he preferred the old buildings…occupational hazard I guess…:p Certainly hope to catch more of the CowParade in other cities if we have the chance, and hopefully, it will come to Singapore one day! 8)

cows
Miniature herd of cows in the field…

poster2
Wall to floor poster at the cow shop…:p Miniature replicates of past CowParade
cows were on sale… 

cowparade1
Mooooooo…..!

Also see related posts:
Gong Xi Fa Cai! – Taipei, Taiwan Trip #4
> Holy Cow! – CowParade @ Taipei, Taiwan Trip #3
Wow Cow! – CowParade @ Taipei, Taiwan Trip #2
Mooooooooo……!
Buy One Get One Free! – Taipei, Taiwan Trip #1
Happy New Year!

Gong Xi Fa Cai! – Taipei, Taiwan Trip #4

January 28, 2009 at 12:30 pm | Posted in itchy backside | Leave a comment
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During the Chinese New Year, the most common greeting must be “Gong Xi Fa Cai“, since it is everyone’s wish to be blessed with a prosperous year, especially so in this period of economic downturn. “Ang Bao” or “red packet” is a monetary gift given by the elders to children or youth during the Lunar New Year, as a blessing for good luck, good health, good school results etc…:p 

During our visit to Taiwan, we saw many shops selling the red packets. While there were many traditional design, there were also some very modern and minimalistic designs. But these were a little bit costly at more than S$4 per pack of about 6 – 8 packet so I had to stop my itchyfingers from buying them.

But we ended up buying a pack from a local designer’s shop, 26 Creative…the staff told us the pack contained an assortment of design…but in actual fact there were only one design inside. 😦

ang-bao1
The owl is the same one the designer featured on her cow design :p

We got another pack of ang bao packet free after we purchased an illustration book from another local designer, Cubbish. This time, there were two designs in the pack of four ang bao.

ang-bao2
I like his quirky characters…:p

back1
Back of the red packet with the logo…stickers with logo were provided for
sealing the pack 

back-open
Open up the envelope and you would see all these wishes inside…:p

back-open2
Wishing the recipient an endless flow of cash so impossible to finish 
counting that would tire out the hands…:p

We also got complementary packs of ang bao when we visited the Presidential Palace. Didn’t really take notice of them as they were the more traditional design. 

ang-bao3
Free red packets given when we visited the Presidential Palace of Taiwan

It was only when we were back that we realised that the wordings were written by the present president of Taiwan, Mr Ma Ying-jeou. Wow Cow!

ang-bao3-ma
Wow Cow! Wishes from the President! Dun play play hor!

scroll
Complementary couplet that had the same design…

Hmmm…I know many people collect ang bao packets as hobby…maybe should auction these online for some pocket money? 😀 Hahah… 8)

恭喜发财, 红包拿来! 😀 

Also see related posts:
> Holy Cow! – CowParade @ Taipei, Taiwan Trip #3
Wow Cow! – CowParade @ Taipei, Taiwan Trip #2
Buy One Get One Free! – Taipei, Taiwan Trip #1

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