Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Year of the Dragon ~ 龍年


我打算永遠活著,
或冒險嘗試至死。

I intend to live forever, or die trying.

~ Groucho Marx


A wood carving Goldfish artifact

This blog turns 3 years old today! Back then, many of my close friends couldn't believe how a man of few words could be blogging away. 3 years and totaling 104 blog postings - frankly, I am surprised too :)

Red is an auspicious colour for the Chinese
Time flies and the Lunar New Year is around the corner again.  From next Monday, 23rd January, the Year of the Rabbit will give way to the Year of the Dragon. The dragon is also a  very sacred and auspicious legendary animal in the Chinese culture, and it would be a very popular zodiac year for setting up new family and businesses.

As for me, What better way than to start the Year of the Dragon with a pair of Dragon Eyes Butterflies? I wish all a Happy and Prosperous Lunar New Year.


新年快樂﹐萬事如意!!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Art of Patience ~ 耐心的藝術


耐心的秘訣:在同時間做別的事情。


The secret of patience is doing something else in the meanwhile.
~ author unknown


A couple of hours to work on
this anatomy of an aquarium rock
I love working with watercolour. This wonderful media empowers the artist to exploit transparency, colour layers and shadows to create natural effects in their works. Watercolour art, like the art of Ranchu, is also a lot about patience; starting from the lighter colour layers to the darker colour layers, Sometimes, waiting for the colours to dry before studying how best to continue with the painting. The visual effects created by different pigments, brushes, water quantity and paper texture in watercolour are always fascinating to explore.

My recent work: Chinese Ranchus
For the past few weeks, I've been spending a fair bit of time gazing at rocks and aquatic plants, engrossed by the simple beauty of which. These are the subjects that I always wanted to complement my Goldfish paintings. The natural contours of rocks and the fluidity of the foliage of aquatic plants are extremely pleasing to the senses.

As I feel the inspiration to paint again, I am patiently awaiting the right moment to spawn the TVR...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Trust ~ 信任



獲得信任比被愛是更大的恭維。

To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved.

~ George MacDonald

This year's Oozeki Annual Ranchu Show (OARS) is a little disappointing: it is the first time in 11 years that we have not got enough fishes in the Nisai and Oya classes to showcase because we had a viral outbreak sometime ago that wiped out many of our members' fishes. It was a painful experience to lost so many fishes, but we have not lost the lesson and have learned a lot from the crisis. 

Unlike most shows where fishes are categorized according to size only, the OARS follows the Japanese benchmark of categorizing fishes by age. We hope some of the 50 or so Tosai fishes will be "graduating" as Nisai in the next OARS but we will still see the lack of Oya fishes in next year's OARS.

Team work in setting up
Regardless of good or bad results, the Oozekians feel proud to showcase our fishes in every New Year's day. After all, it is the Oozeki Ranchu Club's very own show and the show objectives is very different from that of Aquarama or even the Japan national level Ranchu event. Even in Japan, the objectives of the various Ranchu Club's internal shows are also very different from that of their national level competition. The later is about winning but the former, like the OARS is about learning and friendship - to learn the Ranchu art by improving our skills and bonding with fellow members. It is also a once-a-year opportunity where we try to share and promote the Ranchu hobby to people who wants to learn more about Ranchu keeping.

In this year's OARS, all the Ranchus were groomed from very small black/colour babies or bred locally in Singapore. Every year, the Oozeki Ranchu Club imports the economical and average grade baby Ranchus to make it affordable to most club members. Fishes are then allocated fairly to members through drawing lots. Though we cannot expect too much from buying average fishes and we try to showcase our best fishes we have, it is inevitable that some of the fishes with structural flaws will be field in the OARS.  Unfortunately, few people understands the true objectives of the OARS and expect to see all show grade Ranchus in every show bowls.


A fish with structural defects but
very well groomed by the owner
It is no miracle that the Oozeki Ranchu Club is able to hold our show for more than 10 years. The reason is none other than trust: trust is in the judging system that members will try their best to judge each others' fishes, even though they may make mistakes. Trust is in the categorization system by Ranchu age, where members will track and submit their Ranchus according to each age class; trust is in every member is committed and tried their best to help and attend the OARS, though we understand that some members do have genuine priorities on this day... and trust is in the passion that we can put on a show for more years to come... 

I was also honoured to meet up with Richard Lim in the OARS who had gone through a very drastic part of his life in the past year. He gains my respect for been an impartial and honourable man who would not hesitate to speak his mind for a good cause. Though he is having some problems with his legs, to me, he always stands with his head held high and above in the Ranchu circle, and a righteous spirit few can uphold. Richard is now living and enjoying true friendship and the Ranchu hobby more happily than ever before.


A locally bred Tosai in the OARS

We look forward to another successful year of the OARS... what Richard shared with me of a quote from Friedrich Nietzsche:
"That which does not kill us makes us stronger"...

is liken to the few remaining fishes that became stronger after recovering from the viral attack, the club has become even stronger going through the difficulties we been through for the past year.



PS: The results of the OARS are published in the Oozeki Ranchu Club's official home page.

Breeding the TVR

Breeding the TVR
Breeding and maintaining a bloodline of the Japanese TVR since 2003.

Goldfish Artwork

Goldfish Artwork
Marriage of 2 of my passions - Goldfish and Art.

Creating a New Variety

Creating a New Variety
My dream of creating a new variety of goldfish in 2006 has proven to be more than just an impulsive fantasy.

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