Preview of Islamic Xinjiang Caligraphy

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Teleute
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Preview of Islamic Xinjiang Caligraphy

Post by Teleute » Sep 18, 2008 6:24 pm

So your section on calligraphy of Islamic terms says you could give a preview of some future items you might have and I would be very interested to see that.
I recently got a chance to see some Islamic art at a Hui Chinese restaurant in San Francisco, a city where there are a surprising number of halal Chinese restaurants run by relatively newly immigrated Hui. That and the work of Dru Gladney at the University of Chicago have really peaked my interest in Chinese Muslim art.

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Gary
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Post by Gary » Sep 19, 2008 11:23 am

This is one of those projects that has become incredibly difficult to complete. In fact, I thought I was going to die in Kashgar (a place in what is now China that is pretty close to the Pakistan and Afghan borders). Via mosquito bite, I caught something that presented just like Malaria. Right when that happened, a sandstorm hit (the worst in five years according to the locals) and all flights to the area were canceled. My fever and chills persisted for about 5 days, and started to clear as the sandstorm subsided. I flew to Beijing and checked into a hospital. I ended up spending another week in bed while consuming a large regimen of Chinese herbal medicine.

I commissioned many pieces from a man who, presumably, was the only calligrapher in all of Kashgar.

If you are wondering, I picked Kashgar because it's both remote and famous. I did it for the adventure. I also wanted to see what I believe is the longest-running bazaar in the world (it's apparently been held every Sunday for more than 2000 years).

The last challenge was getting all of the pieces translated into English. The calligrapher spoke the local Ughyur language (which I have been told is loosely related to Turkish with borrowed words from Persian and Arabic). It's probably as similar to Turkish as Italian is to Spanish.

So the translations had to go from Ughyur to Mandarin to English. But in some cases, the calligrapher wrote some old Arabic phrases, for which even he did not know how to translate into Mandarin (I believe some of those were passages from the Quran).

Here's the preview:
Ughyur calligraphy wall scrollUghyur calligraphy wall scrollUghyur calligraphy wall scroll
Ughyur calligraphy wall scrollUghyur calligraphy wall scrollUghyur calligraphy wall scroll
Ughyur calligraphy wall scrollArabic script calligraphy wall scrollArabic script calligraphy wall scroll
Arabic script calligraphy wall scrollArabic script calligraphy wall scrollArabic script calligraphy wall scroll
Arabic script calligraphy wall scrollArabic script calligraphy wall scrollArabic script calligraphy wall scroll
Arabic script calligraphy wall scrollArabic script calligraphy wall scrollArabic script calligraphy wall scroll

There are actually a few more, but this post will take a long time to download already with all of the images that I have included here.

Let me know if you are interested in any of these. I hope to have some of them listed soon for sale on our website.

I have a passion about educating people about the amazing cultures of the world. The Ughyur are certainly one of the cultures that can make people think twice about what it means to be "Chinese". Of course they would probably rather go back to being "The Republic of Turkistan" as they were before Chairman Mao "informed" them that they were part of China.

The Ughyurs that I met were so good to me. They wanted so badly to help me in my quest to find a calligrapher, that one man spent nearly the whole day with me, as we chased down some leads.

In one village, when I mentioned that I was trying to show the world that there is more to the region than just the Han (as in the majority Chinese ethnicity), they kind of cheered, and were so happy to hear that someone wanted to share a snapshot of their culture to the outside world. I started to feel like a strange cultural messenger - though I have no such expertise or training.

Cheers,
-Gary.

Teleute
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Post by Teleute » Sep 25, 2008 10:40 pm

Sorry for the late reply but I am definitely interested. They all look amazing, particularly the ones with the round designs and elaborate background text. I am also really interested in what they translate as.

It's also great to hear that the Ughyur people you met appreciated what you are doing. The U.S. has such an overly strict understanding of race and identity, which needs to be publicly deconstructed a bit. When I tell people about the "Chinese Muslim" art I am interested in, often a significant explanation has to follow just because of the confusion the two words being together causes. You are doing some thing amazing.

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Gary
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Post by Gary » Sep 26, 2008 11:46 am

I think the price range for these will be $40-100 each.

By my standards, some of the artwork is a bit rough. Some have red signature ghosts, others suffer minor paper flaws. It seems the paper in Xinjiang is somewhat fragile.

The ones with multiple problems will be in the $40 range, and the nearly-perfect ones will be $100.

I'll not be taking any profit on these, after considering travel expenses. In fact it's a big loss. An even bigger loss when I consider my medical expenses and weeks of bed rest resulting from that adventure.

But then, I do rare or difficult to obtain artwork like this for the adventure.

After two years, we are almost going to break even with our smuggled North Korean artwork offerings. Another example of a not-really-for-profit art-buying adventure.

I'll try to finish up this project with the Xinjiang calligraphy in the next week or so.

Cheers,
-Gary.

Teleute
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Post by Teleute » Oct 3, 2008 7:29 pm

I am sorry for all the troubles and suffering you had to go through, though I am glad that you actually enjoy your travels and work. You probably are doing more traveling and exploring then I will in my life and I am training to be a professional anthropologist. I will be looking forward to buying some of the scrolls when they are available.

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Koran Verses

Post by PoohBear » Oct 25, 2008 6:41 pm

Gary,

I am interested in one, maybe two of the Koran scrolls you have here. Both are on the fourth row of the photos you listed. Could you drop me a line or a post here with the price? I would appreciate it very much.

Regards,

Douglas Deskin

P.S.

even though this is not the forum for this, I did receive my order from you and the bitak is just lovely! It will look great in my master bedroom!

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Gary
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Post by Gary » Oct 27, 2008 1:22 pm

Glad you liked your batik wall hanging.

Can you count down from the top, starting at the upper left?
The rows you see may not be the same as what I see (they are floating, and there could be 3, 4, or 5 scroll images per row depending on your monitor width).

You can also do a right click and look at the properties of the image you like. The filename will be something like "n3177.jpg". Each one has a different image/inventory number.

Most of these are a little more "rough" than I hoped. There are some "red signature ghosts" on some of them, and paper flaws on others. It's not like you can just find these anywhere, and they are really hard to find/get (It nearly killed me, and I will never make up the cost of that trip).

I'll be selling them from $50 to $100 each, depending on quality.

We're still working on translation issues. I've got the Chinese translation of some of them, and now I am trying to take what I have in English, and find the original reference in the Qu'ran. It's turning out to be a nearly impossible task.

-Gary.

PoohBear
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Scrolls I'm interested in

Post by PoohBear » Oct 28, 2008 7:14 am

Gary,

Thank you for the quick reply. I followed your instructions and the two scrolls are n3182.jpg and n3180.jpg. When you get a moment, let me know the price.
Again, you have a wonderful site here and I love all the artwork!

Yours,

Doug Deskin

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Gary
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Post by Gary » Oct 29, 2008 1:00 pm

Those both have some red signature ghosts and/or stray marks. See this close up:
Image


If I don't have to work on the translation, I'll give them to you at $40 each.

If you want to buy them, just go here:
http://www.orientaloutpost.com/proddetail.php?prod=xjcs1
http://www.orientaloutpost.com/proddetail.php?prod=xjcs2

Please note that the dimensions shown on these pages are not accurate. The real measurements are at least 10cm less in each direction.

Cheers,
-Gary.

Teleute
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Post by Teleute » Dec 26, 2008 1:34 am

Hi again Gary. I was wondering if you still had the scrolls from image n3189.jpg or n3179.jpg for sale as I would be interested in buying one of them?

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