Nature and Human, The Lucky Bamboo

Lucky Bamboo is an indoor bamboo plant, that the Chinese people deemed auspicious. Due to its popularity in the Chinese culture, the Lucky Bamboo plants are heavily commercialized and often, made into different forms and shape.

Unharvested lucky bamboo (Dracaena Sanderiana) has large green leaves unlike the regular bamboo. In fact, most of the commercial lucky bamboo went through heavy touch up and alteration before they are sold to the consumers looking for their auspicious feng shui plant. Despite the artificial aestheticism, these altered lucky bamboo often don’t survive long.

Here is an article on where to buy lucky bamboo that articulate how the arrangement of these lucky bamboo is killing the plant. The lucky bamboo in its original form may not be the sexiest plant, but it has its own charm. The commercialized lucky bamboo plant while became more “decorative”, it has lost its natural beauty, and become a mere human ornament.

From an art perspective, human intervention to nature art form often end up disastrous. The art of nature is sophisticated, beyond the understanding and imagination of common human beings. And in this case, lucky bamboo is a good example.

Unharvested Dracaena Sanderiana:

Here are some examples of how commercial lucky bamboo looks like:


Discobolus, the Statue of Contrast

Discobolus or Discus Thrower in English is an ancient Greek statue. The men in the statue is carved naked, conveniently exhibited the fully flexed muscle of  this well tone athlete. The status is a masterpiece of contrast and I shall tell you why.

The athlete is in motion of swinging the discus, with the plate at the highest point of its full motion. The statue lies motionless, but its follow up action can be foreseen by the audience to be highly kinetic and forceful, forming a sharp contrast between the physical rest state of the statue and the mental projection of the viewer.

From a design perspective, the center sight of the artwork lies in the fully stretched arm. One will start viewing the art piece from the arm (with the discus) and down to the body and then legs of the athlete. The whole viewing process display a very tense and focus individual, and for a typical person, the stage of highly tense and focus state don’t last long. But in this case, the statue display a permanent state of high tension focus, creating another sharp contrast.

Lastly, a viewer can easily imagine the environment the athlete is in. I would believe most will imagine he in a sport competition, which is typically characterized  by loud and rowdy spectators, carnival type of atmosphere and an air full with cheers and jeers. But when in the physical realm, the statue is often seen in a still and quiet place, creating an environmental contrast.

The Discobolus is a master of contrast, and should be appreciated as such.