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An Ode to Spring

An Ode to Spring

An Ode to Spring

Succeeding winter and preceding summer, Spring is one of four temperate seasons, with various technical definitions. Its occurrence interchanges between the North and Southern Hemisphere, and differs according to local climate, cultures and customs.

What we can universally agree on is that this time symbolizes rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection and regrowth. Our curation of art, design, film and poetry explores this metaphor in celebration of its glorious onset:

Evident in fine art depictions from the classical era to the present, an abundance of floral blooms is synonymous with the season.
(L-R) Claude Monet’s Springtime (1872); Hasui Kawase, Spring Dusk at Tosho Shrine, Ueno (1948)
and Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Spring Bouquet (1866).

“The art of life is a constant readjustment to our surroundings."

― Masaoka Shiki, Japanese poet, author, and literary critic in Meiji period Japan

Russian composer, Igor Stravinsky’s ballet and orchestral concert work, The Rite of Spring, is another indication of spring’s
representation through classical history. Its avant-garde production caused a sensation when it debuted in Paris, 1919, provoking a
near-riot on its first night due to its progressive content. Above, an excerpt of German dancer Pina Bausch’s modern reinterpretation.

Gardens are also good places

to sulk. You pass beds of

spiky voodoo lilies   

and trip over the roots   

of a sweet gum tree,   

in search of medieval   

plants whose leaves,   

when they drop off   

turn into birds

if they fall on land,

and colored carp if they   

plop into water.

“A stitch in time, tears spared over spilt milk, cracks that let the light in…” 

A first-ever peek at Darn-it, our upcoming collection that echoes classical wisdom, seeking beauty in the broken. Liberty from the airs of
perfection reveals life as it is: experimental and 
pleasurable, transient and whole. Launching 2021 online and in stores.

Suddenly the archetypal   

human desire for peace   

with every other species   

wells up in you. The lion   

and the lamb cuddling up.

The snake and the snail, kissing.

Even the prick of the thistle,   

queen of the weeds, revives   

your secret belief

in perpetual spring,

your faith that for every hurt   

there is a leaf to cure it.  

- Amy Gerstler, “In Perpetual Spring” from Bitter Angel (New York: North Point Press, 1990)



We end with a note on wellbeing from traditional Chinese medicine [TCM], courtesy Chuntian:

"Our bodies need to remain in a state of balance
to be at our healthiest – this is essentially the concept behind Yin and Yang. Yang is the energy of the sun, it is warming and energising,
while Yin is the energy of the moon, which is cooling, quiet, and nourishing. In order to get a grasp of where we need more
Yin or Yang in our changing surroundings, we need to better understand what the Spring season stands for. 

According to the Five Phases theory, Spring correlates to the element of WOOD, which represents living entities
(trees, people, natural world) and the act of growing (branches on trees or the limbs and joints of human bodies). The colour is GREEN,
bright and vibrant. The climate is WIND, it cleanses and refreshes the stale air, while also bringing with it uncertainty and change. 

The organs we should pay most attention to are the LIVER and GALLBLADDER (and the health of the liver can be seen through the EYES).
The flavour associated with spring is SOUR, our liver craves sourness - be it a squeeze of fresh citrus in warm water or some pickled vegetables -
and we should up our intake of tangy, saliva-inducing foods. The emotion associated with this season is ANGER.

“Based on this, Spring would usually mean getting outside, reaching upward and outward and becoming more active.” 

It would mean letting out our emotions; if you feel irritable or angry, express it. But balance also means taking note of
the environment around us, which for many now requires taking it easier on ourselves and staying inside.
The idea of environment can relate to the outside world as much as in our heads and bodies within."  

Happy Spring!

Cover image courtesy: Kin Fung Katherine Chan