Singapore Sand Art Sharing – Sandpainting 7

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sandpainting

Georgian sand painting (Marmotinto)

In the 18th and 19th c. when the House of Hanover ruled in England, “table decking” was introduced to the court at Windsor Castle by sand artists from Germany. The most accomplished were George Haas, Benjamin Zobel and F. Schweikhardt. They created fixed sand paintings (marmotinto in Italian) which were highly prized for acquisition by many of the English aristocracy, including the King’s brother, the Duke of York, who commissioned a number of works by Zobel.

Zobel depicted “pigs in the manner of Morland”; “Nelson”, the favourite dog of the Duke of York; “Tiger after George Stubbs”, and an impressive “Vulture and snake.”[citation needed] Although many of Zobel’s works have survived, none of those by Haas has. Observers considered his work superior to that of Zobel. This may reflect the differing techniques used by each artist. A diarist observed Zobel’s coating the surface of the baseboard with a mixture of gum arabic and white lead and sprinkling sand upon the sticky surface using a folded paper funnel as a brush. He had to work quickly since the adhesive would dry in a few hours. Several of his surviving pictures have unfinished work on the reverse.

Haas followed more closely the techniques developed in Japan, but mixing dry powdered gum arabic with the sand, sprinkling the mixture through a sieve and using feathers as brushes to create the pictures upon the baseboard, then fixing them by some method which he kept a secret. Unfortunately, due to the damp conditions in many of the stately homes of the day, his pictures failed to last more than a few years. On one occasion Haas was called away while working on an unfixed sand picture. When he returned he found one of Windsor Castles’ cats curled up on the picture, damaging it.

Eventually Zobel returned to Memmingen in Bavaria where he continued to successfully pursue his craft. Some of his work is displayed in Memmingen Town Hall. The unfortunate Haas had to give up sand painting – probably due to the ongoing disasters with his pictures. He opened a bakers shop in Windsor instead, though the icing on his cakes may well have been decorated with pictures in coloured sugar instead of sand.

With the passing of these Georgian craftsmen and the disposal of the Duke of York’s collection the interest and skills evolved in sand picture work declined. The only Royal personage to take further interest in the craft was the late Queen Mary, consort to George V who bequeathed her Georgian sand paintings to the Victoria and Albert Museum, and her collection of Isle of Wight sand pictures to Carisbrooke Castle Museum on the Isle of Wight.
In the first half of the 20th century Lt.-Colonel Rybot was a keen collector of sand paintings, which were the source material of the articles written on the subject in the arts and crafts magazines of the day. Eventually 37 of his collection of sand paintings were the main feature at an auction held at Sotheby’s New Bond Street gallery on June 15, 1956.

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About sanddreamer

Lawrence Koh – International sand art virtuoso and multi-disciplinary artist specialized in both the visual art and the performing art. Utilizing an awe-inspiring combination of sand, music and light, Lawrence created countless stories as a sand artist during his local and international performances as well as prestigious events such as award ceremonies, official launch, grand opening, dinner & dance, festive celebrations, meetings, seminars and anniversary celebrations. Lawrence’s performance is often graced by foreign delegates, local VIPs and international guests; while also received positive responses from notable guests such as the Former President of Singapore Mr S.R Nathan, Mr Teo Chee Hean, Minister Lee Yi Shyan, Minister Heng Swee Keat, Dr Ng Eng Hen, MP Tin Pei Ling, International Model Sonia Couling, Dr Chan Mei Yoke, MP Low Yen Ling and Film Director Eric Khoo. Some of Lawrence’s notable performances: MSH International Official Thailand Opening, Gourmet Abu Dhabi, Platts Top 250, Monetary Authority of Singapore Inter Central Bank Games, OCBC Regional Seminar, United Engineers 100 Years Anniversary, Shell Groundbreaking Ceremony, National University Health System Charity Gala Dinner at Gardens by the Bay, Lee Ming Wei’s Luminous Depths Installation Opening the Peranakan Museum, NTUC U Picnic, People’s Association’s New Year Countdown, Singapore Turf Club’s SIA Cup, BCA Awards, Institute of Mental Health 85th Anniversary, Kajima 25th Anniversary, Zurich Global Life Awards, BCI Asia Awards, Daido (Japan) 110th Anniversary Commendation Ceremony and many more. Some of Lawrence’s previous clients: Mandarin Oriental, McDonald, KFC, Pizza Hut, Panasonic, Singapore Armed Forces, National Heritage Board, Singapore College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, National Arts Council, Lian Beng Group Ltd, 7 Eleven, Abbott, Daikin, Melchers, Singex, National Library Board Singapore, Singapore Expo, Bosch, Ministry of Education, Sentosa, Immigration & Checkpoints Authority, GlaxoSmithKline, National Healthcare Group, Sonangol, Mediacorp. Being a celebrated artist in Singapore’s entertainment and art scene, Lawrence’s career spans across theatre productions, cultural fusion performances, short films, corporate videos, television programmes, television commercials, documentaries and live concerts. Lawrence was given the honour to have a special collaboration with the renowned Bhaskar’s Arts Academy during their major theatre production “CHAKRA”, featuring a captivating fusion of Indian dance, ballet, live Indian orchestra and sand art. The performance was graced by the presence of former president Mr. S.R Nathan and the tickets sold out completely; receiving standing ovation from the audience. Under National Arts Council’s request and support, “CHAKRA” was restaged once again at the Toa Payoh Amphitheatre with Lawrence being part of the National Arts Council’s “Arts for All” programme. Lawrence’s collaboration journey with Bhaskar’s Arts Academy also includes “Nalanda” a multi-disciplinary theatre production at the Esplanade Theatres on the Bay and “Ramayana” during the Diwali Festival of Lights Performance in Wellington, New Zealand. Lawrence captivated the audience once again with veteran storyteller Kamini Ramachandran and live fusion musicians (keyboardist Serene, bansuri flutist Ragha and table player Kumaran) during two sold out performances of “Forest Fables” – a multi-disciplinary English theatre production presented by Esplanade Theatres on the Bay. Under the invitation from Esplanade Theatres on the Bay, Lawrence performed his very own live concerts with the amazing “Tze N Looking Glass Orchestra” with talented string ensemble from ACS Independent during “Celebrate December 2013”. The performance was extremely well-received with full house for all three shows. Amidst his sand art journey, Lawrence and his sand art has received numerous article features and write-ups on Straits Times, Lian He Zao Bao, Business Times, AsiaOne.com, 8 Days Magazine and Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery’s “Awaken Magazine”. Lawrence and his sand art were also featured extensively on Singapore’s television programmes. He was featured as a guest artist on Mediacorp Okto channel’s “Art Bites” and “Arts.Music.Performances”; in which he performed his original sand art with DJ Shawn Fluctuate. Subsequently, Lawrence’s sand art also caught the attention of Mediacorp’s “Artless Travelled Season 2” – an award winning international documentary about the lesser seen art forms of Asia, with Lawrence and his performances being featured on the show as one of Singapore’s unique art forms. Other television involvements of Lawrence includes the Starhub E-City’s television commercials as well as Mediacorp Channel 5 and Suria Channel’s “Remembering SARS” - a telemovie that featured Lawrence’s sand art portraying the stories of Singapore’s battle against SARS. With great privilege, Lawrence’s original sand animation tribute film to Singapore was featured on Vasantham Central’s Tamil News, Channel NewsAsia’s official Facebook page, as well as Channel NewsAsia’s “Singapore @ 6” and “Singapore Tonight”. On top of that, Lawrence was also invited to be the guest artist on Channel NewsAsia’s “AM Live!” and “Artyfacts”. He is also honored to be invited to perform on Mediacorp Suria Channel’s “Fiesta Muzik” – a prestigious live telecast music concert featuring popular artists from Singapore and Indonesia. Mr Aubeck Kam, Singapore's Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) and Dr Basuki Yusuf Iskandar, Indonesia's Secretary-General of the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, attended “Fiesta Muzik” as the Guests-of-Honour. “Fiesta Muzik” was broadcasted as a live telecast on Singapore and Indonesia’s TV channels with Lawrence’s performance receiving excellent responses.
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