Saturday, December 7, 2013
Creativity and A Glass (This week's Photo Hunt themes)
I've long been fascinated by stained glass and been awed by the creativity along with sheer technical abilities of its creators. And for almost as a long time, I've associated these glass creations with Europeans -- not least because the earliest as well as finest examples I've seen of them have been in English and French churches and cathedrals, with those at Chartres Cathedral standing out particularly in my memory.
But over the course of my explorations of my home continent since returning to Asia ten years ago (after having lived elsewhere for the great bulk of the previous two decades), I've come across examples of stained glass creativity here too -- including at Hanoi's St Joseph's Cathedral on my recent visit to Vietnam, and, particularly, in the former Portuguese enclave of Macau.
Another point driven home in recent years is that stained glass works can be secular as well as sacred in nature. Of course, I already knew this courtesy of the many beautiful Tiffany glass works I've seen in various locations, including New York's wonderful Metropolitan Museum of Art. But I have been duly reminded of this time and again in Asia, including when I came across Gabriel Loire's Symphonic Sculpure at the Hakone Open-Air Museum last year.
At the risk of sounding sacrilegious, I'd go so far as to say that it's the single most amazing stained glass work that I've seen. In any event, and at the very least, it's a glass creation that I consider a wondrous sight and hope that many, if not all, of my fellow participants in Sandi's and Gattina's Photo Hunt memes will get to see for themselves some day.