Mui-Ling Teh

Joined February 2008

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Artist's Description

Spring is finally here… so I thought I’d share the warmth…

‘Hanabi’ is Japanese for ‘fireworks’, and in Japan it is common to play with small hand-held fireworks known as ‘senko-hanabi’, which is what I depict here… origami style.

‘Hanabi’ also literally means ‘flower’ and ‘fire’ (‘hana’ means flower while ‘bi’ means fire), which is why I was inspired to use shiny little miniature origami flowers here to depict the little fiery sparks of the hand held fireworks. Each flower was folded with 15×15mm pieces of paper. I had to place them on needles in order to avoid casting shadows while lighting the flowers to get the glow (see the comments).

525 views as of September 18, 2011

For a better idea of scale

Taken with an Olympus FE-340 using the portrait setting.

Senko hanabi ( ???? sen-kou hana-bi ) (incense stick firework) is a traditional Japanese firework. Essays about them date back to at least 1927… Senko hanabi are said to somehow hypnotize the watcher into silence and to evoke mono no aware (translated as “an empathy toward things,” or “a sensitivity to ephemera”), a Japanese term describing a flash of sadness felt when reminded of the beauty and briefness of life. The poignantly ephemeral has long been appreciated in Japan and is still felt in the quiet celebration of senko hanabi. (Source: Wikipedia)

I have many fond memories of Japan… On the last day of my internship there in 2007, my co-workers threw me a farewell dinner at the beach, where we watched the sunset over Mt. Fuji and Enoshima. Towards the end of the day we played with fireworks – the senko hanabi.
I’d love to go back one day…

On a brighter note, I hear that even amidst the city where disaster took place (Fukushima), the cherry blossoms have bloomed…

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Mui-Ling Teh – Art and Words from the Heart



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© Mui-Ling Teh. All rights reserved.


My art and writing do not belong to the public domain. Materials may not be reproduced, uploaded, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted, copied, edited or published in any form or by any means without my permission. Any site using my images against my conditions have not sought proper permission and should be reported or brought to my attention immediately.


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