A travel artist from Taiwan is ready always with a backpack to roam around the world. She grabs the first opportunity as she is ready with her painting kit, bare-minimum luggage and some tools to pursue her passion, handmade macrame jewellery. The artist Gua-Gua was in Salalah to take part in the Global Handicraft Exhibition, which saw participation from more than 20 countries.
Gua, who showcased her skills in painting and macrame jewellery, admitted her stay in Salalah is one of the most memorable “due to many things which would reflect in my future paintings”.
“Wonderful landscape, hospitable people, rugged natural beauty and pristine beaches of Salalah impressed me. The Salalah Tourism Festival (STF) itself is an exhibition of Oman’s rich heritage and culture and I would tell the world that Oman is successful in preserving its heritage while doing wonderful development and not being part of the ‘mad development’ which many countries in the world are doing today,” she said.
Travel entices Gua. All her art works are based on travelling. She has been backpacking for more than five years and fulfils her inspiration of landscape composition pattern in Chinese landscape painting.
“The aesthetic spirit in Chinese landscape paintings is harmony between human and nature with a philosophical basis of ‘integration of man and nature’, which is what I feel during my travelling. Moreover, the western landscape oil-painting and Chinese traditional landscape painting are two distinct paintings of style and visual effects under different cultural ideology aesthetic concepts… I chose western media and water colours to do the landscape paintings and make a mix of the western and eastern culture. My paintings excel in extra fine detail paintings with individual style… my original works of art come frequently from the nature, and the final establishment is from the complexity of my mind and spirit,” said Gua while explaining her technique of painting.
A keen learner, Gua learnt the art of macrame jewellery during her travels. She admits macrame jewellery is one of the amazing things she had learnt. “I was travelling in Australia. I met many hippies on the roads. I was very much impressed with their creativity of playing music, dance and painting. That was the first time I saw macrame jewellery and I was deeply attracted towards it. I learnt the technique and today I can do it with full expertise.”
Macrame, according to her, is a technique of knotting from the Orient origin, which dates back to 1800 BC. Throughout history, it was used in different variations and steadily advanced and developed, among other things, as clothing, carpets and wall decoration to practical applications such as bridle for riding animals, hammocks, bags and containers.
“In Latin America, the first variants of macrame jewellery were found more than 150 years ago and it is in practice till today.”
Gua makes necklaces, bracelets and earrings using macrame technique.
The material here is waxed polyester cord from South America, which is very strong, waterproof and does not fade easily. Most of the macrame jewellery are wrapped with natural stones and different crystal stones, which have different meanings and energy drawn from the Mother Nature.