009: Enter The Dragon 见龙在田 - Port Charlotte 2001, 21 Years, 55.7%
Don't think! Feel. It is like a finger pointing a way to the moon.
Don't concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.
- Bruce Lee (Enter the Dragon, 1973)
Enter The Dragon
Singapore artist Tay Bak Chiang paints subjects found in the nature of Singapore and Southeast Asia, such as heliconias, lotus ponds and stones. He seeks to reinterpret them inventively in terms of form, composition, technique, material and colour. Lotus flowers, for example, are depicted as minimalist forms in bold hues; lotus stalks as thick, unembellished black strokes; and stones as textured shapes and sculptural blocks in intense colours made by combining pigments and traditional Chinese ink. Through these subjects, he expresses his sentiments and philosophies.
Born in 1973, Bak Chiang graduated from the Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts in Singapore in 1995 and studied at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, China, in 1997. He was awarded the First Prize in the Chinese Painting category in the 19th and 22nd United Overseas Bank Painting of the Year Competitions (2000 and 2003 respectively). In 2002 he received the Young Artist Award from the National Arts Council of Singapore.
Bak Chiang has held 14 solo exhibitions to date:
Fa Zi Hua Sheng 《法自画生》 (2003), Between Breaths《呼吸之间》(2010), Ingenuity 《天工》 (2011), Hear the Wind Sing 《且听风吟》 (2012), The Breath of A Blade 《剑气》 (2013), Sentience 《顽石》 (2014), The Story of the Stone《石头记》(2014), Cleavages Fractures Folds 《斧劈皴》 (2014), Blue White Vermilion 《青花 • 朱印》 (2015), The Chivalrous Hero《侠之大者》(2015), From A Distance《隔帘看月 • 隔水看花》(2016), Revisit《回鸣》(2016), From Stone to Mountains《积石成山》(2018) and The Fisherman and the Woodcutter《渔樵问答》(2018) .
He has shown at international art fairs, including Art Basel Hong Kong, Art Stage Singapore, Art Miami, Art New York, Art Paris, Art Taipei and Edinburgh Art Fair.
His works are collected by private collectors and public agencies, such as The Istana, Singapore; Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore; Permanent Mission of Singapore to the United Nations, New York; National Gallery Singapore; Simmons & Simmons Contemporary Art Collection; Singtel; SC Global Developments; Swiss Re; OCBC Bank; United Overseas Bank; Mandarin Oriental, Singapore; Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore; and Shangri-La Hotel at The Shard, London.
Port Charlotte is a heavily peated distillate from the Bruichladdich distillery, located in Islay. This Rum Cask is one of the earliest batches of distillate, that was produced from the recently revived distillery in May-2001.
This is a joint bottling between Malt, Grain & Cane, and Miles Whisky Bar, Jakarta. This bottling celebrates both parties' 2nd Year Anniversary (2022); and, their collaborative friendship thus far.
@HampdenPirate 🏴☠️ 's Commentary:
This bottling's artwork was specifically chosen for many reasons.
Firstly, the resemblance of the artwork with the Port Charlotte 10 bottling was too strong to ignore. The sea of black, surrounding the spot of yellow; a strong link between both the artwork and the label.
Secondly, the title "Enter the Dragon" was Bruce Lee's first movie to be featured in Hollywood. An Asian marital artist making its first break into a Western environment.
In similar fashion, Malt, Grain & Cane and Miles Whisky Bar, Jakarta, these 2 young asian entities, making their debuting entries into the world of whisk(e)y and rum, which has been mainly dominated by their western counterparts. Both entities were established in 2020, amidst the COVID-19 crisis; and are celebrating their 2nd anniversary this year (2022).
Also, the colour scheme of yellow and black, are similar to Bruce Lee's iconic yellow jumpsuit, from his 2nd & final unfinished movie, "Game of Death".
Lastly, the title "见龙在田" , is one half of the Chinese saying, "见龙在田，利见大人". The direct translation, "Meeting the Dragon in the paddy fields, Encountering the Noblemen."
The modern context to this saying is, One must be working hard (in the paddy fields/modern workplace) grinding it out on a daily basis, meticulously honing one's personal craft. For when the right opportunity comes (the arrival of the Dragon), the person who is prepared and constantly honing improving, will be able to reap the benefits from the noblemen.
A more detailed explanation in Mandarin Chinese, can be found here.
The @HampdenPirate 🏴☠️ found this quote very relatable. One should always consistently work hard and improve, to be readilly prepared for the time when we meet our noblemen or "dragon", the people who will help us ascend to the next level at our craft.
One should never expect significant progress, without diligently working on one's own craft.
Commentary & Tasting Notes from 88Bamboo
This Port Charlotte stands out from its brethren taking a more mellowed and fruity profile. The smoke is well-integrated into the nutty and fruity notes, giving a sense of a smoky charcuterie board. It is rounded and creamy with a long warming sensation.
Color: Gold Apple Juice
Aroma: Gentle but aromatic nuttiness - peanut shells, black sesame, with just a touch of peaty smoke. It’s creamy and slightly astringent, that leads into a nice depth of richness. Fruits galore! Apple juice, lemon tea, bananas and guavas - a tropical delight! The creaminess evolves into creme brûlée, nice and syrupy, with a touch of freshness of pine cones.
Taste: Nicely medium-bodied and oily. Caramel forward - smooth and creamy. Peanut cream and walnut oil takes the mid-palate, all whilst maintaining a clean bite. Pomegranate and cranberries show up, backing it up with a more powerful showing of black pepper and spice. As it recedes, there’s a mild charcuterie meaty oiliness that adds a nice umami touch. Aromatic ash and black tea tannins weave between.
Finish: A long warming sensation, with light notes of tobacco leaf and an edge of ginger tea spiciness.