Dr Katarzyna Ancuta

Hopping Vampires Thumbnail

Hopping Vampires

Posted by Katarzyna Ancuta on November 29, 2007 in Dr Katarzyna Ancuta, Guest Blog tagged with

Jiang Shi (Mandarin Chinese), also known as Geungsi in Cantonese, Gangshi in Korean, and Kyonshi in Japanese can be best described as a reanimated hopping corpse feeding on the life essence, or qi, of the people it kills.Thanks to the influence of the Western movies, in the twentieth century popular imagination Jiang Shis have also acquired flesh-eating and blood-drinking qualities that have earned them the name of Chinese zombies or vampires. A still from Mr Vampire (1985). Pacified Jiang Shis ready to begin their last journey. In popular Chinese beliefs, human souls are frequently de

Thai Grotesques Thumbnail

Thai Grotesques

Posted by Katarzyna Ancuta on November 14, 2007 in Dr Katarzyna Ancuta, Guest Blog tagged with

Having spent many a day in the past straining my neck to catch a glimpse of ghastly gargoyles adorning castle turrets and Gothic cathedrals, I am somewhat overwhelmed by the abundance of grotesque imagery assailing me, so to speak, from almost every direction in Thailand. The excessive presence of Thai grotesque ornamentation can only be described through the Baudrillardian metaphor of obscenity, they truly are “the visible, the all-too-visible and the more-visible-than-the-visible,” whether in art and architecture, in commercial design, in fashion, in street ornaments and decorati

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore”… in Japanese Thumbnail

Quoth the Raven “Nevermore”… in Japanese

Posted by Katarzyna Ancuta on November 03, 2007 in Dr Katarzyna Ancuta, Guest Blog tagged with

Although my affair with Edogawa Rampo cannot truly be described as particularly intense, I must admit that I have become somewhat of a fan of the man whose darkly twisted tales of imagination certainly deserve more attention in the Gothic world than they are currently getting. Edogawa Rampo in his trademark pose with a gun. Edogawa Rampo is a pen name of a Japanese mystery and detective story writer Hirai Taro (1894-1965). And although this may not be immediately obvious to everyone, it is in fact a Romanised transcription of the Japanese pronunciation of the name of one of Rampo’s lit

Spiritual Encounters Thai Style Thumbnail

Spiritual Encounters Thai Style

Posted by Katarzyna Ancuta on October 24, 2007 in Dr Katarzyna Ancuta, Guest Blog tagged with

As it usually happens on account of Halloween (and for some of us on a more regular basis), at this time of the year we frequently catch ourselves thinking of ghosts and spirits. Having said that, here in Thailand, ghosts are not simply seen as figments of one’s imagination. On the contrary, they are taken quite seriously and are commonly treated as one of ordinary facts of life. Not only do Thai ghosts inhabit folk beliefs and superstitions, but they also regulate the property market (with shops going out of business, houses getting hastily evacuated and entire districts suddenly droppi