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opium-kl-tour-al-fresco

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Pipes

Inspired by the Opium regimes of the east, the interior speaks for itself. Furnished with age-old artifacts such as an opium bed in the Rose Room, opium pipes and huge Chinese wine pots displayed vividly at the Communal area, the outlet aspires a 1930s-1960s look and feel. It's slogan, Eat Drink Man Woman takes a more subtle approach to distinguish Opium KL as the must visit places in kuala lumpur for people to unwind and focus purely on the best asian food, cocktails, conversation and quality time.

An opium pipe is a pipe designed for vaporization and inhalation of opium. True opium pipes allow for the drug to be vaporized while being heated over a special oil lamp known as an opium lamp. It is thought that this manner of “smoking” opium began in the 17th century. The configuration of the typical opium pipe consists of a long stem, a ceramic pipe-bowl, and a metal fitting, known as the “saddle”, through which the pipe-bowl plugs into the pipe-stem. The pipe-bowl must be detachable from the stem due to the necessity to remove the bowl and scrape its insides clean of opium ash after several pipes have been smoked. The stems of opium pipes were usually made from bamboo, but other materials such as ivory and silver were also used. Sometimes opium pipe-bowls were carved from more valuable materials such as jade. The length of an opium pipe varied from approximately 15 inches (40 cm) to about 22 inches (56 cm). The distinctive pipe-bowl is what sets the opium pipe apart from all other pipes for smoking. Usually made from fired earthenware, pipe-bowls of the late 18th through early 20th centuries depicted favourite Chinese motifs and iconography such as dragons, phoenixes, animals and symbols representing longevity, wealth and happiness. While it is little known today, the Chinese once created gem-like works of art in the form of opium pipe-bowls.

Due to opium eradication campaigns in the 19th and early 20th centuries, genuine opium pipes are now extremely rare. In the early 20th century, opium pipes were often called dream sticks.


Door Knockers

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Door knockers do not have an origin, per se, because they are eons old and no one would have thought to document the very first one, so all we have to go by are cues from literature and archaeological evidence of their existence throughout history.

It did not take long for people to start embellishing their door knockers with all manner of designs, many of which were influenced by mythology, religious teachings and nature. Ancient China inspired dragons head door knockers, for example, while the Western church influenced the use of gargoyles and other beasts on worshippers’ doors. These examples serve to illustrate just one of many differences in meaning and symbolism in the door knocker’s evolving history. Dragons head offered projection of strength and protection, while gargoyles represented the malignant spirits barred from entry, harnessed to serve both as a call and a warning to others who may trespass.

So, how did lion heads become popular?

Lions have been a fixture in human history since the beginning of recorded time and have come to represent many things. The common theory is that they symbolised then, at the dawn of the door knocker, what they continue to symbolise now – strength, pride, protection and supremacy. They are the kings of the jungle, but even so, a lion door knocker serves the master within, which implies those who dwell behind those doors are mightier still.


Pad Locks

Padlocks of varying shapes and sizes like the shape of animals, insects, musical instruments, knives and so on are very common in China. They are usually made of brass, bronze or aluminium. Each lock has an opening on one edge for a key that matches the ward springs. The shackle and ward springs are attached to the other side. The lock is opened when the key is inserted in the keyhole and the bit compresses the ward springs, allowing the shackle and springs to be drawn out. The keys to these locks usually have an angled bit with notches for the springs.

Many animal-shaped padlocks can be found which would convey a subliminal or subconscious message. The fish padlock for instance, popular in China at a very early date. The fish sleeps with its eyes open and therefore, the inference is it’s always watching and on guard. It’s possible that a prospective purchaser of a padlock would base his decision primarily on his affinity with the deity, or spirit animal that was represented.

 

 


Teapots

Teapots were probably derived from the ceramic kettles and wine pots which were also made in bronze and other metals, and were a feature of Chinese cultural life for thousands of years. The teapot was invented during the Yuan Dynasty, tea preparation in previous dynasties did not utilise a teapot. In the Tang Dynasty, a cauldron was used to boil ground team, which was served in bowls. Song Dynasty tea was made by pouring water boiled using a kettle into a bowl with finely ground tea leaves. A brush was then used to stir the tea. The innovation of the teapot, a vessel that steeps tea leaves in boiling water, occurs during the late Yuan Dynasty. Written evidence of a teapot appears in the Yuan Dynasty text, Jiyuan Conghua, which decribes a teapot that the author, Cai Shizhan, bought from the scholar Sun Daoming. By the Ming Dynasty, teapots were widespread in China. The earliest example of a teapot that has survived to this day seems to be the one in the Flagstaff House Museum of Teaware; it has been dated to 1513 and attributed to Gongchun.

Early teapots are small by western standards because they are generally designed for a single drinker and the Chinese historically drank the tea directly from the spout. The size reflects the importance of serving small portions each time so that the flavours can be better concentrated, controlled and then repeated.

 


Portraits

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Opium portraits; a representation of lost history of opium – whose trade was once as consequential to empires as oil is today, becomes a harrowing exploration of the liberating, enlightening and enslaving ecstasies of a forbidden pipe.

It’s a tale not so much of addiction but of self-immolating obsession. Smoking was initially translated as ‘eat smoke’ as the opium paste needed to be heated and then cooked, hence, the act of smoking placed alongside eating, drinking and family dining. Chinese culinary tradition and the culture of consumption had set the stage for opium smoking, which distinguish the Chinese way of after-dinner entertainment in the late 19th century.

Opium can be medicinal, helps prevent and treat diseases. It nurtures one's body and soul, from eunuchs and pain-ridden women to labourers. Opium in this context was a painkiller. It reduced pain, physically or psychologically, and helped suffering people. The act of taking from nature to nurture, the body and soul epitomises a Chinese philosophy - humankind's dependence and coexistence with nature. Men and nature complement each other; they can be in harmony.

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When its recreational value was discovered, it seemed a value-added situation. The combination of medicinal and recreational values would make opium smoking a most justifiable and pragmatic recreation. This was definitely a practice, as both rich and poor relaxed over a few puffs and as foreigners came to identify Chinese culture with opium smoking.

By the 18th century, opium-as-aphrodisiac could no longer be kept as a court or elite luxury and tobacco as 'the opiate of the people'. Many historians have emphasised the pathological effect of opium on the eve of the first Opium War (1839-1842). It was a period when knowledge about opium was passed on to many people (in other words, accumulated and socialised). China's political and genealogical intimacy with South East Asia was to play an important role. Sojourners to and from South East Asia came back to the mainland with habits and memories of smoking. This was fundamental to the spread of opium, which involved not only maritime trade and what was called 'archaic globalisation', but also the wider Chinese diaspora and mechanisms of culture transmission.IMG_6195-min

The image of Chinese women has dramatically shifted and the representation of women have been closely associated with pleasure and the rise of consumer culture. The vintage oriental Shanghai poster girls portray women from the 1920s-30s. They exemplify early Chinese sexual marketing campaigns. There has been an explosion of feminine and erotic images of women in Chinese TV programmes, magazines, billboards and other media platforms during eras after that up until today.Opium-004-min


Al Fresco

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Al fresco dining is especially popular in the summer season. Considering Malaysia is summer all year round, temperatures and weather are most favourable for such a dining environment. It is a style of dining that is casual and often party-like in its atmosphere.

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On a daily basis, at 7.30pm and 8.45pm, catering to the dinner and after-dinner crowds, Live Oriental Music Performance is being played at the al-fresco stage area to accommodate the pedestrian activity and vibrancy of the night-life street. Instrumental music will be played with either one of these instruments; Guzheng, Pi Pa or Yang Qing. Come and experience this must visit place  oriental atmosphere,  in KL’s trendiest restobar with the best asian food and oriental cuisine!


Communal Area

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Movies started out in black and white and for the first few decades of their existence, they were produced entirely in that form. The phrase “silver screen” stems from those early days, when shimmering black and white images became synonymous with the medium. Film is based on photography in many ways, and when the medium first appeared at the beginning of the 20th century, there was no real method of creating colour images.

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Rice wine brewing is both a home industry, and part of the formal economy, and it’s a longstanding tradition in China and across South East Asia. Throughout rural China and other parts of the world, wineries produce rice wine in giant glazed earthenware jars (usually ceramic pots) with a red label bearing the Chinese character for wine. These are covered with a loose-fitting lid to allow fermentation gases to escape and they could be stored and last for scores of years.

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Communal dining is the practice of dining with others. The communal table may seem like a contemporary gimmick, but it’s actually a return to tradition. Communal tables were the norm in inns and eating houses of the early-modern period (1600s-1700s).

Communal tables are all about the conversation. Dining with others is centered on food and the people that come together in order to share a meal. It is a time when people are in the frenzy of daily life and decide to share thoughts and ideas with one another or just simply have a good time. At the same time, the communal table serves as an aesthetic statement or just help set the ambiance.

 


The Rose Room

A speakeasy, also called a blind pig or blind tiger, is an establishment that illegally sells alcoholic beverages. Such establishments came into prominence in the US during the Prohibition Era (1920-1933, longer in some states). During that time, the sale, manufacture and transportation (bootlegging) of alcoholic beverages was illegal throughout the US.

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The term “speakeasy” came to prominence during the Prohibition era in the 1920s in North America, where it was used to describe illegal establishments that sold alcohol. This practice was spoken in quiet manner in order not to alert the public and law enforcements. Speakeasies largely disappeared after the Prohibition ended in 1933, and the term is now used to describe some hidden bars that evoke that era’s look and feel.

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The Rose Room is pretty much known as our version of the opium den. Historically, an opium den was an establishment where opium was sold and smoked. They were prevalent in many parts of the world in the 19th century, mostly China, Southeast Asia, North American and France. Throughout the West, opium dens were frequented by and associated with the Chinese because the establishments were usually fun by Chinese who supplied the opium as well as prepared them for non-Chinese visiting smokers. Opium dens in China were frequented by all levels of society and their opulence or simplicity reflected the financial meals of the patrons.

 


Others

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In many ways, antique bells are valuable as they are collectible items. They carry a great deal of history with them. In the past, people used them in various spheres of life from farming to creating music. Collectors need to pay attention to several aspects of these collectibles from the types of bells to properly cleaning them.

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Even though the practice of smoking tobacco has been around since the 16th century, cigarettes did not achieve widespread popularity until the middle of the 19th century. Not surprisingly, that’s also about the time when the first ashtrays appeared.

Whether or not you smoke, ashtrays are appealing collectibles for numerous reasons. First, they are small, which means you can acquire hundreds of ashtrays and display them in a relatively finite amount of space. Second, they are made out of a wide range of materials, so if you are a fan of art glass, pounded copper, or ceramic, there is bound to be an ashtray for you. Third, ashtrays were produced during some of the most creative periods in history, which means there are ashtrays for fans of the Victorian era, Arts and Crafts, and Art Deco. Finally, ashtrays are snapshots of their culture, so it is not uncommon to find ashtrays that were produced to advertise products and events of the day.
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Traditionally in the past, the Chinese would never hang clothes vertically inside a cupboard. Instead, clothes and bed linens were laid flat inside a chest, cabinets or drawers. Dynastic robes were folded and stacked horizontally, rather than vertically on hangers.

The Chinese made cabinets in many varieties because they wanted and valued versatility. Families primarily needed storage facilities within a household to keep things secure and out of sight. Cabinets were also used in the study to store books and writing implements, and in the kitchen for food and cooking utensils. They were also often located in the women’s quarters or in reception rooms where official robes were kept. Such cabinets remain eminently functional and are much admired and sought after for their elegant shapes and ornamentation. The best examples combine the natural beauty of the wood grain with the design and degree of ornamentation.


DSC08514-min

Movies started out in black and white and for the first few decades of their existence, they were produced entirely in that form. The phrase “silver screen” stems from those early days, when shimmering black and white images became synonymous with the medium. Film is based on photography in many ways, and when the medium first appeared at the beginning of the 20th century, there was no real method of creating colour images.

A speakeasy, also called a blind pig or blind tiger, is an establishment that illegally sells alcoholic beverages. Such establishments came into prominence in the US during the Prohibition Era (1920-1933, longer in some states). During that time, the sale, manufacture and transportation (bootlegging) of alcoholic beverages was illegal throughout the US.

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On a daily basis, at 7.30pm and 8.45pm, catering to the dinner and after-dinner crowds, Live Oriental Music Performance is being played at the al-fresco stage area to accommodate the pedestrian activity and vibrancy of the night-life street. Instrumental music will be played with either one of these instruments; Guzheng, Pi Pa or Yang Qing. Come and experience this oriental atmosphere in KL’s trendiest restobar!