Asian Fusion: Oyster Bay – click on any image for full size
We received word that Sera Bellic had given her Homeland region of Oyster Bay a further make-over some 24 hours before it appeared in the Destination Guide Highlights for Friday, April 28th – and I was immediately intrigued by the theme title: Asian Fusion. Regular readers of this blog will know that anything having any kind of Eastern or oriental flavour is bound to get my attention. So, off we hopped to take a look.
Now, truth be told, “Asian” and “oriental” fusions in Second Life often tends to lean towards regions with a blending of predominantly Chinese and Japanese elements, so I was curious to see if Sera would cast her net wider than purely Sino-Japanese influences. And she has. Quite marvellously so.
From the landing point in the north-west corner of the region, visitors are encouraged under a rocky arch and into a land that immediately puts one in mind of Indochina (or as we more boringly refer to it today: South-east Asia). Across a small river spanned by a simple yet ornate wooden bridge, a paired tier of rice paddies are stacked against a rocky bluff. Working oxen stand on the grassland between stream and paddies, ignoring the click-clank of a nearby shishi odoshi which forms part of the region’s nods towards Japan. Another such nod can be found on the north bank of the river, where a small Japanese style cabin sits amidst elephant’s ears and clover, refreshments on offer inside, a sampan sitting at the river bank close by.
Immediately to the right of the rocky arch guiding visitors into the region is a clear nod to China. A bamboo grove rises on a step of clover-covered rock, home to a bamboo of pandas (I much prefer that to the the idea of an “embarrassment” of pandas, or the Royal Society’s 1866 decree that a group of pandas should be called a “cupboard”). Like the oxen across the river, these bears are not the slightest bothered by the steady clank of an shishi odoshi.
Southwards across the region, and the landscape becomes home to a dense, forest-like woodland. Here one is put in mind of Myamar (Burma), such is the jungle-like feel, coupled with the presence of another vulnerable / endangered species: the tiger. Within this mini reproducion of what might be the Hukawng Valley, can also be found a Japanese torii gate marking a set of ancient stone steps leading to a decidedly Chinese pavilion where Buddha sits, all of which speaks further to the beautiful fusion of influences provided. Guarding this pavilion and hilltop are white Bengal tigers, offering a further and interesting fusion.
Travel north from the forest, and another torii gate and flight of steps await. These lead up to a Japanese house sitting behind the rocky bluff against which the rice paddies have been built. Another house stands further to the south, beyond the forest and not far from the pandas in their bamboo grove, while in the middle of the region, rich in cherry blossom petals, sits a tranquil pond which feeds into the little river.
I’ve long enjoyed Sera’s designs. each one tends to be unique and offer food for thought when considering designs and ideas of use at home or elsewhere. However, every so often there is a design which tends to stand slightly above Sera’s other builds for one reason or another. Asian Fusion is, for me, another such design; the way a range of influences have been brought together is simply marvellous (I even felt Sri Lanka, a country I love dearly reflected in a couple of places).
This is not so much a place to be visited as it is to be savoured. Simply wonderful.
Asian Fusion (Oyster Bay, rated: Moderate)