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Bubble Life


Greetings from a sleepy little town down south along the mighty Mekong,

After finding a pillow and delicious local cold java swimming in a glass you get a hair cut and your ears cleaned.

It's essential, as we've said previously, from China, Vietnam, Cambodia and now Laos to relax.

Sit back close your eyes hearing the whirling overhead fan rotating like helicopter rotor blades over rapid cobalt rivers inside deep forested green jungles, skimming granite mountains, swooping toward rice valleys allowing a thin man with shiny silver tools to clean, vibrate, scrape, identify, probe, assess, magnify, illustrate and remove old historical debris, leaves, brooms, the click-clack of shuttles, blue and yellow butterflies, children's laughter, language acquisition cycles, tonal frequencies, vibrational shifts and so forth.

A new marveLaos gallery is live.

It contains clouds, art, design, black & white, wats, paper making, rice threshing, weavers, kids and big serious humans.

The Luang Prabang airport has one simple concrete runway. The control tower needs a coat of paint.

There are two gates. A French tourist is worried because their boarding pass has a big number approaching infinity. "We only have two gates," said the serene and helpful girl behind a desk.

"Oh, my goodness," said the tourist holding a can of white paint and a brown sable hair brush.

"I was so worried I wouldn't get home for Christmas. I mean I was feeling so anxious and neurotic and lost and dazed and confused and sullen and tired and suddenly I felt comfortable in a calm way knowing I will realize my vacation dream and paint a control tower at a small airport in Asia." 

"Be a work of art or wear a work of art," said the smiling girl, or, as Picasso asked, "what is color?"


Paper is an essential part of Lao life. The art of paper is in the making, using, honoring paper in the community and burning paper to honor ancestors. Artists use white fibers from plant stems to make paper. To soften it they mix it with ash and soak it in wood fired 55 gallon drums. They pound it to a pulp. The woman spreads fibers over a screen. It is dried in the sun and used to create tactile textured paper books, umbrellas, bags, cards, lanterns, envelopes and airport control towers.

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