Inadvertent naturalistic calligraphic tendencies of literati colour-field non-figuration whose outcomes exemplify not the expression of the individual or its cult but serve the collective documentation, curation and advancement of ascetic-arts knowledge.

Reference Point: Laubies's childhood environment

1. I speak in praise of Reference Point, the evolving research assistance service provided by Lee Kong Chian Reference Library, Singapore.

2. My general research subject is the Indo-Oceano-Eurasio-Chinese(?) French Colonial artist Rene Laubies (1924-2006). A subsequent task to the greater study (an abstract monologue) is to locate pertinent historical materials from which I may contextualize and draw an impression of the subject's birthplace and childhood environment in Cochin-China.

3. When I approached Reference Point via email (, they provided me with a list of very useful materials. This data in turn exposed me to a lot of additional relevant information. See my hyperlinked Extended bibliographic data.

4. I can now more confidently specify Rene Laubies's place of birth as "Cholon-ville" [Cantonese, Cholon (堤岸), literally "embankment]. Today Cholon is completely merged and incorporated into Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), and constitutes the city's Chinatown. However, at the time of Laubies's birth Cholon was not even yet a suburb, some 11 kilometres distance away, but linked by a light rail steam powered tramline. Regarding Cochin-China as a political entity, it was at the time of Laubies's birth a distinct and separate state, though under direct French Colonial rule. Geographically, Cochin-China comprised the southern deltaic region of present day Vietnam.

5. I am currently in the process of formulating the second phase of my reach project: an examination of early Chinese landscape painting. I will surely consult with Reference Point again.

6. A plea. All of my research would greatly benefit from the academic class of online materials provided by Project Muse and JSTOR, which I see are included in the library's e-Databases. Having been aware of these scholarly services for more than five years now, let me just say that it remains my ardent wish to use them. Which is mainly to announce that my personal library membership does not permit me to access to these items. "Non-resident" researchers are apparently barred.

7. Finally, I would like to draw attention to the very useful Southeast Asia Visions: a collection of historic travel narratives (Cornell University). It publishes full-text versions of its items, some of which have already entered my developing bibliography.