Prague Sketchbook - The Golem
While I was in the Czech Republic, one of the major influences were from the stories about the "Golem". There were various media references to the Golem but the Golem that I was focused on was the Golem from the Novel by Gustav Meyrink. I've never actually read this novel so I had no in depth knowledge about the material involved in the story. I only had the most basic account of the story to work with, while I was in Prague, but it was enough to get my imagination rock and rolling. The Golem was supposedly some sort of entity or form that was loosely represented as a spirit who was risen from the suffering endured by the people living in the ghettos of Prague. I liked this idea of a spirit being brom from the suffering of the people and there various media references to the golem. The one that I liked was an image of a large being with a very 'tasteful' fringe cut hair style.
I'm not sure if I am remembering correctly, but apparently, in prague, there was a large Jewish community living in Czechoslovakia. This was before they became independent from Russia, and this was also pre-world war 1. A lot of these Jewish people were very poor and many of them resided in the ghettos of Prague. Interestingly enough the Golem, in Jewish tradition, was an artificial creature created by magic, often to service its master. The Golem had supposedly been mentioned i the bible at one point. In Hebrew the Golem stands for a "shapeless mass". Some sources say that if you want to make a Golem become alive you had to write a combination of Jewish letters that stand for truth, and if you put this piece of paper on the Golem's forehead, arm or mouth, it would come alive. This kind of reminded me of the Chinese zombies/vampires, which are called "JiangXi".
These Chinese vampires are dead carcasses that are not quite dead yet. They come alive when you peel off the parchments on their foreheads, but they will instantly stop moving when you stick the parchment back onto their foreheads. This concept is similar to the Jewish Golem's with the whole parchment thing. (If you want to take a closer look at chinese vampires you can follow this LINK to you tube and watch this movie "Mr. Vampire".)
Speaking of moving carcasses being brought to life by magic may also remind us of the classic story Frankenstein of our ever so popular zombies!!!
Just to get back onto topic, one popular story was about a Jewish Rabbi who created a Golem to protect the Jewish community with physical labor. There are various other stories that I would like to mention but the ones that I mentioned were the ones that influenced these drawings the most. They also were kind of precursors to the modern robot. You guys know how much I like robots right?
Speaking of robots. After I heard about the Golem story I couldn't stop relating it to the robots from "Castle in the Sky". "Castle in the Sky" is a masterfully animated film by Hayao Miyazaki. There are these sentient robots that appear in the movie, and up till this day I still think these robots are so awesome!
In response to the Laputa bots (they are the robots from "Castle in the Sky") I did a drawing of my own.
This one drawing below, I don't even have a clue as to what I was trying to draw. It looks like some kind of cockpit or a well of some sort. Maybe even a bunker. The recurring lines in the middle area of the drawing reminds me of some sort of ladder contraption.