Articles

  • A hobby and sport in the West and a religious celebration in the East, kiting became international in the last two decades through increased global travel and because the internet made verbal connections fast and easy. Intelligent patronage by the Drachen Foundation helped these developments significantly.
  • With their signature stacks of thirteen Hyperkites pulling 40’ long tails, The Bay Area Sundowners have the distinction of being one of the oldest and most entertaining kite flying teams in the world today.
  • Although kites are found on nearly every continent on earth, many countries’ kite traditions have been poorly documented. It is part of the Drachen Foundation’s mission to help research, document, and explore the kite world. For that reason Drachen has sent me into the field, whether to remote parts of the globe or to historic kite events, to record what I see. I have been to kite museums and festivals around the world, documenting, filming, and photographing.
  • Sumatra's jungle foliage stayed with us right up to the village of Mutun's narrow, white sand beach.
  • If you love kites and are skilled at photography, how do you put the two together to make a vocation? Nicolas Chorier, 37, of Montpellier, France, faced this question a few years ago. His answer was: aerial kite photography.
  • The inimitable Shakib Gunn is a fixture in the kite community. His famous kitefliers passports are found throughout the worlds, and the large festivals he organized in Singapore in the 1980's were the beginning of the international kite scene in Southeast Asia. In a series of talks with Shakib in Singapore, where we both live, he explained his philosophy toward kites, festivals and life in general.
  • The use of kite to catch fish is very old technique, possibly dating back to the Stone Age, but can still be seen in selected regions of Southeast Asia where it remains a daily activity. Kite fishing occurs across 65 degrees of longitude, from Singapore and Java in the west to the Santa Cruz islands near the Solomons in the east, and it straddles the equator over that length of large and small islands.
  • The excellent Pasir Gudang festival in Johor State at the Singapore end of Malaysia is growing and getting better every year; there were more than 140 invited international fliers there last February. Festival organizers are rightly pleased with how well it’s working and are committed to making this event even stronger in years to come.
  • Reflecting a resurgence of interest in traditional culture, eight of the countries that make up the ASEAN confederation have taken the first step in establishing a kite council. ASEAN stands for Association of South East Asian Nations and is a trade group with sports and cultural components. Formation of a pro tem working committee to organize the council occurred at the recent Pasir Gudang festival in Johor, Malaysia.
  • Here’s a bit of a snigger. Clyde Cook, Volker Hoberg and I were at the Pasir Gudang kite festival in Malaysia last spring. Volker, on his way back to Europe after spending six months with us in New Zealand, had made himself a four-meter pilot kite which was flying on the Thursday of the festival when it was, unfortunately, cut away. Fortunately by a fellow German-----I’m sure you’ll agree that the odd spot of domestic violence is preferable to an international incident.