Silk Road or Silk River

Bill Bensley , 2024

Acrylic on canvas
120 × 120 cm , 47.2 × 47.2 inch

For some 400 years the Silk Road was a land-based link from China to the lucrative markets ofEurope, but bringing one’s goods to market meant facing nasty fellows like Genghis Khan thatdemanded TAX! So it was the Vietnamese that found a way to sail to Europe. One captain TranHung Dao sailed to Ayutthaya (Thailand’s old capital also on the Chao Phrya River) which hethought was a breeze so he just kept sailing west, until he got to Venice where he met Marco Polo.Tran Hung Dao invented a special medallion featuring both Marco Polo and Genghis Khan whichenabled traders wearing this medallion, to sail the straits unhindered.