Writing In The Wa Autonomous Region On The China / Burma Border

Diran formally began oil painting at the age of 13 with an italian master named Carmello Di Simone. He entered the California Institute of Art, the newly formed Walt Disney College on a full scholarship in the school of art for painting and was first in the graduating class of 1972.

My Future Wife Junko At About 8 Years Old

That same year he sailed to japan, spending 16 days at sea, to arrive alone and unemployed – the job he had been promised did not pan out. Instead he took up studying karate to the level of black belt, and continued to paint with oils for two years.

With The Yakuza In Kyoto Japan

He soon grew to realise the obvious connection between minerals and oil paint. Color pigments from cave painting 40,000 years ago, the umbers, the ochres, the reds and oranges, through the crushed lapis lazuli to produce the ultramarine blue of the renaissance up till the present, are all derived from crushed minerals. 

it only made sense to him then, that on his return to the states, he would enrol at the Gemological Institute of America and graduate as a gemologist in 1978. With his artist’s eye, it was easier for him to detect the minute variances in colour that constituted its value.

Riding A Horse And A Mule At The Grand National Livestock Exposition Age About 12

In 1979, he started travelling to Burma, the source of the finest rubies, sapphires, and jadeite in the world. His first memories and love were for color; and more of a love affair than a job. Just as jewels often are associated with allure and danger, so his travels increasingly took him to more remote areas of Burma, to encounter people that most of the world would never see or know.

Diran became fascinated with the myriad tribes who had remained unchanged for centuries, still untouched by modern times despite his fifteen years of travel. Civilisation, as well as the human traveller would have much to overcome to reach them – the wilderness, war zones, malarial mountains, up rivers where few had ventured, and even fewer returned.


Holloween In Costume With Judith Factor Hilton

he decided to record what he had seen in photographs, and in 1997, he published "The Vanishing Tribes Of Burma" in London. It was launched at the United Nations for the International Decade Of The World's Indigenous People. He had photographed over 35 different tribes and had written about them, something no ethnologist had attempted since Sir George Scott 100 years earlier.

Photo From San Francisco Magazine With Junko

Photography is the stolen moment. The lighting and the framing of the subject were simple after years of painting. He’d succeeded in capturing a great cultural legacy after much hardship and adventure, but not his dream – Diran had stopped painting.

Painting is pure creation, a blank canvas in an empty universe devoid of direction or stars to light the way, where the painter is god, and creates his universe with his imagination. After 10 years of never holding a brush, he returned to oil painting to explore his own symbols, to release a series of paintings he titled, "A Week Of Seduction".

A natural story teller both in person and in pen, Diran’s writings include his adventures in the gem trade and his trips to Burma. 

Junko and I back stage at the Lyceum Theater in London with Mike Monroe of Hanoi Rocks.

My class mates and I at the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Baily Circus with the most famous clown in the world, Emmett Kelly.

With a friend in Japan.

Autographed photo of Bob Hope to my father.

Junko at her Fuki-ya Restaurant with Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones.