Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Yue Sacred Mountain

Sacred Mountain Image Copyright J. Vaux 2011

This is the Seal Script form of one of my faovrite Chinese Words. YUE Sacred mountain.

The original form of the word centuries ago seems to have been something like #NGAK judging from its form on other dialects.

What intrigues me is the image. Two "dogs" or wolves. Are they howling or standing on the mountains' slopes and why is the sign for speech between them? I don't think wolves howl on the slopes of any of China's Sacred Mountains today or have for millenia. What's the story behind this if any?

I created this image by stripping the background out of a scan of the character then changing the colors and then using the Texture sfx in GIMP.

Saturday, 24 September 2011

The Inkstone

In East Asian culture the Inkstone is one of the Four Treasures of the Scholar's Studio along with
Paper, Ink, and the Brush. The one shown above is a particularly ornate example of this once essential tool.

Nowadays Ink can be bought in bottles but many people still like to ground their own ink finding the rhythm of inkstick on stone a soothing preparation before adding ink to paper.

The words for Inkstone in various languages : Yan Ngan Jan Ken Suzuri Jin Nghien GEN Yen.
The Unicode is 786F and 781A  if you're using the simplified form.

I've tried both methods. It takes longer to get a strong black with an inkstick on an inkstone but the tonal range is more softer in the grays and blends well with watercolor. Enjoy experimenting if you do decide to try using one?

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Why Japanese needs Kana and Kanji - One OMOI

Here's one Japanese Word that has two different meanings.

I've included the Unihan UTF 16 coding.

While Kana are often used to show a Japanese equivalent cos a lot of borrowed Chinese words sound the same in a non tonal language like Japanese or to help readers with limited knowledge of SinoJapanese ON readings in reverse using Kanji instead of Kana helps when there's a homonym in Japanese!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

GOU and Networks!

Copyright J. Vaux 2011
 I have often wondered why WANG is used instead of this sign GOU  in words like Internet?

Yes this is an older character with more strokes than WANG but it sems to me that Gou in both its modern and seal forms better expresses the idea of a network as links and connections and frameworks for both support and flow?

This png was created in Inkscape as a SVG file using Unicode and the Control U command then saved and re opened in GIMP where shadow was added to create a 3D effect.

Why WANG instead of GOU? What's your view?

A note for readers - items selected for Amazon ads are books or products I have read or used myself or had recommended by a reliable source.

Friday, 2 September 2011

More about Yung and the Strokes that made up the character.

Here they are. The Dot. The Horizontal. The Vertical. The Hook.

      The Four Main Variants on the Slanting or Oblique Stroke.

      I'm not going to do an extended commentary as nearly every book on
      Chinese Calligraphy shows variations of this or similar diagrams.

      Use this or any other diagrams you come across in books or on the web
      as reminders and then copy practise and copy and practise some more!

Oh and if you live in a city large enuff to have a suburb that specializes in Asian stores you may be able to find calligraphy manuals that show the characters superimposed on a grid that you can study!

(No I didn't just mispell enuff ...I just see no point in spelling enuff as enough unless I'm writing VERY formal English and this is not a thesis!)

About the Amazon Associates Contextual Ads. I have tried to add books I can recommend because I either own them or have used them myself as library reference books or they have a very good reputation.

Remember Copy and Practise!

Support this blog VIA