February 16, 2013

Love from the East by Another Name

Taking a turn towards the east in my search for art on the theme of love and hearts, I came across one of my musical ceramic musical instruments. It doesn’t look like it fits my theme for the month of February at first. But the embossed design on the surface is a zhuan style Chinese character for love. Instead of the usual Chinese character for love that is commonly reproduced, the one that is pronounced "ai," I chose an older character for romantic love pronounced "lian." The "ai" word is actually very broad in its meaning and use. "Ai" can mean "like" or "fond of," as in "I really like playing football". I supposed modesty was behind its popular use as a symbol for love, "lian" perhaps being a bit too lusty. But here is an idiophone emblazoned with the latter character anyway.

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