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6. Feng Shui
平 is a single-character that means balance in Chinese but it's not too direct or too specific about what kind of balance.
Chinese people often like calligraphy art that is a little vague or mysterious. In this way, you can decide what it means to you, and you'll be right.
平 is also part of a word that means peace in Chinese, Japanese and old Korean.
Some alternate translations of this single character include: balanced, peaceful, calm, equal, even, level, smooth or flat.
Note that in Japanese, this just means "level" or "flat" by itself (not the best choice for balance if your audience is Japanese).
平和 is the Japanese and Korean order of these characters used most often to express the idea of peace, tranquility and harmony.
It's just the reverse order of the Chinese. In this order in Chinese, it means takes the "mild" definition, rather than "peace". In Korean, the combination keeps the same meaning in either order.
The second character also means balance, so there is an element of harmony and balance along with peace.
和平 is the Chinese order for these two characters which means peace but can also be translated as amicability, pacifically or mildness. 和平 is often translated as a simple way to say "peace of mind". This combination is used in Korean Hanja to mean "peace and harmony".
Alone, the first character means peace and harmony.
The second character means balance, when read by itself.
Note: 和平 are often seen in the opposite order in Japanese with the same meaning (You'll sometimes find them in this order in Japan, so either way is OK).
調和 is one of the several ways to express harmony in Chinese and Japanese.
Note: The first character means harmony, but also suggests a musical meaning. It can also be used to describe warriors marching in perfect cadence (in step) or to regulate something.
The second character carries the meaning of harmony and peace by itself.
Together, these characters create a word that can be defined as harmonious; to mediate; to reconcile; to compromise; mediation; temper; to mix; to blend; blended; to season; seasoning (getting the flavors of the food in balance); to placate; be in harmonious proportion.
The meaning obviously varies depending on context. However, when hanging as a wall scroll, this will refer to the person (you) being balanced and in harmony while rational and under control at the same time.
This title suggests that you have, or want to get your life in balance.
The first two characters regard the idea of balance, harmony, and peace.
The second two characters mean "life". More specifically this refers to your livelihood, career, and the daily activities that comprise your life or living. Some would translate those two characters as "one's daily existence".
Note: We have a couple of titles for this idea. This version is more of a noun, thus "The Balanced Life" verses a verb form like "Balancing [Your] Life."
風水 is the famous technique and approach to arranging your home externally around natural features, and internally to create balance and peace.
These two characters literally mean "wind water". Obviously, the title is far more simple than the concept behind this subject.
It may enlighten you slightly to know that the character for "wind" can also mean "style", "custom" or "manner" in some context. This may apply somewhat to this title.
In a very technical sense, this title is translated as "Chinese geomancy".
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The following table may be helpful for those studying Chinese or Japanese...
|Title||Characters||Romaji (Romanized Japanese)||Various forms of Romanized Chinese|
|平||hira||píng / ping2 / ping||p`ing / ping|
|平和||hei wa / heiwa||píng hé / ping2 he2 / ping he / pinghe||p`ing ho / pingho / ping ho|
|Peace of Mind||和平||wa hei / wahei||hé píng / he2 ping2 / he ping / heping||ho p`ing / hoping / ho ping|
|hé xié / he2 xie2 / he xie / hexie||ho hsieh / hohsieh|
|chou wa / chouwa / cho wa / chowa||tiáo hé / tiao2 he2 / tiao he / tiaohe||t`iao ho / tiaoho / tiao ho|
|Life in Harmony|
|hé xié shēng huó|
he2 xie2 sheng1 huo2
he xie sheng huo
|ho hsieh sheng huo
|fuu sui / fuusui / fu sui / fusui||fēng shuǐ|
|In some entries above you will see that characters have different versions above and below a line.|
In these cases, the characters above the line are Traditional Chinese, while the ones below are Simplified Chinese.
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All of our calligraphy wall scrolls are handmade.
When the calligrapher finishes creating your artwork, it is taken to my art mounting workshop in Beijing where a wall scroll is made by hand from a combination of silk, rice paper, and wood.
After we create your wall scroll, it takes at least two weeks for air mail delivery from Beijing to you.
Allow a few weeks for delivery. Rush service speeds it up by a week or two for $10!
When you select your calligraphy, you'll be taken to another page where you can choose various custom options.
The wall scroll that Sandy is holding in this picture is a "large size"
single-character wall scroll.
We also offer custom wall scrolls in small, medium, and an even-larger jumbo size.
Professional calligraphers are getting to be hard to find these days.
Instead of drawing characters by hand, the new generation in China merely type roman letters into their computer keyboards and pick the character that they want from a list that pops up.
There is some fear that true Chinese calligraphy may become a lost art in the coming years. Many art institutes in China are now promoting calligraphy programs in hopes of keeping this unique form of art alive.
Even with the teachings of a top-ranked calligrapher in China, my calligraphy will never be good enough to sell. I will leave that to the experts.
The same calligrapher who gave me those lessons also attracted a crowd of thousands and a TV crew as he created characters over 6-feet high. He happens to be ranked as one of the top 100 calligraphers in all of China. He is also one of very few that would actually attempt such a feat.
Check out my lists of Japanese Kanji Calligraphy Wall Scrolls and Old Korean Hanja Calligraphy Wall Scrolls.
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