As I have said in previous blog posts and in all my about me sections – Liwu Jewellery came about after I fell in love with the character for Love at my calligraphy class in Beijing.
The love character is beautiful not only is it a piece of art but its meaning is so simple yet powerful. Basically, the character is a pictogram with the heart at the centre (makes sense huh since the heart and love is so closely linked). Above and below the heart are the characters for ‘breath’ and ‘graceful movement’. Since why I named the entire collection around this character – ‘Life to the heart, grace to the body’.
However, in China Love is a powerful spiritual emotion with a deep history usually rarely.
The history of love in Chinese culture is underpinned by two famous philosophers, Confucius and Mozi. Confucius believed in Ren (“benevolent love”, 仁), which focuses on duty, action and attitude in a relationship rather than love itself and very much a focus on family. It was Mozi who developed the concept of ai 愛 – Love – which is focused on a universal concept of Love – loving everyone equally and offered without reciprocation. Chinese Buddism then adopted ai 愛 romantic version.
So given the weight of meaning of Love in China, especially considering the Confucius meaning Chinese people are more likely to say ‘I love you’ to each other in English as it doesn’t mean much as ‘Wo ai ni” – I love you in pingyin. Or perhaps they use the simplified version of the character (mainly used in mainland China) where the heart is removed and its simply friends!!
This is why I love the character so much and a piece of jewellery with these character is very special to me!