January 10, 2018

甲骨文字 — 金 — jīn — metal. Before the Chinese characters were standardized, there were many variant forms of the characters, especially on the “oracle bones” where they were carved into tortoise shells and bones. Sometimes the variants are simply the result of the non-standardization, but once in a while it is clear that a was using the art to make a point. Here is a variant of the character for metal. I was very excited when I first stumbled across this character because I could see immediately that this is a diagram of the lungs within the chest cavity, the calligrapher making the visual connection that is part of medical theory of the metal element with the lungs. The standard modern character is in the top right hand corner. Calligraphy by S. J. Thomas