Design Concept of The Beauty of Harmony
The Beauty of One, with Another - Benevolence, a Human Necessity
Our CEO's (Chang Yi) insisted on Benevolence
- Benevolence is when two people get along.
Chang Yi recounts a childhood story:
My ninety years old Chinese Literature teacher in high school would deliver passages from Confucius’ The Analects on a daily basis. We were teenagers and Confucius was the last thing on our minds. One day I awoke from a daydream when I realized my teacher had stopped speaking. He looked at his classful of disinterested teens with tears in his eyes and exclaimed, “Ren (仁, benevolence)!”. I thought at first that he meant 'ren' (人, person) until he wrote out the character. You see, the Chinese character 'ren' (仁) is composed of two parts: the radical '人' that means “person” and the semantic indicator '二' that means “two”. In that instant, our teacher was trying to teach us that benevolence is created only when two people come together.
Chang Yi said that was the single most valuable explanation of benevolence he has had in his lifetime. Ren (仁) is an ancient Confucian word invented by the Chinese during the Spring Summer Warring States: one person with another, together in harmony.
LIULIGONGFANG on the Aesthetics of Benevolence: A New Interpretation
THE BEAUTY OF HARMONY
Benevolence: The Human Study of Ethics
The Beauty of Harmony uses the 'hulu' (gourd) and 'taiji' as key design elements to interpret “benevolence”.
'Taiji' is the sequence of heaven and earth, the energy that moves life and the elements; 'hulu' is a symbol of fulfillment, fortune and joy. A match, like the pairing of two people, an affinity, existing in harmony.
Heaven and earth, illusion and reality, yin and yang, up and down - opposites encompassed within a single form. Put simply, if two people are compatible, then regardless if they exist on a small or large scale, is their relationship not affable?
Contained within each gourd pairing of auspiciousness and fulfillment, is a heart-warming strength, a willingness to trust another, is you and me.
-- This is benevolence.
- It is the relationship between two people.
- The relationship between human and environment, the universe and nature.
- These relations - represent the beauty of harmony.
Theme Story: The Beauty of One, With Another
No one is an island,
One, is but one,
Caring, is autonomous,
Understanding, does not discriminate,
Love, meanders through the atmosphere.
Only when one is with another
Does meaning exist.
The Chinese have a beautiful word for this - 'Ren' (仁) - "Benevolence".
Design Concept: Design inspired by ethical aesthetics.
The 'hulu' (gourd) represents all natural lifeform. Growing and existing in this great universe, singly and as a pair. A pair of 'hulu' - one covered in a 'hulu' motif, the other in classic fortuitous characters 福 (fortune), 祿 (prosperity) and 壽 (longevity). The cloud motif enveloping both represents a connection between past and present, a small lifeform existing within a great universe.
- Conjoined 'hulu' symbolize fortune, prosperity, harmony and unity.
- The 'hulu' on the left with the characters 福 (fortune), 祿 (prosperity) and 壽 (longevity) are combined with a cloud motif to symbolize everlasting happiness and longevity.
- The 'hulu' on the right shows 'hulu' leaves, flowers and vines in relief; 6 'hulu' in various sizes hang from the vines, symbolizing children and future generations.
- The silhouette resembles a full moon, reflecting a rising water motif created through sandblasting. Rotund 'hulu' and diaphanous moon, polishing and sand-blasting, two distinct visual contrasts.
- The twin 'hulu' are symmetrical in the classic Chinese aesthetical style; it represents the path of balance and harmony.
- A pair of conjoined 'hulu', like two people sitting with shoulders touching
- like two people working together to get ahead, an ideal gift for a coworker or business partner
- hand in hand, ‘til death do us part, an ideal gift for devoted couples of all ages.
Design Concept: A Resplendent Union
A Resplendent Union and the previous design Heaven and Earth in Harmony share a similar story but are expressed differently. This design thoroughly utilizes LIULI’s transparency to its advantage in its expression of the universe, time and space. The two simplified 'hulu' in hollow relief are covered in gold foil for an arresting and resplendent expression.
- From the collection, this design features the greatest number of hulu gourds. 'Hulu' big and small in hollow relief cover the entire design. The design’s simple and clean frontal lines highlight the twin gourds in gold foil; the posterior view is heavily laden with an assortment of 'hulu' and vines.
- A heavily polished transparent front reveals the posterior in fine detail. Twin gold foiled 'hulu' are enveloped by smaller 'hulu', creating a lush visual effect. Two distinct views, from front and back, offer the viewer two experiences, a highlight of this design. A Resplendent Union utilizes LIULI’s transparent nature to its fullest.
- Symbolizing the sharing of success, it makes an ideal gift to exchange between friends or businesses.
- Also suitable for gifting newlyweds because in olden times, newlywed gifts were called “joy of nuptials”. The newlywed couple would take a 'hulu', split it in half and with each holding one half, would fill it with wine for a toast. A heavily seeded fruit, the seeds are a metaphor for children and future generations.
Design Concept: United Altruism
United Altruism features two 'hulu'. One big, one small, existing as one - this is the essence of the design.
Front or back? It depends on the viewer and the angle. Like the society we live in, big and small, real and illusory - it all depends on the perspective. All while growing as one to create a firm nuclear value in our wondrous world.
- The center of the design features a 'hulu' in negative space. Surrounded by a water motif, the greater exterior 'hulu' is covered in gourd vines and fruit. The contrast between stark and profuse creates an interesting visual dichotomy.
- The upper inclined plane is a clever design element that increases the amount of light passing through the design and thus, the transparency of LIULI. Turn the piece around and view the small yet profuse amount of gourds and foliage. Displaying this piece as a pair, with one facing front and the other facing back, is highly recommended.
- In relation to fengshui, 'hulu' are considered harborers of fortune. The huluin negative space and water motif epitomizes the popular Chinese concept of “bountiful fortune and prosperity”. It also symbolizes a modest and receptive state of being.
- This design is an ideal wedding gift or as a present to coworkers.
Design Concept: Harmony Permeates the Land
Harmony Permeates the Land is comprised of a 'hulu' and semi-circle in the shape of a boat. Waves batter against the boat as it surges forward.
- The central 'hulu' is formed by the swell and froth of waves. Two fish swim alongside in opposite directions to form the shape of 'taiji', a metaphor for the cycle of heaven and earth and perpetuity.
- In Chinese culture, the catfish symbolizes prosperity and joy. Here it pushes through the water with carefree joy.
- The semi-circle design allows the piece to rock back and forth. Place it on the desk and allow its motion to rock you into a carefree and comfortable state.
- This design is an ideal gift for one’s personal collection.
Design Concept: Honor the Heavens, Love Your Fellow Human
Honor the Heavens, Love Your Fellow Human comes in the shape of 'taiji', the harmony of yin and yang, the cycle of heaven and earth. The Chinese people are mindful of the balanced relationship between heaven and earth and strive to achieve a united harmony. The twin dragon design conveys the doubling of goodness.
The most interesting aspect of this design can be seen from the back as the chi long (hornless dragon) peeks out from the polished surface. It reminds us that we are but specks in the universe, in contrast to the vast universe.
- Depicted in relief, the dragons’ head and tail come together on the left side of the design, an image inspired by motifs found on jade bi from the Han Dynasty. A crawling chi long crawls across the right with head raised. The application of gold foil highlights the dragon’s brawn and influence. One dragon in motif form, the other lifelike, creates a visual contrast.
- Three-dimensional 'taiji' breathes new life into a classic element. The double circles of the 'taiji' mimic the infinity symbol. Heaven and earth, reality and illusion, yin and yang - opposites encompassed within a single form. A perpetual cycle that creates a harmonious world.
- To the left of the 'taiji', a dragon with polished eyes and mouth; to the right of the 'taiji', a blurred effect; from the profile, a layered effect; from the back, high polish. Different surface treatments create constantly transforming visuals.
- Honor the Heavens, Love Your Fellow Human is an ideal gift for coworkers as you strive together for a better tomorrow.
Design Concept: An Unassuming Heart
An Unassuming Heart comes in five color ways to represent the five elements: metal, wood, water, fire and earth. Two dragons of varied size are joined at head and tail to form an abstract 'taiji'. This design symbolizes peer support and ascending strength.
- The outer square shape is complemented by an inner circle to symbolize the ancient Chinese theory of heaven and earth. The dragon, among life nourishing rain, symbolizes power. The harmony of heaven and earth gives rise to all life.
- The smaller dragon appears in motif form, the larger dragon appears in minimalist form; dragon scales are haphazardly covered in gold foil. From the side, the dragon’s head and body taper in gradually. The cubed and polished surface reflects the dragon totem from outside in, creating a rich layered effect.
- Two dragons side by side, surge forward together in a harmonious and supportive state. This design is ideal for gifting to co-workers to symbolize a shared goal, ambition and glory.
Design Concept: Harmonious Beauty
All is Fulfilled is in the form of the classic 'ruyi' with four smaller 'ruyi' in the center. Symmetrical from front to back, the upper portion is dotted in realistic persimmons. This design carries the weight of Chinese history. Emerging from the foundation of a large persimmon and 'ruyi' come beautiful fruits.
- The symmetrical design is a classic Chinese aesthetic representation that denotes the beauty of harmony.
- Four small 'ruyi' turn inward to surround a central cavity. Take a closer look and notice how the cavity reflects the posterior ruyi. The ingenuity of this design creates a piece that is intuitive and uses the transparency of LIULI to highlight design details for a layered visual effect.
- The 'ruyi' and persimmon are fortuitous Chinese symbols that together mean “all matters as you wish”.
- LIULIGONGFANG’s continued usage of the 'ruyi' motif is because it is a classic and symbolic aesthetic icon in traditional Chinese culture. It expresses the human anticipation and desire for all that is good. May ruyi fill heaven, earth and humankind.
Design Concept: Designate Me
Designate Me is our CEO’s brainchild. In the shape of a bridge, its represents the connection between people and overcoming barriers. The minimalist design allows the material to speak for itself. An elegant arc rises across the sky in a display of the world’s most beautiful limits. Twin dragons stand gracefully on top of this harmonious world. Tranquil and elegant, an exceptional design.
- In this symbolic representation, heaven and earth are boundless. A tiny grain, constant through thousands of years, bears the discourse and philosophy of heaven and earth.
- In the center of the arc are two dragons looking back at each other. Adorned in a grain motif, the dragon’s head and body are covered in gold foil. The grain pattern combined with the dragon is an age old imagery. The dragon, among life nourishing rain, embodies our ancestors reverence toward nature, the wish for harmony between heaven and earth as well as a hope for a prosperous life.
- Food is a human necessity, the grain motif represents our ancestors’ reverence toward this heavenly gift. Not only is the grain motif an aesthetic symbol, it is a philosophy of a united heaven and earth. The grain motif transcends time and space. In modern form, it is a return to the essence of existence.
- LIULI Staff