Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Doodle of You Lan 幽蘭

Inspired by the guqin 古琴 tune 幽蘭 youlan, I doodled this in Shuang Gou 双钩 style (meaning: Chinese outline drawing without going over again a second time with ink to create thick and thin line variations) on a warm humid Singapore night. Haha

The characters 幽蘭 (pronounced as You Lan) can be translated as "Secluded Thoroughwort," and not as "Secluded Orchids" as I had previously wrongfully assumed. hahaha...Yes, they do look a bit like grass... they are more "low profile"; unlike the typically bigger and more colorful orchids that people are used to seeing in tropical Singapore. hahaha

 [ UPDATED on 15 Jan 2014: According to guqin maestro Muka Fushimi-san of Kyoto Japan, 幽蘭 can be regarded as a 蘭草, not 蘭花 (Orchids). Japanese name Fujibakama. English name Thoroughwort. Thanks for enriching my knowledge about 蘭草, Fushimi-san! ^_^ ]

The significance of this guqin tune 幽蘭 is that it is probably the oldest guqin tune from before 903AD. Here are two videos of the tune 幽蘭 played by two different guqin maestros. Enjoy!


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