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Lu Chao’s Paintings Convey the Overwhelming Nature of Crowds

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People packed on train platforms and congregated in public spaces – these images that are so familiar to the city dweller are the inspiration behind Lu Chao’s surreal oil paintings. The artist references the detailed, expressive brushstrokes of classical Chinese painting, applied to a contemporary subject matter, to provide an honest reflection of his personal experiences with living in some of the world’s most populated cities.

Found on Hi-Fructose

Sky Ladder: The Fireworks Art of Cai Guo-Qiang

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On June 15, 2015, at the break of dawn, artist Cai Guo-Qiang set off a giant white balloon filled with 6,200 cubic meters of helium. As the orb ascended above Huiyu Island Harbour in Quanzhou, China, it carried with it a 500-meter-long ladder coated in quick-burning fuses and gold fireworks. Guo-Qiang then ignited the structure, setting off his awe-inspiring creation called Sky Ladder.

Nature

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Today’s similar phrases are seasons and use the building block 天 (sky). Here we go!

春天 (chun1 tian1): spring
夏天 (xia4 tian1): summer
秋天 (qiu1 tian1): autumn/fall
冬天 (dong1 tian1): winter

If you’ve already learnt these phrases, which one is the easiest to remember, to read or write? Why?

Source: Chineasy

 

Chinese pop culture

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When we learn a foreign language, we also learn about its culture. So, I think it would be a good idea to talk about today’s phrase, 五月天, and introduce you to some Chinese pop culture!

五月天 translates to ‘Mayday’ in English and is also the name of a rock band from Taiwan. 五月天 was formed in the late 1990’s, its five members are often thought of as the Asian equivalent of the Beatles. In the past 15 years, MayDay has won over 150 awards worldwide and sold more than a million copies.

Here’s an interview of MayDay on BBC: http://bit.ly/15SScas. In the interview, they talked about how they were inspired by the Beatles and singing in Mandarin isn’t a barrier to their worldwide fans. Do you know if any of your favourite bands were heavily influenced by the Beatles? It is amazing how music can break the language barrier.

Pinyin: wu3 yue4 tian1
(Traditional and Simplified)
Pronunciation/Stroke Order:
五: http://bit.ly/1ANqpSM
月: http://bit.ly/1yF1AcG
天: http://bit.ly/1wPuTd5

Source: Chineasy

Noun suffixes

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Do you think we can avoid learning language rules? Memorising grammar rules can be difficult, but it gives us a better understanding of the language. So today, instead of focusing on the literal meaning of 子, we’re going to learn how to use 子 grammatically as a noun suffix.

The literal meaning of 子 is ‘son/child’, but in today’s examples, 子 doesn’t carry its original meaning; instead, 子 is used as a noun suffix which makes the word/phrase a noun.

If you’re learning English, you probably know all about noun suffixes, such as –ness, -ity, –ment, etc… When we see an English word ending with any of the previous three noun suffixes (in most cases) we know that word is a noun.

Besides the three examples, can you think of any other phrases in which 子 is a noun suffix?

Source: Chineasy

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拍子 can mean both “sports racket” and “musical beat” depending on the context. These two things seem totally different, but I hope that after we break apart the phrase a little, you’ll be able to see why both meanings are associated with 拍子.

You should already recognise both of the characters here; first we have the compound 拍 (to clap, to take [a picture]), and then our building block 子 (son, small thing, [noun suffix]). In this phrase, 子 is a noun suffix, so we don’t need to worry about its definition. Instead, let’s focus on the compound character 拍.

拍 is a combination of the characters 扌 (Hand) and 白 (white). 白 is just there for pronunciation, so it’s really 扌 that is the focus of the compound character (and our entire phrase). In this case, 扌 is all about the physical act of hitting or pressing something with one’s hand. When we use a camera or swing a tennis racquet, we are using our hands to physically engage with another object, which is why 拍 can also mean “racquet” and “to take a picture”.

So, that just about explains our phrase, but what about the definition we haven’t discussed yet? 拍子 means “musical beat” for the same reason we use the word “beat” in the English phrase “musical beat”. In both of our cultures, the beat of music is apparently a very physical experience. If you’ve ever been to a concert or a football stadium for that matter, I think you’ll understand completely! Also consider that drumming is an important part of Asian culture! You’ll often see drumming performances during celebrations and festivals.

I hope that helped you gain an understanding of the phrase! Here’s our Chineasy math to help keep you organised:

拍子 = 拍 (To Clap, Sports Racket, Musical Beat) + 子 (Noun Suffix) = (Sports Racket, Musical Beat)

拍 as verb: to clap, to shoot, to take
拍 as noun: sports racket, musical beat, bat

子 as noun: baby, infant, child, son, descendant, person, man, master, the first of the twelve Earthly Branches, Viscount, 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM
子 as adjective: small, tender, young
子 as verb: love
子 as pronoun: you (men only)
子 as noun suffix: ex: 呆子 (idiot), 本子 (notebook), 桌子 (table), 廚子 (chef); it does not change the meaning of the noun

拍子 as noun: sports racket, bat (another way to say is 球拍, pinyin: qiu2pai1, qiúpāi); musical beat (another way to say is 節拍, pinyin: jie2pai1, jiépāi)

PINYIN: 拍子 (pai1zi, pāizi)
Pronunciation: http://bit.ly/QMbneN
Stroke: http://bit.ly/1pEjBVQ
Style: Traditional and Simplified and Kanji
Rarity: Common

Source: Chineasy