Seals as Decoration

I happened to be in a doctor’s office recently where they had a series of still-life paintings on the walls, all by the same artist, which included Chinese calligraphy and seals in their design. One had several sections of Chinese text along with a seal, all upside-down. If you go to China you often see t-shirts worn with writing in English. Many of these have incomprehensible words or phrases, with some hilarious consequences. I’m sure the Chinese get a laugh too when they go oversees and see how we abuse their language and culture in the name of decoration. Although seals are used extensively in China for their decorative effect, at least they usually know which way is up.

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