Chinese retiree creates 'most expensive' Chinese character
By Li Yezi

2017-03-28 13:51:59

How does a Chinese character fetch 58,000 yuan (8,500 US dollars)?
Painting and calligraphy artist Huang Guoguang, 77, created a series of calligraphy pieces representing the 12 Chinese zodiac signs, as presents for his friends.
What he did not expect was their potential value. 
CFP Photo
The 77-year-old from northwest China's Gansu has practiced calligraphy for years but he became especially immersed after retirement and is now among China's top artists, with one of his artworks even part of the Palace Museum’s collection in Beijing.
‍Using pictograms – the predecessors of Chinese characters – Huang designed zodiac characters where the animals’ images are embedded in the strokes.
Huang's pictogram for "dragon". /CFP Photo
Now one of the characters - representing a dragon- has been valued at 58,000 yuan (8,500 US dollars), making it potentially the most expensive Mandarin character today, although he insists these characters are not for sale.
Pictograms are among the oldest characters in human history and roughly 600 Chinese characters still used today were developed from pictograms.
But this does not mean they’re not open to reinterpretation: Huang has already applied for a patent right for his “dragon” character. 
CFP Photo