Seal Phrase: Heart Ocean

Written by Lu

One Chinese dictionary translates the phrase xinhai 心海 as “the vast inner world of one’s feelings.” The two characters literally mean “heart ocean” with the implication of a heart as wide and deep as the ocean. The Chinese language is full of phrases like this and, like this one, many over the years have made their way onto seals. Phrases like this are often found on what are known as “leisure seals” which contain thoughts expressing the feelings of an artist, rather than their name. A seal such as this would be suitable, for instance, on a painting of an imaginary landscape.

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