Ancient emojis: China's oracle bone script get modern makeover

Updated 2018-01-25 09:52:01

A university professor in Beijing is giving ancient Chinese characters modern meanings with a new series of emojis.

Chen Nan, a doctoral advisor at Tsinghua University's Academy of Arts & Design, retraces his inspiration for the animated emojis to oracle bone scripts.

Written on turtle shells and animal bones, the pictographs, dating back 4,000 years, are the earliest known Chinese writing.

"I think the designs and promotion of oracle bone script should be given new life and fused with the present," Chen told "I don't want them to be portrayed as these incomprehensible cultural symbols that remain out of reach."

The colorful emojis are pictographs that use the syntax of oracle bone script to convey modern words and internet slang. The emojis got a big endorsement from Chinese pop star Lu Han, who recently posted the set on Sina Weibo. The post received more than 31 million views and was reposted over 140,000 times.

Chen explained he first came up with the redesigned oracle bones with Li Zhengdao, a Nobel laureate in Physics, during a project together in 1999.

The designs were featured on a series of Spring Festival-themed postcards printed by China Post in 2011.

See Also

Travel Videos

Photo Gallery

Worship Season in Lhasa

Lhasa, capital city of Southwest China's Tibet autonomous region, has entered the worship season. Buddhists from across Tibet come to the Potala Palace and Jokhang Temple for worship.

Hello Kitty Theme Park Opens in Zhejiang

The first Hello Kitty theme park outside Japan officially opened on Thursday, the first day of the year in the Anji county, Huzhou city, East China's Zhejiang province.

China World Business Sports Showbiz Audio
C4 My Chinese Life The Sound Stage China Revealed Showbiz Video Travel Video
China World Fun Travel Entertainment Sports
Beijing Shanghai Guangzhou
Live Music Opera & Classical Movies Traditional Shows Exhibitions
Learn Chinese:
Chinese Studio Living Chinese Everyday Chinese Just For Fun Chinese Culture Buzzwords