Sunday, September 24, 2006

How does it feel to have a new look, Confucius?

Perhaps one of the greatest thinkers throughout Chinese (and world) history, Confucius (551-479 BC) would be very happy to know in these days that, exactly 2,557 years after his birth, his Chinese fellows decided to choose for him an "official face".
Apparently, some Chinese nationals were too concerned about a lack of an internationally recognized face for the most prominent Chinese citizen of all times. But what was the criteria used to select an "official face"?
Most of the description was based on a portrait painted by Wu Daozi during the Tang dynasty (618-907 AD -more than a thousand years after Confucius death!), but some other elements were added according to details provided by history experts, artists and other people involved.
What was the final result? well, the official face of Confucius, from now on, is somewhat like this:

I don't know if the real Confucius looked like this design or not. But what I can tell is that I find this project both interesting and useless. Trying to figure out how did Confucius look like is not really relevant for our times, what is relevant of his person is the legacy that he left for the Chinese folk and, in general, for mankind. However, many people are satisfied with the results of the project and, at the end of the day, choosing an official face for Confucius wouldn't hurt anybody... except for Confucius himself, if he didn't like his new look!

Photo by Reuters


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