France - 法國 (in English)

painting, map, france, LE Xiao Long, french painter

The real name of this painting is "Fa Guo" (法國). In Chinese it means "France". If we translate it character by character, France means : "The Country of Law".


From an historical point of view, it's interesting to see how did Chinese translate the name of this country.

Map of France : a painting

map, france, 法国, Brittany, Corsica, painting, drawing, art, artist, painter.
法國 - France - 2006 - LE Xiao Long

So... I made this painting using the Chinese characters of "France".


The first one, "Fa" (Law), bounds the French borders.


The second one, "Guo" (Country), was used to represent Corsica, a French island located in The Mediterranean Sea. 


This painting contains many symbols, more than we can think looking at it for the first time... 

water in Chinese, radical of water, France, painting, art, french painter
The radical of water in Chinese,
Charles de Gaulle, Cross of Lorraine, painting, art, french painter
May be you can see the Cross of Lorraine,

If we look at the character "Fa" 法, the three first stroke on the left are the water's radical.


On this painting, the water's radical corresponds to the West French territory that is located on the Atlantic Ocean side and Manche. 


Most of the time, when we write in Chinese, the characters are flat but, on this painting, I gave more volume to the second part of "Fa" character to make it seems as a symbol corresponding to French history : The Cross of Lorraine


Most of the time, in France, when we see the Cross of Lorraine, it makes us thinking about a great name of history : Charles de Gaulle. That is probably why I used the blue color to paint this painting.

country, chinese, painting, traditional character, island, Corsica, French islands, France, Taiwan, art, painter
Corsica island

The second character, "Guo" 國 (the Country) was used to paint Corsica.


I wanted a parallelism between both characters, historical parallelism. Corsica is the island where Napoleon Bonaparte was born, another great name of French history. 


And, like the name of France in Chinese is made of two characters, it was interesting to set them : The Law (Metropolitan France) and the Country (Corsica Island) ! 


There is another symbol according to Corsica represented as "Guo" in this painting. There is two ways to write in Chinese. We can write with Simplified Characters or with Traditional Characters. 

Simplified Characters are used in People's Republic of China (mainland China) and the Traditional Characters are used in Taiwan Republic of China (the Island). I did not use the character "Guo" 国 from People's Republic of China, but "Guo" 國 from Taiwan


Many things can explain my choice : Corsica like Taiwan is an island. If, like me, you have imagination, you can see that Taiwan seems a little bit like Corsica when you look it back to front.


If you look at a map, you can see that Taiwan and Corsica have mountains from the North to the South... but my choice was not only dictated by geographical common points... may be it was more historical than geographical.

LE Xiao Long


sceau, chinois, LE Xiao Long, baron 33750, artiste peintre

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