10-02-2017 • Article

RED: Ten Ways

We wrote a story as part of Yauatcha’s Life magazine, embracing the notion of red and its cultural values from Chinese culture through to pop culture. 

“If one says ‘Red’ – the name of color – and there are
fifty people listening, it can be expected that there
will be fifty reds in their minds. And one can be
sure that all these reds will be very different.”
– Josef Albers

Red is a colour that is made up of wavelengths and lies at the end of a spectrum.

It is a significant colour within Chinese culture. It symbolises good luck and is believed to ward off evil spirits.

In ancient China during the Han dynasty, between 200 BC to 200 AD, Chinese craftsmen created a red dye (lead tetroxide, ch-ien tan in Chinese) from the Madder plant to colour silk fabrics for gowns and to make what is now seen as traditional red lacquerware.

In the 20th century, red is associated with the colour of the Chinese Revolution of 1949, bringing the colour a sense of empowerment and optimism.

Historically, the colour red was associated with life, health and victory. Ancient Egyptians would colour themselves in red ochre, applying it to their bodies as a cosmetic, using henna as a colourant for their hair and as a natural nail varnish.

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