Project “four chars”


“four chars” is my personal project trending on Instagram. It features content-based illustrations with a vivid visual language.

It all starts with an idea of creating doodles inspired by Chinese four-character words. Day by day, "four chars" grows into a design journal, where it contains my personal interpretations on a variety of words, slang, or memes.


累感不爱 adj.

Being too tired to feel like doing anything.

e.g. After one-week of working over time, I really feel 累感不爱.

我想静静 v.

“I miss Jingjing (a common girl’s name)”. It also means “Leave me alone!”

e.g. 我想静静, but please don’t ask me who she is.

高枕无忧 adj.

“Sleeping on a higher pillow” - Having nothing to worry about.

e.g. After solving the problem, you will be 高枕无忧.


"These are really cool illustrations. They make me marvel at this language. You are bilingual right?... The translations really help it understanding mandarin more..."


As “four chars” gains popularity, people regard it as a language learning tool. Each four chars post is considered as a flashcard for Chinese learners worldwide.


"Love the stuff you create, I'm learning some 成语 through your arts 🌚👌" @veneseee

"🙏I love your work, 成语 are intimidating sometimes but you make them fun to learn 😁" @ok.justyna


画龙点睛 v.

“Draw a dragon and put a pupil to its eye.” - Make the final touch to bring the art to life.

e.g. You did well in writing this sentence, which works as 画龙点睛 for the whole article.

井底之蛙 n.

“Being a frog at the bottom of a well.” - A person a with narrow view.

e.g. Instead of being a 井底之蛙, we should broaden our horizons.

引狼入室 v.

“Seduce a wolf into the room". - Open the door to a dangerous foe.

e.g. If you let a thief to keep your keys, it has no difference from 引狼入室.


However, "four chars" hasn't been that perfect for language learning. Some of the illustrations are too sharp or abstract for people to understand. I am still honing my storytelling skills through this ongoing daily practice.


青梅竹马 n.

“Green plum and bamboo horse” - Intimate friendship formed in childhood.

e.g. Growing up together, they are a couple of 青梅竹马.

心有灵犀 adv.

“Having spiritual rhinos in heart.” - People having mutual affinity; Minds think alike.

e.g. My partner and I are 心有灵犀.

指鹿为马 v.

“Point to a deer, and call it a horse.” - Deliberately distort the truth.

e.g. Don’t believe the decisions made by those who 指鹿为马.


"It's amazing to see someone that's really spreading Chinese culture in such a unique way. Keep up the good work!!!!" @sakura.studies


This project is featured on:

  • Neocha magazine. Stories about why and how I created "four chars" posts

  • CC Talk Webinar. Stories about where I got inspirations from

  • UI China. Four chars is gaining popularity in my home country


Find more posts on @four_chars.