Artist Chi-Jen Liu lovingly gathered a multitude of mantra charms into "Secret Code of Life" – a painting he made for his first daughter, Jenny. The charms were selected as messages of love and wisdom from parent to child: "May your career be successful and smooth, and your marriage full of love. Destiny can be changed by undoing negative karma through benevolent actions." The oceanic scenery in this piece contains his fatherly blessings.
The sun and moon are symbolic of hope and love. The ascending snake represents intelligence and self-awareness. The turtles, rays, fish and snakes all swim in pairs to symbolize marital happiness. Jellyfish denote scholarship and fame.
One of the most popular symbols used in feng shui is the fish. For the Chinese, the image of a fish conjures up the Chinese word, "yu," which is the homophone for “abundance.” This association is so culturally rooted, and has been so faithfully passed down from generation to generation, that the fish has become an image imbued with the power to attract prosperity.
Another highly-coveted creature in feng shui is the "chi-ling" which has the head of a dragon and body of a horse. "Chi-ling" are mythical Chinese guardians said to appear at the homes of benevolent persons and offer them protection and blessings. Upon seeing this piece, Jenny exclaimed that she had recently dreamt of a “chi-ling” floating through water just as her father had painted for her. It has often happened that Chi-Jen Liu captured the dreams of individuals who see his art for the first time.