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Transcript of Chinese Aesthetics
Early forms of art in China are found in the Neolithic Yangshao culture, which have been dated back to the 6th millenium BCE.
Early ceramics were unpainted and most often cord-marked, the first decorations were fish and human faces.
Usually made into pendants and decorations in the form of chiseled open-work plaques, plates and representations of small birds, turtles and fish.
All available space is decorated, most often with stylized forms of real and imaginary animals.
The most common motif is the taotie, which shows a mythological being presented frontally as though squashed onto a horizontal plane to form a symmetrical design.
The Terracotta Army, inside the Mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor, consists of more than 7,000 life-size tomb terra-cotta figures of warriors and horses buried with the self-proclaimed first Emperor of Qin Pottery
Made from a hard paste made of the clay kaolin and a feldspar called petuntse, which cements the vessel and seals any pores.
Early Chinese Art
Early Imperial China
The Han Dynasty was known for jade burial suits.
Influence of Buddhism
Period of Division
China around the 1st century AD and through to the 8th century became very active and creative in the development of Buddhist art
In the fifth to sixth century the Northern Dynasties, rather removed from the original sources of inspiration, tended to develop rather symbolic and abstract modes of representation, with schematic lines.
The most highly appreciated arts in court circles and were produced almost exclusively by amateurs, aristocrats and scholar-officials who alone had the leisure to perfect the technique and sensibility necessary for great brushwork.
Was thought to be the highest and purest form of painting. The implements were the brush pen, made of animal hair, and black inks, made from pine soot and animal glue.
Writing as well as painting was done on silk. But after the invention of paper in the 1st century, silk was gradually replaced by the new and cheaper material
Greatly valued throughout China's history.
Gu Kaizhi, celebrated painter, wrote 3 books about painting theory “On Painting”, “Introduction of Famous Paintings of Wei and Jin Dynasties”, “Painting Yuntai Mountain”
Song and Yuan Dynasties
Landscapes of more subtle expression appeared; immeasurable distances were conveyed through the use of blurred outlines, mountain contours disappearing into the mist, and impressionistic treatment of natural phenomena. Emphasis was placed on the spiritual qualities of the painting and on the ability of the artist to reveal the inner harmony of man and nature, as perceived according to Taoist and Buddhist concepts.
Characterized by the work of the so-called "Four Great Masters". The most notable of these was Huang Gongwang (1269–1354) whose cool and restrained landscapes were admired by contemporaries, and by the Chinese literati painters of later centuries.
Another of great influence was Ni Zan (1301–1374), who frequently arranged his compositions with a strong and distinct foreground and background, but left the middle-ground as an empty expanse. This scheme was frequently to be adopted by later Ming and Qing dynasty painters.
Late Imperial China
Narrative painting, with a wider color range and a much busier composition than the Song paintings, was immensely popular during the time.
Wen Zhengming (1470–1559) developed the style of the Wu school in Suzhou, which dominated Chinese painting during the 16th century.
Early Qing Painting
Developed in two main strands: the Orthodox school, and the Individualist painters, both of which followed the theories of Dong Qichang, but emphasizing very different aspects.
The “Four Wangs”, Wang Shimin, Wang Jian, Wang Hui and Wang Yuanqi were renowned in the Orthodox school and sought inspiration in recreating the past styles, especially the technical skills in brushstrokes and calligraphy of ancient masters.
The Individualist painters included Bada Shanren and Shitao. They drew more from the revolutionary ideas of transcending the tradition to achieve an original individualistic styles; in this way they were more faithfully following the way of Dong Qichang than the Orthodox school
Late Qing Art
Nianhua were a form of colored woodblock prints in China, depicting images for decoration during the Chinese New Year.
New China Art
With the end of the last dynasty in China, the New Culture Movement began and defied all facets of traditionalism.
> Ong Schan Tchow, accomplished the subtle integration of Western art techniques and perspectives into traditional Chinese painting. Ong was one of the first few batches of Chinese scholars and artists who studied in France in the early 20th Century.
> Another important influential artist in 1940s was Tai Ping Meijing who incorporated nature in all his art and mixed traditional Asian art with realism.
Communist and Socialist Art
Selective Art Decline
> If the art was presented in a manner that favored the government, the artists were heavily promoted. Vice versa, any clash with communist party beliefs would force the artists to become farmers via "re-education" processes under the regime.
> The most notable event was the Destruction of the Four Olds, which had major consequences for pottery, paintings, literary art, architecture and countless others.
> Artists were “encouraged” to employ socialist realism.
> Contemporary Chinese art continued to develop since the 1980s as an outgrowth of modern art developments post-Cultural Revolution.
> Contemporary Chinese art fully incorporates painting, film, video, photography, and performance. Until recently, art exhibitions deemed controversial have been routinely shut down by police, and performance artists in particular faced the threat of arrest in the early 1990s.
The 6 Canons of Traditional Chinese Painting
spirit resonance which brings life movement.
Ku fayung pi
Bone structure, a technique of the brush
Reflecting the object, which means drawing its forms
Sui lei futs'ai
Correspondence to type, which has to do with laying on of colours
Ching ting weichih
Organization and planning, which involves plACING AND ARRANGING
Chaun mo I Hsieh
Transmitting models, which involves reproducing and copying