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Philosophy About Chinese Calligraphy

Article Index
Philosophy About Chinese Calligraphy
P2: Search for Beauty
P3: Mission of Art
P4: Oneness & Duality
P5: Perfection Is Relative, Not Absolute
P6: Methodologies of Chinese Calligraphy
P7: Ergonomics & Physiology of Chinese Calligraphy
P8: The Picture of Soul
P9: If You Practice the Wrong Way, You Still Have to Practice
P10: Live With and Without Art
All Pages

P1: Perception of Art

One day I was talking to an art student and she told me, “art is all about perception.” That’s very true and direct. Art is communion of one soul to another, offered through a symbolic language of form and content.

According to the perennial philosophy (http://www.religiousworlds.com/text/prenphil.html), the human beings possess at least three modes of knowing: 

  • The eye of flesh
  • The eye of mind
  • The eye of contemplation

The eye of flesh discloses the material, concrete, and sensual world; the eye of mind discloses the symbolic, conceptual, and linguistic world; and the eye of contemplation discloses the spiritual, transcendental, and transpersonal world. These are not three different worlds, but three different aspects of our one world disclosed by different modes of perception.

Art is psychological perception of reality and creation. It can be reduced to a perception of a subject of a constructed visual stimulus. It can also be predictable in regards to probable response of its intended target spectators. Art is an experience based upon interrelationship between people and their world. Art includes such relationships as between viewer and art object, artist and viewer, society and artist, and the unconscious and the conscious. Thus, as artists envision a sense of wholeness that the human mind provides to the static and isolated nature of real world stimuli, they recreate delicacy and beauty that capture this sense of unity among the apparently disparate things or events of our environment.

Art exists in the minds of its selected perceivers. Some of these psychological factors influencing the perception of art include culture, sex, age, individual perspective, and value systems. Besides these variables of aesthetic, perception are biological components like the way our consciousness functions, as an end product of evolution. Art thus includes the perceptual cognitive factors of the unconscious and psychophysical sensory mechanisms of the human body. The abstract beauty and depth within a good Chinese calligraphy work can be perceived universally regardless the differences in race, culture, languages, and time. Like the scientists, the artists search to discover a new reality through accomplished means of extending the limitation of today's reality. Science does this through advancing technology whereas artists use their “perception” to expand creative awareness of their contemporaries and predecessors. A good Chinese calligrapher bears a mission to explore new possibilities and reality to represent the intrinsic beauty of Chinese characters and the utmost beauty of one's inner heart transformation. If an artist lacks insight and perception, his practice will be in vain for life because there is no guidance and enlightenment.

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Last Updated on Thursday, 31 March 2011 13:33