Understanding Chinese Philosophy from Three Simple Words

Rujia (Annie) Xu

Abstract


As one of the leading research objects in my PhD research Art and Text Collisions in Contemporary Chinese Art, the term Contemporary Chinese Text Art combines Western Contemporary Text Art and Chinese written language. This research covers a wide range of academic fields in both China and the West, such as philosophy, philology, art, linguistics, calligraphy and literature. It also relates China’s historical and political context.

With the purpose of introducing a new understanding of the term, several research methodologies and strategies are employed, such as curating, philosophical reflection, comparative analysis, translation and interview. Through my research, I realised that the key to understanding Chinese Text Art is Fu Xi Ba Gua, which is believed as the origin of the Chinese characters and the Chinese civilization. From this perspective, my research analyses the philosophical basis of Chinese characters and clarifies some confusion in Chinese art and philosophy. Furthermore, through a series of art practices, my research explores unique phenomena and textuality of contemporary Chinese text art, as well as innovative art practices including VR text art.

This paper is an extended version of my same titled presentation of my 2018 Postgraduate Research Showcase Conference. By introducing the implications of three simple Chinese words, the paper introduces essential traditional Chinese philosophical concepts, such as Tai Ji, Yin Yang and Ba Gua, which are the foundation of the whole Chinese civilisation. Through further comparison with Contemporary art philosophy, the paper suggests a new interpretation which sees the temporal-spatial nature of Contemporary as a historical-universal unity which has infinite dynamic-static changes in one spacetime.


Keywords


Tai Ji, Yin Yang, Ba Gua, Confucianism, Chinese characters, contemporaneity, Chinese Text Art

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.25506/LEMP12201966

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