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Authenticity/Genuineness/Truth (Zhen 真 ) in Chinese Traditional Art Theories and Aesthetics

Authenticity/Genuineness/Truth (Zhen 真 ) in Chinese Traditional Art Theories and Aesthetics SummaryThe uniqueness of Chinese traditional art and aesthetics is often presented by the popular Chinese saying “art is manifestation of Dao”, which could mean manifestation of truth or authenticity, since Dao 道 in Classical Daoism was understood as authentic being and a source of authenticity. However, the meaning of authenticity/truth (zhen 真 ) in Chinese aesthetics and theories of art seems less discussed, and far more complicated, than the term Dao. This article argues that zhen is no less important for understanding the nature of artistic creativity and expression in Chinese arts and their theories in the historical perspective, and the issue of likeness in art in particular. It demonstrates how this term is related to the evaluation of the work of art, the artist’s expression and self-expression, and his/her relation to the “object” represented in art; in other words, with representation, imagination and morality, which is evident in such compounds as “drawing truthfulness” (xie zhen 写真), and “to create the truth” (chuang zhen 創真). The article deals with the conceptual and historical analysis of the term zhen, aiming to survey the differences and changes of its meaning in theories of painting, literature and “aesthetics of things” (antiquarianism), and to reveal the relations between its philosophical and aesthetic interpretations, especially evident in the Ming dynasty. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Art History & Criticism de Gruyter

Authenticity/Genuineness/Truth (Zhen 真 ) in Chinese Traditional Art Theories and Aesthetics

Art History & Criticism , Volume 16 (1): 14 – Dec 1, 2020

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
© 2020 Loreta Poškaitė, published by Sciendo
ISSN
1822-4547
eISSN
1822-4547
DOI
10.2478/mik-2020-0011
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

SummaryThe uniqueness of Chinese traditional art and aesthetics is often presented by the popular Chinese saying “art is manifestation of Dao”, which could mean manifestation of truth or authenticity, since Dao 道 in Classical Daoism was understood as authentic being and a source of authenticity. However, the meaning of authenticity/truth (zhen 真 ) in Chinese aesthetics and theories of art seems less discussed, and far more complicated, than the term Dao. This article argues that zhen is no less important for understanding the nature of artistic creativity and expression in Chinese arts and their theories in the historical perspective, and the issue of likeness in art in particular. It demonstrates how this term is related to the evaluation of the work of art, the artist’s expression and self-expression, and his/her relation to the “object” represented in art; in other words, with representation, imagination and morality, which is evident in such compounds as “drawing truthfulness” (xie zhen 写真), and “to create the truth” (chuang zhen 創真). The article deals with the conceptual and historical analysis of the term zhen, aiming to survey the differences and changes of its meaning in theories of painting, literature and “aesthetics of things” (antiquarianism), and to reveal the relations between its philosophical and aesthetic interpretations, especially evident in the Ming dynasty.

Journal

Art History & Criticismde Gruyter

Published: Dec 1, 2020

Keywords: Daoism; authenticity; genuineness; truth; expression; painting; poetry

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