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文人畵에 關한 硏究
- 文人畵에 關한 硏究
- Other Titles
- A STUDY ON THE SCHOOL OF GENTLEMEN PAINTING
- Issue Date
- 대학원 동양화과
- 이화여자대학교 대학원
- The culture of each nation has been created from racial and inherited characteristics, national life customs, national philosophies, and geographical environment together with political and historical backgrounds. Cultural patterns, therefore, come from a blending and strengthening of these elements as they wax and wane in time, and as individuals give and take from the culture.
From this point of view the Chinese gentlemen painters form a group and cultural pattern unique to the orient. A socalled School of Gentlemen Painters in the Later T'ang period established the ink monochrome, which reached its height in the landscape, bamboo, bird, and flower paintings of the Sung period and the bamboo paintings of the Yuan.
The rise and dominance of this school was due to the strong influence of Taoist-Zen thought. Closely related to calligraphy it stressed (as the Zen in Japan and China) the importance of sudden enlightenment after meditation and a systematic approach to intuitive knowledge by means of disciplined meditation. As soon as enlightenment had been reached, the painter quickly employed the ink by means of calligraphic techniques according to the six essentials: "ch'i" meaning action and powerful brushwork, "yun" or rhythm, "ssu" for thought, "ching", the seasonal aspect, "pi", the brush, and "mo", the ink.
The School of Gentlemen Painters really should be called the School of Scholarly Painters, for though non-professional in the sense that they painted for a living, the members of this school were first of all scholars of the Confucian School of Thought and painting and poetry were an expression of their study in literature. True those most talented were sometimes attached to the court because of their talent, but more often they were ministers and scholars of the court who painted.
During the T'ang Dynasty (618-906 A.D.) the scholar-poet nobleman, Wang Wei (tzu Mo-chieh), left the court to avoid political intrigue. Going deep into the scenic mountains he turned to Zen Buddhism and Zen meditation for enlightenment. There he cultivated body and mind by writing poems. While studying nature as a subject for his poems he began to search for the impression of the meaning of the subjects of nature and to express that meaning through pictorical symbols whith ink on paper.
This was the beginning of the gentlemen painting. His observation led him to fuse his philosophy and art in an essay on landscape painting. In this essay he points out how layers of air, increasing with distance, obscure color, tone and detail. In this he was not only observing changes in appearance but also noting the action of the Ch'i (Heaven's Breath). In using light washes to show spacial perspective, he applied the concept of Tao and Yin and Yang to heighten the effects of distance and vastness of space. Thus perspective in Chinese painting is a question of idea. The tension and balance set up by far and near, obscure and clear, unseen and seen, are Yin and Yang.
Thus we can see that the gentlemen painters went beyond meditation to infuse idea with method so that they rendered the traditional scenic pictures by direct application of philosophic thought-techniques. In application the artistic method was to first seek the essence of the object through disciplined observation and then to render simplified forms of objects such as flowers, birds, grass and trees.
The painter also disciplined himself. One reason why the people so highly evaluated the gentlemen painters was this unique characteristic approach through which the painter studied, observed, and purified his own mind by vanquishing worldly desire that he might the more easily become on with nature and apply Zen idealism through painting. A painter "emptied his mind" for "At the great Beginning there was Non-Being… (emptiness) and "Tao abides in emptiness." Therefore by analogy "to a mind that is still the whole universe surrenders." In Chapter XII of the Chuang Tau there is the passage, "Do not listen with your ears, but with the mind, Do not listen with the spirit (ch'i). The function of the ear ends with hearing; that of the mind with symbols or ideas. But the spirit is an emptiness ready to receive all things." Therefore a painter could prepare himself for painting through an extended time period of self discipline, meditation and self cultivation.
This kind of artist belonged to the School of Gentlemen Painters. Their unique paintings now are highly prized and treasured. Everlasting beauty expressing a disciplined ethical approach and the philosophies of Zen, together with the Zen spirit, guarantee that their beauty will continue to last and to inspire modern oriental painters.
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