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Metaphysics In Chinese Art

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Chapter Summary

The narrower label 'Chinese' is societal rather than cultural, comprising three major metaphysics - Taoist, Confucian and Buddhist. The subject matters of a culture's art provide a starting point for grasping its metaphysics. Chinese aesthetics is linked to semantics, since Chinese painting tends to be literary. Art in China is often a way of life. Central to Confucianism is the concept of li, in a narrow sense, ritual, but more broadly, what to do and the proper way to do it. Chinese art is as far removed as can be from the pop art, junk art, and other forms of anti-art of our day. Classical China is not only Confucian; it is also Buddhist. Buddhist art is more than a presentation of conventional Buddhist symbols. It provides visual images of a metaphysical structure, conveying in the language of line and color a spirituality that transcends sensory experience.

Keywords: Buddhist; Chinese aesthetics; Chinese Art; Confucian; metaphysics; Taoist



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