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Paths To The Middle: A Tentative Theory For Chinese Contemporary Art

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Chapter Summary

Chinese contemporary art is divided into three stages: following the Other, being valuated by the Other, and finally getting its identity. Only in the third stage can Chinese contemporary art have its selfawareness. Chinese contemporary art should display or already has displayed the paths to Xiang, the middle. This chapter discusses the intractable problem of the ontological status of works of art. The study of the ontology of works of art can touch a fundamental problem of metaphysics and benefit our understanding not only of works of art but also of other social and cultural objects. The problem of the ontology of the work of art seems to be not very elusive in Chinese aesthetics since the standard division in Chinese metaphysics is not bifurcation but trifurcation. Chinese art does not aim at the imitation of nature, but Chinese artists strongly emphasize the importance of the observation of nature.

Keywords: Chinese aesthetics; Chinese artists; Chinese contemporary art; Chinese metaphysics; Xiang

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