Yan -- The Rediscovery of Oriental Aesthetics

2016.11.05-2016.12.31 1F Powerlong Building, No.1399 Xinzhen Road


----The Rediscovery of Oriental Aesthetics


In Shuo Wen Jie Zi, a Chinese dictionary compiled by Xu Shen in the Eastern Han Dynasty, “Yan” , together with “Yu” , is explained as “stating outright means Yan; debating means Yu” . When it comes to “Ya” in Er Ya, which is the first lexicon in China, its meaning is also closely related to “Yayan” (elegant language) , intending to establish a standard for Chinese traditional diction. In this exhibition, “Yan” refers to the re-exploration of Chinese tradition, and the rediscovery of oriental aesthetics. We are trying to find out the artistic creation deriving from Chinese traditional cultural context, as well as the development and recreation of oriental aesthetics in contemporary era. Actually, the real “tradition” has never left us, because it grows in our blood and flesh, develops from our daily life, and vivifies between generations to generations.


Originated from Buddhadharma, “Buyan” and “Chiwu” constitute two organically-connected parts of this exhibition. “Buddha says that Sarva-dharma is Buddhadharma; sarva-dharma that ordinary persons say is not the real one.” In fact, the old saying that “The peach and the plum do not speak, yet a path is born beneath them” can be regarded as a metaphor to a certain attitude towards art: artists do not need to boast endlessly and impractically, yet works themselves will express and talk honestly and naturally, thus receiving respect. As one of Buddhist law and discipline rites, “Chiwu” requires Buddhists “No food after noon” , whose essence emphasizes on maintaining a calm mental state to face everything. “Buyan” + “Chiwu” implies that simply by appreciating works viewers can understand the silent poems where artists tell all they know without reserve.


“Everyone is endowed with the instinct of aesthetic appreciation. However, being infrequently or improperly used, sensory organs are gradually getting numb. A numb person is a dull one, so is a nation. Turning dullness into interest so as to recover from such a numb station is the function of aesthetics.” 100 years ago, when talking about literature and art, Mr. Liang Qichao pointed out that oriental aesthetics in China was the combination of attention to oriental interest with spiritual personality. 


Traditional artistic view in China possesses rich theories about aesthetic taste. Today, through “Yan” tradition is developing into contemporary humanistic value. The mixture of the ideological and the practical forms the reality of Chinese life sentiment and art circumstances. Based on “Yan” , this exhibition concerns the world of “oriental aesthetics” , reveals the source of beauty deeply rooted in our nation, and discovers the freest and fullest deep insides of artists themselves. Let’s experience artists’ open mind and appreciate all things in its nature forms.