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04.08.2017 → 05.30.2017

Pin (taste, principle or classification) and ge (style, quality or investigate) are two keywords in ancient Chinese aesthetic theory. When the two words are used as verbs, they refer to identify, discriminate and criticize certain aesthetic objects. For example, the phrase “pin wu liu xing” in the Book of Changes (Zhouyi) means to give shape to all things on earth, while the famous phrase “ge wu zhi zhi ” upheld by the philosopher Zhu xi means to investigate things to acquire knowledge. When the two key words are used as nouns, they are general terms in traditional artistic criterions to classify and judge the different qualities of artworks and artistic creations. In this way, pin and ge,with the means of artistic taste, quality or level, become the basic aesthetic concepts which inherited from ancient times and still applicable in the world today.

Xiehe initially created the artistic criterion of  “six pin” (or six principles) to classify six levels of artists in the Six Principles of Chinese Paintings in Nan Qi Dynasty. Li Sizhen then proposed the theory of “ ten pin ” in his book the Post-Comments on Calligraphy in Tang Dynasty. Later, Zhang Huaiguan put forward “ shen (superb), miao (fine), neng (skillful)”, three pin (or levels) of calligraphy in his Comment on Chinese Calligraphy (Shu Duan). Afterwards, in the Famous Paintings of Tang Dynasty, Zhu Jingxuan proposed “shen ( superb), miao (fine), neng (skillful), yi (leisure)”, four pin (orlevels) of criteria based on the theories of Li and Zhang. Zhu Jingxuan also divided each level into three classes – upper, middle and lower. However, there is no such rank in the level “yi (leisure)”. Then, with the rise of literati painting and calligraphy in Song Dynasty, the status of the four pin (levels) changed. Yi (leisure) was promoted to the utmost level in Collection of Paintings in Yizhou by Huang Xiufu in the Northern Song Dynasty, as Huang thought “ yi is the most difficult part to achieve in the creation of paintings ”. As for the theories on painting in Yuan and Ming Dynasty, they mainly focus on the status of yi-pin (literally, leisure level) and its relation with shen-pin (literally, superb level) .

Hence, there is always a “pure spirit”, within or sometimes beyond the artistic criterions of various levels of pin and ge, a tradition maintained throughout the history from pre-Qin to Ming & Qing Dynasty. Especially, during the artistic boom in Wei-Jin and Song-Ming periods, artists such as Tao Qian, Wang Wei and Su Shi gained their fames and left such a “pure spirit” in history.

Under the theme of “pure spirit”, with pin/ge as the artistic criterion, this display is finished with the joint efforts of Duan Jianwei, Feng Lianghong, Ma Shuqing, Shao Fan and Tan Ping. Living in current society, when we look back, the pure spirit in the past seems to be scattered and disappeared in the dust of history, but its fragrance is enduring and still influential today. This is the introduction of the display.

Dai Zhuoqun

April 1st, 2017 in Beijing

Works

    • Pure Spirit: Character Mirror and Aesthetic Reaffirm
    • Pure Spirit: Character Mirror and Aesthetic Reaffirm
    • Pure Spirit: Character Mirror and Aesthetic Reaffirm
    • Pure Spirit: Character Mirror and Aesthetic Reaffirm
    • Pure Spirit: Character Mirror and Aesthetic Reaffirm
    • Pure Spirit: Character Mirror and Aesthetic Reaffirm
    • Pure Spirit: Character Mirror and Aesthetic Reaffirm
    • Pure Spirit: Character Mirror and Aesthetic Reaffirm
    • Pure Spirit: Character Mirror and Aesthetic Reaffirm
    • Pure Spirit: Character Mirror and Aesthetic Reaffirm
    • Pure Spirit: Character Mirror and Aesthetic Reaffirm
    • Pure Spirit: Character Mirror and Aesthetic Reaffirm
    • Pure Spirit: Character Mirror and Aesthetic Reaffirm
    • Pure Spirit: Character Mirror and Aesthetic Reaffirm
    • Pure Spirit: Character Mirror and Aesthetic Reaffirm
    • Pure Spirit: Character Mirror and Aesthetic Reaffirm
    • Pure Spirit: Character Mirror and Aesthetic Reaffirm
    • Pure Spirit: Character Mirror and Aesthetic Reaffirm
    • Pure Spirit: Character Mirror and Aesthetic Reaffirm