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ISSN 1409-6900 | UDK 82+7     Blesok no. 39 | volume VII | November-December, 2004



                     Peer-reviewed journal
Blesok no. 39November-December, 2004

The Phylosophical Aspects of the Chinese Landscape Painting

p. 1
Sonja Dimoska

    The Chinese art, as any other art, is understood via itself. To understand the spirit of the Chinese means to understand the spirit of the eastern man. This means to understand the Chinese culture, philosophy, that is, the Chinese thought, expressed in this very art. This is maybe, much more than the west, as the art here is a complementary part of the wholeness of life, at all level of its living.
    The Chinese painting had its boom and blossom in the time of Tang (618-907) and Song (969-1279) dynasties, which were renaissance periods of the culture and civilization in general, and this paper refers to them. More specifically, the philosophical foundations and implications of the landscape painting are presented here.

1. Philosophical Foundations

    What essentially determines the art of the east, being its immanent part and at the same time its expression, is the philosophical thought. Thus, one should start from the philosophy, especially the Taoist one, as the expression of the Chinese spirit and way of thinking. The Buddhist thought, on the other side, although Indian in its origin, is significantly changed when it enters China, it is shaped and even naturally incorporated in the Chinese thought, becoming equally necessary for the understanding of the Chinese painting. The esthetic of the east “… has evolved in the unique fusion of Buddhist and Taoist principles of experience.” (Inada, 1997)
    The instable times that followed the fall of the Han dynasty (211 a.d.) weakened the Chinese empire, both politically and economically, which was reflected on the philosophical spirit as well. The intellectual exhaustion and resignation, both with the Taoists and Confucians, was favorable for the Buddhist thought, where the philosophers found the possibility of spiritual and intellectual realization. The attempt to make the Buddhism understandable by translating the sutras, resulted in a connection of the Taoism and Buddhism in a new stream, which would at the same time have the features of both – Chinese Buddhism. This connection will be expressed in a best and most authentic way in the Chan of Zen Buddhism.
    The eastern thinkers understood the insufficiency of the being to express the complete fullness of the existence. This spiritual researches, first of all, both with the Taoists and the Buddhists, resulted in strives to another aspect, which will give more complete knowledge, explain the existing and possible problems – the nonbeing. Inada replies the question on where the two streams meet:

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