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即画出道中山道中景,  二、以中国艺术精神为本借鉴西方艺术

时间:2019-12-23 19:10

  二、以中国艺术精神为本借鉴西方艺术

  三、超越绘画的渐进层次

  在如何借鉴吸取西方艺术方面,近代以来已有过多种方式的探索尝试。但总体上来讲,中国画无论如何吸取西画的长处,都不应丧失中国画的本质特征,中国画必须具有自己的民族特色,这已是学术界基本达成的共识。因此每个致力于中国画开拓创新的艺术家都必须深入地研究中国传统艺术的优劣长短,并从文化发展的高度与西方艺术进行比较,以中国艺术精神为本,有分析地、有鉴别地吸取西画的长处,进行既有延续又有开拓的探索,才能走出一条中国画革新的成功之路。

  由于中国绘画理论并不是以绘画能力的高低来界定作品的品次,而是以作品所达到的精神内涵境界之高低品评作品的品次,因此,境界说乃是中国艺术所特有的理论。宗白华先生论述中国画境界时曾说:中国艺术家何以不满足于纯客观的机械式模写?因为艺术意境不是一个单层的平面的自然的再现,而是一个境界层深的创造。从直观感相的模写,活跃生命的传达,到最高灵境的启示,可以有三层次。(《直观艺术境界之诞生》)

  近代以来,关于东西方艺术异同的辨析性论着非常之多,这说明认识总结东西方艺术的不同特征,融会贯通以利于我们民族文化发展始终是一个必须面对的课题。近年来有的论者还针对中国画与西画的不同总结说:西方绘画较为理性,中国画较为感性,西方绘画受思维科学化的影响,中国画受精神文化学熏染,中国画较西方绘画更具有文化价值。(叶子)这种评论对于理解中西方古典绘画无疑具有一定的概括性意义,但也有其不确切的方面。西方思维科学化的倾向本质上是一种理性主义精神的表现,不能说不是一种文化精神,更不能说缺少文化价值,中国画也决不能用较为感性来概括。事实上东西方的艺术是属于两种不同的文化系统,各自表现出不同的文化价值观念,是两种不同文化精神的表现。如前所述,中国古典绘画只能说在某些方面理性的成份不足,决不能用较为感性去定性。尽管中国传统绘画不追求严格地再现客观物象,没有使科学的造型法则得到深入的发展。当然北宋院体画中的花鸟也很写实,但一直受到文人审美倾向的否定,而使中国画具有理性造型方面的先天缺陷,但就中国画的实际来说,还是注意应物象形,随类赋彩的。深入其理,曲尽其态不能说不是一种理性精神的表达。评画的四格中,其能品,妙品,神品,无疑是以写形传神,形神兼备,气韵生动,为逐次评价尺度的。先工后写,先求形似,后求神似,最后求得意忘象,法外求法,达到逸格,这是一个逐次升华的过程。可见中国传统绘画的精神并不是一味地否定造型,而是要在心手相应的基础上升华,提高到拙规矩于方圆,鄙精研于彩绘不流于虽工亦匠的低层次追求。鉴于中国画的这一理性本质,联系到其缺乏科学造型规范的不足,作为一个致力于中国画发展的艺术家在吸取西方艺术的切入点上,自然要首先从引入科学造型方面入手。

  姬子先生总结自己的艺术历程,把自己的创作分为三个递进性类型:延续型,再生型,开拓型。所谓延续型指的是在继承传统的基础上,通过深入生活进行写生,同时参照某些当代有成就的画家的作品,深入领会,逐步探索形成个人的笔墨风格。用一句常说的话概括便是继承传统而不囿于传统,深入生活融各家之长,形成自己的风格面貌。在这一层次所追求的是以自己的笔墨技法表现真山真水,即眼中山,眼中景,属胸有丘壑的范畴,其基本精神是现实主义的。所谓再生型指的是以自我情怀为主体,创造出超于现实实景的表现意境。为实现这一目标,必须在技法上突破前人,进行别开生面的探索创造。这一层次的创作精神是发我之肺腑,揭我之须眉,纵使笔不笔,墨不墨自有我在。追求的不是纯客观的再现而是要画出心中山,心中景是一种创境,属心有丘壑的范畴,所以个性就特别鲜明,其基本精神是浪漫主义的,同时与表现主义有某些相近之处,但仍没有超出常规理性绘画的范畴。所谓开拓型指的是要从立意上超越表像界,向本体界升华,创造出超于象外,得其环中表现宇宙大道精神,集具象,抽象,意象,心象为一体的,音乐般效果的宏观悟境。为实现这一目标,就需要从思维到构架,从技法到表现等方面进行全方位的开拓创造。这一层次的创作精神是澄怀观道澄怀味象,以道论画,以画体道,缘道求法,缘道立象。追求的是超越表像山水形迹,实现道境的物化,即画出道中山道中景。

  中国画在近代的发展有力地证明了这一点。虽然自唐代来,外师造化,中得心源一直是中国画的格言,但由于张璪本人对此没有留下任何具体的说明,致使后人对这句话的理解往往非常灵活。外师造化可以是求其形;也可以是求其神,可以是求其势,也可以是求其质,可以是实地写生,也可以是精神领略;可以是深入体察,也可以是丰富阅历。总之外师造化应该是铸成心源的基础。直到清初石涛写出《画语录》才较具体地把外师造化归结为:一、求理法,存再现,深入其理,曲尽其态。画者,形天地万物者也峰与皴合,皴自峰生,不得其峰何以变,不得其皴何以现把求理求法作为画的一个根本。二、求形神,成氤氲,我有是一画能贯山川之形神,故山川万物之荐灵于人,因人操此蒙养生活之权。墨非蒙养不灵,笔非生活不神,得笔墨之会,解氤氲之分,作辟浑沌手,传诸古今,自成一家,是皆智得之也。三、合天人,求个性。夫画天下变通之大法也,山川形势之精英也,古今造物之陶冶也,阴阳气度之流行也,借笔墨以写天地万物,而陶泳乎我也。于墨海中立定精神,笔锋下决出生活,尺幅上换去皮毛,混沌里放出光明,纵使笔不笔,墨不墨,画不画,自有我在山川使余代山川而言也,山川脱胎于予也,予脱胎于山川也,是山川与予神遇而迹化也。石涛的论述可以作为理解外师造化的最好注释。石涛的思想作为对四王崇古思想的匡正,在当时是震聋发聩的。尤其是搜尽奇峰打草稿这句话更被广为传播。但是由于时代的局限,石涛的思想并没有导致科学造型法则的建立。四王崇古思想仍然严重地影响着清代的画坛。直到近代西学传入,才产生了一批冲破传统向西方求学的赤子。特别是五四时期,陈独秀首倡以写实精神扭转中国画颓波的主张,接着便出现了如徐悲鸿等倡导引进西画素描造型的革新派画家,并取得了可喜的成就。更重要的是自四九年建国后,现实主义艺术思想占据了主导地位,使当时的中国画家普遍地走上了深入生活,以写生求变法的道路,造就了一代具有里程碑意义的中国画家。从而强化了中国画的理性特征,把中国画推向了一个新的发展阶段。

  姬子先生几十年如一日锲而不舍地探索,早年他曾把自己的一角天地命名为苦兰斋枯寒吟馆可见其起步的艰难。正是在这苦与寒的境遇中他刻苦地学习前人,打下了坚实的传统基础。从六十年代末开始探索自己的笔墨风格,白天工作,夜晚则要静下心来钻研艺术,困难重重,艰难不易。七十年代初他从切身的体验出发,把自己的一角天地命名为不易斋,正是在这艰难不易的环境中,他探索形成了自己风格的笔墨山水,继而又创造出了表现北国冰封雪飘,凛冽悲壮的燕山冰雪山水。八十年代末随着商潮的冲击,很多搞艺术的纷纷下海,他却遵循着致虚极,守静笃的古训,把自己的一角天地更名为定斋,继续进行深入探索,终于试验出墨道山水这一艺术表现形式。知不易者不易也,知不易而易其志者多矣,知不易而不易其志者尤不易也。这是其《不易斋记》中的警句,然而不易其志而能定者,几近于崇高。这正表现出姬子艺术升华必依的深层精神本质。

  姬子先生自五十年代末开始专攻山水画,正处在这一中国画革新的时代,当其具备了相当的传统功底后,从石涛力主革新的思想出发,顺理成章地走上了面对生活,以写生求变法,逐步形成个人风格的道路。他首先是通过对石涛《画语录》的学习,确定了对于传统要理性地打进去,理性地打出来的思想,并结合自己的体验尝试一种表现北国风格的技法,但由于缺乏实地写生的基础,开始自然是不成功的。他也试着进行实地写生,但总脱不开用古人皴法套实际山形的路数。六十年代末,他从朋友处借到了高岛北海着的《写山要法》(傅抱石译),立即被书中精譬的论述、科学的分析以及刊印的大量写生稿所折服。他仔细地阅读,反复地揣摩,终觉着还不能铭刻于心,得之于手,干脆逐字抄录了全书,并认真地临摹了书中一百多幅插图画稿。一本《写山要法》对他产生了巨大的影响,铺开了他进行实地写生的坚实道路。他说:从地质地貌方面认识山川生成的道理,把握山川脉势的形态,就如画人物的学习解剖学一样,心里明白,手就有了着落。高岛氏的着作就是一本山水解剖学。正是这种不仅在经验上同时也在理论上的科学认识,使姬子通过多次亲临燕山深处,太行山中的写生,兼取当代李可染、钱松岩、宋文治诸家的笔墨优点,逐步形成了自己独具个性风格的笔墨山水。从吸取科学的造型法则方面充实了自己作品的理性因素。

  通观姬子的艺术历程及其作品,其笔墨山水所追求的境界与当时的钱松岩、宋文治诸家属于同一范畴,其冰雪山水的独创,抓住了经典山水画在表现雪山冰封方面的薄弱点,创出了如雪麻皴、雪劈皴、雪坡皴、雪窝皴等独特的技法。但这两个类型的作品,是其进一步探索墨道山水的坚实基础。由于其墨道山水不仅延用了笔墨山水,尤其是冰雪山水的表现技法,融有独特造型的内在因素,承接了冰雪山水重在表现肺腑情怀的心源优势,而且通过思维的拓展,画面构成的重组变形,追求超越表像再现。

  不仅在吸取科学的造型规范方面姬子进行了深入的探究,同时他还吸取了西画造型的团块立体性表现,进一步强化了山脉形象的体积感;吸取了西方古典绘画低调深沉的画面处理,加重了作品的宏观远视的重量感;同时还吸取了日本东山魁夷于单纯中见丰富的色彩表现以及版画的黑白对比,强化了作品的色彩构成的宏观效果。为其表现大气磅礴、厚重深沉、崇高悲壮的内涵境界提供了形式方面的有效保证。可见,姬子在吸取西方艺术方面完全是在理性地分析了中国传统艺术长短,为强化表现而进行借鉴吸取的。

Ink Paintings: Existence and Transcendence

  从东西方艺术的比较来看,似乎西方现代绘画与中国传统的文人画具有更多的相近之处。如前所述,中国传统的文人水墨画更注重于主体精神的表现,正所谓中得心源画者从于心者也。但中国传统的文人画并不是纯主观的情绪化表现。而是一种以一管之笔拟太虚之体,超于象外,得其环中的超越性表现。这与西方现代派绘画中的表现主义、抽象主义、超现实主义存在着一定的共同之处,但又有着本质上的区别。我们知道,文艺复兴以来所建立起来的造型体系对艺术的发展起着极其重要的作用。然而,当一种艺术发展到高峰时,便会走向反面。严格而科学的造型规范逐步把艺术引向了高超的模拟复制,对视觉真实的刻意追求削弱束缚了作者思想感情的表现,逐步使艺术落为一种学院化的僵化模式,这就导致了艺术家对模拟论的反叛。现代艺术正是在模拟再现论走到尽头时以向传统挑战的革新姿态出现的。从浪漫主义到表现主义,从抽象主义到超现实主义,都强调单纯再现客观物象,并不是艺术的目的,主张要充分表达主观的情感,要画出音乐,要表现人的潜意识梦境等等。确实艺术中有比视觉真实更重要的东西,仅有视觉真实并不能产生震人心弦的感染打动力,这正与中国艺术不求严格的形似,反对虽工亦匠,提倡重在抒怀表现的思想有不谋而合的相通之处。所不同的是:中国艺术的千古真言外师造化,中得心源这句简单而深刻的话,已决定了中国艺术既不可能走到逼肖自然的一端,也不可能走到纯主观表现的另一端。

--A Review of Jizis Art(three )

  中国艺术是一种涵容性极强的艺术,她的发展进步必然是一种综合融会中的开拓。正是鉴于中国艺术精神的这一特征,姬子在自己的探索中没有去盲目追随西方现代派绘画的形式,而是根据发展中国画的内在需要有分析地借鉴了西方现代派绘画,或者说是把西方现代派绘画与中国传统绘画进行了比较后,吸取了其某些有益的成份来探索创造自己的艺术。具体地讲,他把表现派重视主观情感的表达与中国的发自肺腑的抒怀进行了比较,强化了自己的情感表现意识;把抽象派的构成法则及追求音乐效果的表达与大音与天地同和的追求进行了比较,强化了自己以变形重构表达音乐效果的意识;把超现实主义表现人潜意识梦境的追求,与中国天人合一澄怀观道的境界追求进行了鉴别比较,强化了自己的宇宙意识,确定了自己以表现宇宙大道精神的超越性追求目标。在此对音乐效果的追求可以贯通以上三方面的借鉴思考。康定斯基在其《论艺术的精神》一书中写道:音乐一直是这样一门艺术,它力图表现艺术家的灵魂和创造音乐的独立生命,而不是复制自然现象。在渴望能艺术地表现自己的精神生活时,一个不满足于再现生活和自然的画家,会情不自禁地羡慕音乐这门目前最乏物质性的艺术竟然如此轻松自如地达到了这一目的。他会自然而然地将音乐的手法应用到他自己的艺术中去(30页)。姬子先生所探索的墨道山水正是要以一种类似无标题音乐式的构成和境界表达自己对宇宙大道精神的体悟,表现一种浩然悲壮崇高深沉的超然情怀。

  3. Progressive Levels of Transcendental Paintings

  通观姬子对西方绘画的借鉴汲取,无论是古典的还是现代的,无不是以中国的文化精神为根本,去有分析地鉴别取舍的。他融会西画的有益因素,并不是要改造中国画,而是要发展中国画,创造中国画新的表现技法,探索中国画新的表现空间。

  Due to the fact that the theory of Chinese painting most definitely does not take the ability to paint as the measure of a paintings value, but rather evaluates a painting by the level of its spiritual meaning, so for this reason the theory of realms, that is the realm a painting attains, is a special feature of Chinese art theory. The contemporary artist and critic Mr. Zong Baihua (1897-1986), when discussing realms in Chinese painting, has said: Why are Chinese artists not satisfied with purely objective, mechanical drawings? Because the realm of Chinese painting is not a single plane of natural reproduction but rather the creation of realms of painting, with each realm having a deeper level. In all, there are three levels: the drawing of an object as directly perceived through the visual sense; the conveying of the dynamism of life; and the revealing of the highest spiritual realm. (Zong Baihua The Birth of Realms in the Visual Arts)

Ink Paintings: Existence and Transcendence

  In summarizing his own artistic process, Mr. Jizi divided his creativity into three progressive genres: continuation, rebirth, and pioneering. By the continuation genre, Jizi means that, on the basis of continuing traditional painting, and by means of deeply investigating life in order to make progress in sketching, while at the same time consulting the works of contemporary artists of merit, he obtained a profound understanding of painting, and gradually formed his own brush and ink style. Using a familiar adage to sum this up, we can say that Jizi: continued the traditional but was not confined by tradition, deeply investigated life to blend the strong points of different artists, and so formed his own style. What Jizi was seeking in this genre was to use his own skills with brush and ink to express real mountains and real streams, that is the mountains and the scenes that one sees with ones eyes. These belong to the category of scenery that one already sees physically and emotionally, and the basic spirit is Realism.

--A Review of Jizis Art(two)

  By the rebirth genre, Jizi means using principally his own sentiments in order to create an expressive realm that surpasses Realism. In order to achieve this goal, Jizi had to break through the techniques of previous artists, and proceed to explore and create the breaking of new artistic ground. His creative spirit in this genre was, in the words of Shi Tao: from the depths of my heart, using my own abilities, I will decide how to use the brush and how to apply the ink. What Jizi was seeking in this genre was not a pure, objective reproduction but rather the ability to paint a creative realm of the mountains and scenes in ones mind that belong to the category known as having ones mind set in a profound artistic mood. In this genre, the artists individuality is particularly distinctive and the basic spirit is Romanticism. While this genre is close in several aspects to Expressionism, it still remains in the category of conventional, rational painting.

  2. Learning from Western Art, While Keeping the Spirit of Chinese Art as the Substance

  By the pioneering genre, Jizi means that conceptually he wanted to go beyond the physical realm that simply shows images, and advance to the metaphysical realm. In this genre, the artist wants his creations to express the universal spirit of the Tao that is beyond the image, but obtained from what the Tao encompasses. To accomplish this, the artist collects all the images - the abstract, the concrete, and the mental - and gives them a macro realization that has a unified, music like effect. In order to obtain this goal, the artist must proceed with a full range of exploration and creation from thought to framework, from technique to expression, and other such aspects of painting. The creative spirit in this genre is described variously as: a pure mind glimpsing the Tao, a pure mind getting the sense of an object, using the Tao to discuss art, and using art to embody the Tao; and seeking method and image from the Tao. What the artist is seeking in this genre is to transcend just showing the features of mountains and streams in order to realize the materialization of the realm of Tao, that is to paint mountains and scenes in the Tao.

  How to learn from and assimilate Western art has since modern times been a question explored in a variety of ways. Generally speaking, however, no matter how China assimilates the strong points of Western art, Chinese painting must not lose its essential characteristics. That Chinese painting must possess its own national characteristics is a basic consensus reached in scholarly circles. For this reason, every artist who strives to develop and innovate Chinese painting must profoundly research the pros and cons of Chinas traditional art, and make a comparison of the height of cultural development in Chinese art and to the advances in Western art in order to take the spirit of Chinese art as the substance while assimilating the strong points of Western art via analysis and discernment. This comparison thus advances an exploration that both continues tradition and opens up new ground. Only in this way can artists successfully blaze a new trail of innovation for Chinese painting.

  For several decades Mr. Jizi persevered in his explorations. In the early years, he called his own little corner of the world such names as The Bitter Blue Studio, and The Studio for Chanting in the Withering Cold, and hence we realize just how difficult it was for him in the beginning. It was just in this bitter cold period that he assiduously studied previous artists, establishing a solid foundation in traditional painting. From the end of the 1960s, he began to explore his own style. He worked during the day while at night he calmed his mind in order to delve into art, but it was a difficult time nonetheless. At the beginning of the 1970s, he started from personal experience and called his corner of the world The Not Easy Studio. It was just in these difficult circumstances that his explorations took shape as ink and brush landscapes painted in his own style. He continued his own style creating his manifestations of the frozen ice and fluttering snows of the North Country, the biting cold and tragic majesty of the Yan Mountain ice and snow landscapes. At the end of the 1980s, following the impact of the rise of business in China, one by one artists began to engage in business, but Jizi continued to abide by the ancient Taoist precepts of extreme emptiness and guarded quietude (i.e. remaining unperturbed by what others do and concentrating instead on quietly honing a skill).

www.163888.com,  Since recent times, there has been a great many analytical theorists discussing the differences between Chinese and Western art. These discussions clearly show that recognizing and summarizing the different features of both Western and Chinese art and, via a mastery of both, reaching a thorough understanding of both, is not only beneficial to the development of Chinas national culture but also an issue that China must always face. Recently, in connection with the differences between Chinese and Western painting, some theorists have concluded: Western art is rational; Chinese art, perceptual. Western art is influenced by scientific thinking, while Chinese art is edified by a cultural energy. Chinese art, in comparison to Western art, possesses more cultural value. (The view of Mr. Ye Zi). This type of criticism, with respect to understanding Chinese and Western classical paintings, has without doubt a certain broad significance. Nevertheless, this criticism also has its inaccuracies. The tendency of Western art to be influenced by scientific thinking is essentially an expression of a type of rationalist spirit and, while we cannot say that this rationalist spirit is not cultural as well, we most assuredly cannot say that it lacks cultural value. We also cannot generalize that Chinese painting by comparison is perceptual. Actually, Chinese and Western art belong to two different cultural systems, each of which expresses different concepts of cultural values and two different cultural spirits.

  At this time, Jizi changed his studio name to The Determined Studio, and continued his profound exploration. These explorations finalized in the experimental paintings that became the artistic expression known as the Tao of Ink Landscapes. The dictum for Jizis The Not Easy Studio was: It is not easy for those who know the difficulties, but there are many who, because they know the difficulties, lower their expectations. It is thus especially not easy to know the difficulties but still not lower ones expectations. Thus for one who does not lower his expectations but instead makes them definite, then such a person is really noble, and this nobility represented that profound spiritual essence necessary to advance Jizis art.

  As I have said previously, it is only in a few aspect that we can say that Chinese classical painting lacks rationality, and we absolutely cannot characterize Chinese painting as relatively more perceptual than rational. Traditional Chinese painting did not strive for a strict reproduction of actual objects, and did not develop scientific modeling rules in depth. The birds and flowers of the Northern Song Painting Academy are, of course, realistic, but they uniformly incurred the negation of the literatis aesthetic judgments, a negation that brought about a priori defects in forming rational shapes in Chinese painting.

  In a comprehensive view of the course of his art and his artworks, we see that the artistic realm that Jizi was seeking in his brush and ink landscapes belonged to the same category as the works of the contemporary artists Qian Songyan and Song Wenzhi (mentioned above). The originality of Jizis snow and ice landscapes is that he understood the weak points of classical landscape painting in displaying snowy mountains and frozen peaks, and hence created such special techniques as the rough, choppy, slanting, and hollow brush methods for showing the textures of snow and ice. These two kinds of artworks, Jizis brush and ink landscapes and his snow and ice landscapes, however, formed a solid foundation for Jizi to proceed to explore his Tao of Ink Landscapes. Because his Tao of Ink Landscapes were not just an extension of his brush and ink landscapes, but in particular were the expressive techniques he used in the snow and ice landscapes, they incorporated inner elements that made for unique modeling, and captured the snow and ice landscapes emphasis on expressing the artists heartfelt sentiments. By means of expanding his thinking and restructuring and modifying the configuration of the paintings, moreover, Jizi sought to reproduce a painting that surpassed merely showing an image.

  With regard to the reality of Chinese paintings, however, the paintings pay attention to the shape of objects and use appropriate colors. We cannot say that a deep understanding of artistic principles and a clever use of artistic skills is not an expression of a rationalist spirit. Of the four criteria for criticizing paintings, three, namely ability, subtlety, and spirituality, are without doubt descriptions of painting lifelike forms. These three describe paintings that contain both form and energy, have a lively spirit, and steadily attain critical standards. This is a steadily advancing process whereby the artist first acquires skill, then draws, first seeking the shape and then seeking the likeness; and finally, obtaining the essence and forgetting the form, the artist seeks a method beyond methodology, and achieves a surpassingly free and natural style.

  We can see here that traditional Chinese painting did not blindly deny the creation of forms but rather wanted to excel on the basis of the interplay between heart and hand, rising up to the level where one draws circles and squares without a ruler or compass, and puts energy into the colors and not remaining at the level where one is a draftsman seeking to become an artist. In view of this rational nature of Chinese painting, it is inadequate to link Chinese painting with a lack of scientific rules for modeling.

  As an artist striving to develop Chinese painting, the entry point for assimilating Western art is first to start with introducing scientific modeling aspects. The development of Chinese painting in recent times strongly bears strong testimony to this point. Although the Tang artist Zhang Zaos maxim to Learn about painting from natures creations, but find the source for paintings in your mind, dates from the Tang Dynasty, it has since then been the motto for Chinese painting. Due to the fact that Zhang Zao himself did not leave a detailed explanation of this maxim, however, those who came after him held flexible opinions as to what the maxim means. Learn about paintings from natures creations has thus been interpreted variously to mean: seek the subject of a paintings appearance, spiritual essence, power, substance, natural appearance, or spiritual enjoyment. Zhangs maxim has also been taken to mean understanding the subject of a painting in depth and with sophistication. In short, to learn about painting from natures creations is made the basis for painting what one desires.

  Only in the early Qing Dynasty did Shi Tao in his Quotations on Art attribute the following three specifics to Zhangs maxim to learn about painting from natures creations. First, seek a rational method, maintain the ability to reproduce nature, study in depth the objects raison dtre, and make every effort to paint its true condition. Shi Taos following statements are fundamental to rationality and method: A painter is one who knows the shapes and forms of the myriad of things in the world. When the mountain peak and the method for showing its shades and textures agree, then the painting method produces the mountain peak. If one does not know the peak, then how can one transform (it into a painting), and if one does not have the method for showing the peaks shades and textures, then how can one make the peak appear (in a painting). Second, seek the essence of the form to complete the principles of Yin and Yang. Shi Tao stated: The uniqueness of my painting is that it penetrates both the form and essence of mountains and streams. Again, The painter bares the soul of mountains, streams, and the myriad of things, because the painter has the power to nurture life. And again, If the ink cannot introduce vitality, then the brush cannot paint the essence; when both the ink and brush are able, then the the Yin and the Yang are freed; when the hand creates from chaos, then conveying both the ancient and the modern into one work is the result of wisdom. Third, combine Heaven and man to seek your individuality. Shi Tao said: Who paints the changes to all under Heaven has a great method and is among the elite who can paint the forms of mountains and streams. Those painters and molders who created things both in ancient and present times, they passed smoothly over the principles of Yin and the Yang, taking hold of the ink and brush to paint the myriad of things between Heaven and earth, training and teaching themselves. Shi Tao also said: To establish his spirit in the sea of ink, and to create life at the tip of his brush, to paint rich content within a small area, to bring order out of chaos, the artist, even if there is no brush or ink or painting, persists in his art. And again: As for a mountain and a stream having me represent them, the mountains and streams are created by me and I am created by the mountains and streams; our spirits encounter each other and art is made. Shi Taos statements can be taken as the best explanation of learning about painting from natures creations.

  Shi Taos thoughts on painting appeared enlightened to his contemporaries, and served to correct the reverence for antiquity advocated by the four landscape painters of the early Qing Dynasty, namely Wang Shimin (1642-1715), Wang Hui (1632-1717), Wang Jian (1598-1677), and Wang Yuanqi (1642-1715), known collectively as the Four Wangs. Shi Taos statement that an artist should search for the most unusual peaks and then start painting ran counter to the Four Wangs reverence for antiquity, but was widely disseminated among artists. Due to the limitations of the period, however, Shi Taos ideas on painting did not lead to the establishment of a scientific method for creating forms. The Four Wangs and their reverence for antiquity continued adversely to influence Qing Dynasty art circles.

  Up until recent times when Western studies entered China, only then did some young people break through tradition and start to learn from the West. This occurred especially during the May Fourth Movement (1919) when Chen Duxiu (1879-1942) was the first to advocate the spirit of realistic painting in order to transform a dispirited Chinese art. Those who answered Chens call, such as Xu Beihong (1895-1953) and other artists who were members of the Reform School, advocated Western arts use of models to learn drawing, and these reform artists made gratifying achievements. Even more important was the period after the establishment of the Peoples Republic in 1949 when the ideology of artistic realism occupied a prominent position, resulting in many contemporary Chinese artists treading the path of deepening their life experiences and changing their painting methods by the use of drawings. This created a generation of Chinese artists who reached significant milestones. They strengthened the rational characteristics of Chinese painting and pushed Chinese painting to a new genre of development.

  Mr. Jizi started his specialization in landscape painting in the 1950s, during the period of reform in Chinese painting. After he possessed the requisite traditional sills, he proceeded from Shi Taos advocacy of reform, and smoothly and logically started out on the road of facing life, transforming his art via sketching and drawing, and gradually forming his own artistic style. He started first by making a complete study of Shi Taos Quotations on Art, determined to enter into traditional art on a rational basis, and also come out from traditional art on a rational basis. He consolidated his experiences and attempted techniques to express scenes of northern China. Because he lacked the foundation of experience in actually making drawings in northern China, however, initially he was of course not successful. He also went to the north to attempt to paint from nature there, but he could not get free of the antique ways of using brush strokes to show the shades and textures of rocks and mountains.

  At the end of the 1960s, Jizi borrowed from a friend Takashima Hokkais (1850-1931) The Essential Method for Drawing Mountains, translated into Chinese by the artist and critic Fu Baoshi (1904-1965). Jizi was immediately convinced by the books incisive arguments, scientific analysis, and the large number of sketches included therein. He read the book carefully, repeatedly trying to fathom it, finally realizing that, since he could not engrave it in his mind, or even keep it in his hands, he immediately copied out the whole book, and even conscientiously traced the more than one hundred illustrated drawings in the book. This one volume of The Essential Method for Drawing Mountains had a profound impact on Jizi, as it laid out for him a solid way to conduct field sketches. Mr. Jizi said: Recognizing the principles that create mountains and streams from the aspects of geology and topography, and grasping the shapes of mountain ranges and rushing streams was for an artist just like studying the anatomy of nature: my mind understood it, and my painting hand followed. Mr. Takashimas book is a volume on the anatomy of mountains and streams. It is just this kind of scientific knowledge that is not only rooted in experience but at the same time also theoretical that took Jizi into the wilds of Yan Mountain and the middle of Tai Xing Mountain to make sketches. This knowledge also caused him to take the fine points of using ink and brush from contemporary artists Li Keran (1907-1989), Qian Songyan (1899-1985), and Song Wenzhi (1919-1999) that gradually became his own individual style of ink and brush landscape painting. Absorbing the scientific principles for creating shapes enriched the rational factors in Jizis art works.

  Jizi not only proceeded to probe deeply into ways to absorb the requirements for scientific modeling and shaping, at the same time he also absorbed the Western means of expressing shapes with two dimensional segments, and used this to advance the artistic sense of volume and bulk. Jizi absorbed Western classical paintings use of profound understatement to process images and to increase a macroscopic and farsighted sense of mass. Simultaneously, Jizi was also absorbing Japans Higashiyama Kaiis ability to express rich colors in simple objects and his contrast of blacks and whites in print making that strengthened the macroscopic effect of color composition. These provided Jizi an effective guarantee to express the connotations of majesty, depth, and solemnity in his shapes. We can see that Jizi, in his absorption of elements of Western art, made a completely rational analysis of the pros and cons of Chinese traditional art.

  From the perspective of a comparison of Eastern and Western art, it would seem that Western modern painting and Chinas traditional literati art have many points in common. As we previously stated, Chinas traditional literati ink drawings put more emphasis on expressing the spirit of the subject, described as finding the source for paintings in your mind, and a painter paints with his mind.

  Chinas traditional literati paintings, however, are not simply expressions of the subjects emotions, but rather they are a kind of expression of transcendence that uses a brush to embody the Tao, and that goes beyond the external appearance to obtain what that appearance encircles. This transcendence has certain points in common with Western modern schools of painting such as Expressionism, Abstractionism, and Surrealism, but it also has essential differences. We all know that, since the Renaissance, the systems of modeling that have been constructed have played an important role in the development of art. Nevertheless, when one type of art reaches its peak, then it can start to go the opposite way. Strict scientific modeling eventually leads to art that is a superb virtual reproduction but, in the deliberate pursuit of visual reality, it weakens and restrains the display of an artists thoughts and feelings, eventually causing art to descend into a type of rigid, academic model, resulting in artists rebelling against this simulationism.

  With the theory of simulated reproduction, modern art has come to a dead end, and is now evincing an innovative attitude that challenges traditional art. From Romanticism to Expressionism, from Abstractionism to Surrealism, all of these movements have stressed that a simple reproduction of objective images is most definitely not the goal of art. These movements all advocate full expression of subjective emotions, paintings that are lyrical, paintings that express a persons subconscious dreams, and so on. These movements assure us that there is something more important in art than visual reality. There is also an inspiring dynamic that moves people in a way that visual reality cannot. These movements have much in common with Chinese arts not seeking strict shapes, its opposition to being a draftsman rather than an artist, and its advocation of expressing ones feelings. The difference between these movements and Chinese art is this: the eternal truth of Chinese art, namely the Learning about painting from natures creations, but finding the source for paintings in your mind, this rather simple but yet profound statement, confirms that Chinese art will neither go to the extreme of becoming the very image of nature nor to the extreme of being an expression of pure subjectivity.

  Chinese art is an art with a strong assimilative nature, and its development and advance is pioneered in an integrative mix. It was just in view of this special feature of the spirit of Chinese art that Jizi, in his explorations, did not blindly follow the forms of modern Western schools of painting. Rather, Jizi analyzed and borrowed from modern Western schools of painting based on the inner necessities for developing Chinese art. Or we can say that, after making a comparison of modern Western schools of painting and Chinese traditional painting, Jizi absorbed their most beneficial components and used these to search for and create his own art. Specifically, he made a comparison of the Expressionists emphasis on conveying subjective feelings and Chinas expression of ones heartfelt feelings to strengthen the awareness of expressing his own emotions.

  Jizi made a comparison of the Abstractionists structural rules, and searched to convey a musical effect. He also searched for grand music and the harmony of Heaven and Earth to strengthen his awareness of using modification and reconstruction to express a musical effect. He distinguished and compared Surrealisms seeking to express mans subconscious and his dream worlds with Chinas seeking the realm where Heaven and man are one; a realm where a pure mind glimpses the Tao, strengthens ones awareness of the universe, and defines ones transcendent seeking for the goal of expressing the spirit of the universal Tao. At this point, Jizis seeking a musical effect penetrated his learning and thinking about the three aspects just mentioned. In his Concerning the Spiritual in Art, Wassily Kadinsky wrote: Music is just the kind of art that expresses both the artists soul and the independent life that creates music, for music is not the replication of natural phenomena. And again: When he is anxious to have art express his spiritual life, a painter who is not satisfied with reproducing life and nature cannot help but envy music - the one art that at present lacks substance but unexpectedly and easily achieves this goal of expressing an artists spiritual life. The artist then involuntarily uses musical methods in his own art (page 30). Mr. Jizis explorations of the Tao of Ink Landscapes quite similarly uses an untitled musical composition mode to express his own intuition of the spirit of the universal Tao, and to express a transcendent feeling that is noble, solemn, sublime, and profound.

  Throughout Jizis learning from and absorbing of Western painting, no matter whether it was ancient or modern paintings, all had the spirit of Chinese culture as the essential and were analyzed to determine what to keep and what to discard. He merged the beneficial elements of Western painting, not because he wanted to reform Chinese painting, but because he wanted to develop Chinese painting, he wanted to create new techniques of expression for Chinese painting, and he wanted to explore new ways to express space in Chinese painting.

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