Symbolism In Chinese Art

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Art, literature and philosophy in the Chinese traditional are a central part of the common Chinese culture, certainly prior to the modern era. In some respects akin to religion in the west. Artists try to blend natural observations to symbolism human affairs, and this can take the form of paintings and literature, where the underlying notions are tested against classical structures of thought and the nature of how the universe exists. Thus Chinese art is a comparative analysis between the observations of how things are currently versus the classical interpretations of the natural order of things, be they universal or personal, and all point in between. The Chinese believe that the natural order of things regarding man and natural can be seen…show more content…
In his work “Red Cliff” Su Shi provides a narrative of friends together enjoying a boat trip and drinking wine. However it is the underlying embedded messages that are the most important, taking the informed reader above and beyond the literal narrative by means of classical compound symbolism to highlight significant aspects important to the writer in the form of what at the outset appears to be a spontaneous lyric work. In fact woven with the lyrical narrative are sequences of attributes and their compound symbolism, which is based on the rules of Chinese art, and the passages of reference in the Yijing. Pairings such as bright moon, faint stars, dark birds, east mountain, wood li, heaven earth, earth eye… and so on are all made up of what are known as trigram attributes, each of which correspond with one of eight classical trigram, which pair together in the classical manner to correspond with the Chinese classics of changes, known as…show more content…
The first Red Cliff work makes approximately forty or so symbolic pairs the can be summaries as follows: Primarily the situation regarding life in that area at that time is changing or has changed, that people collectively need to come together in understanding such, and consider the possibility of the highly adverse circumstances continuing, for which they should prepare. In doing so they should subordinate to such reality, and not engage inexperienced folly. There is a need for conscientiousness in what is now a dangerous situation. Careful plans are thus required, pulling together capable people with insight. The notion being not falling into the temptations that may arise in such circumstances, but rather through the intellectual community that needs to work on reforms, but also in taking care with communications with the outside

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