Contrast the Chinese view of art with the European view with examples.
A Chinese artist takes art as an essence of inner life and spirit. A European artist takes art as a figurative representation of reality. A European artist wants the viewer to borrow his eyes and look at the painting as he saw it. A Chinese artist wants the viewer to enter his mind and look at his painting as the landscape of the spirit. The painting that Wu Daozi made for the Tang Emperor represented the Chinese view of art. It was meant to show the Emperor that the outer beauty of figures is of no worth. It is the inner beauty that matters. The fly that Quinten drew in the painter’s panel represented the European view of art. It was meant to create an illusion of reality.
Explain the concept of shanshui.
Shanshui is a Chinese word which means ‘yang-yin’ (mountain-water). These two words represent the Daoist view of the universe. The mountain is yang. It reaches vertically towards Heaven. It is stable, warm and dry in the sun. The water is yin. It is fluid, moist and cool. It rests horizontally on the earth. It is the receptive, feminine aspect of universal energy. Its counterpart is yang which is active and masculine. The two elements in a Chinese landscape are also yang and yin.
What do you understand by the terms ‘outsider art’ and ‘art brut’ or ‘raw art’ ?
These words represent a new art form. They are all used for the art of those who have ‘no right’ to be artists. It is the art of those who have received no formal training. But they have an unusual talent and a deep artistic insight. These ‘outsider artists’ do not use any brush or paints. They work with anything and everything from a tin to a sink to a broken-down car. Nek Chand, who created the Rock Garden of Chandigarh, was one such artist.
Who was the ‘untutored genius who created a paradise’ and what is the nature of his contribution to ar
The ‘untutored genius’ was Nek Chand. The paradise he created is the Rock Garden of Chandigarh. He cleared a little patch of jungle. Here he created a wonderful work of art. For it, he used only stone and broken pieces of things. It is considered his greatest contribution to ‘outsider art’. Nek Chand didn’t have any formal training in art. But he had an unusual talent and a deep artistic insight. He took this new form of art to dizzying heights. His talent has been recognised all over the world. But Nek Chand said, “The biggest reward is walking through the garden and seeing people enjoy my creation.”