新碑学: 悲悼与长子 | 丁楠与昵娜双个展
New Stele School: Trauerspiel & The Firstborn - Ding Nan & Nina Schuiki Biennial Exhibition
20 Apr - 7 May, 2016
New Stele School 1 Trauerspiel & The Firstborn | Order
Text: Wang Jiyu
Stele School Salligraphy is a political aesthetic movement, whose dates cover the vast historical landscape of the Late Ming and Qing Dynasties. It is regarded as classical China’s last important cultural movement and aprologue to modern Chinese political thought on literature and art. The movement’s name refers to calligraphic thought, during the Qing Dynasty restructuring of the Confucian classics by Ruan Yuan, Kang Youwei and other central leading figures of the period.
Another aspect is that during initial globalization which occurred during the Qing Dynasty, Stele School Calligraphy was transformed as a means of obtaining new global knowledge, influencing XuBeihong and other artists’ modern Chinese culture systems and academic creations.“New Stele School” is a rhetoric, assisting in the exploration of the relationship of the depth of work between classical civilizations and the globalized world.
Due to the organization of “The History of Experience WritingGroup” by contemporary scholars, the hope is to understand the mutual relationship between experimental art creation and the archaeology of the history of experience. The reconstruction of classics and deepening globalization is critical to the reality of contemporary China. By reawakening the Stele School Movement, we will be faced with two great realities. To analyze these realities, one needs to understand ideology and technique,law and aesthetics, wares and ceremony, classicality and versatility.Through this process, there is no more important way than the path of Steleschool.
Up until this point, our understanding of the political aesthetic structure of the Stele School’s “Want stele, Not model-leter” is as follows:
1. Public Historical Perspective
Criticizing the abuses of Model-leter Calligraphy. Limited to aliterati inner formal sense of history, it is important to advocate cultured individuals participation in public space, political space, sacred space and natural momentum of establishing a compound historical sense. We should become familiarized with temples, tombs, projects, sovereign meetings, sites for meritous service and others which follow historical logic,as we need to experience the changes of nature and time rather than staying ina so-called "Painting-meditation Hall".
2. Employing Wen to Express Zhi
Stele Calligraphy is not simply written with a soft brush, but also must employa knife to dig into the stone. The soft brush relies on the surface of the paper to move, and after time will become rich and varied, but will lose simple strength. Chen Hao (Northern Song Dynasty), Chen Yi (Northern Song Dynasty) and Zhu Xi’s (Southern Song) late philosophical thinking was rejected by many during their time. The concept of "wen （culture-form）"conflicted with the concept of "zhi （material-origin）"within their philosophies. A fission existed between their knowledge and practice. From the Late Ming until today many have criticized them for employing "zhi" to save "wen." Without the penetrative power of "wen," "zhi" alone is dangerous, and will only bring about uncivilized results. With modernity, these lessons have become very common. New Stele School try to cultivate the simple penetrative force of"wen" and "zhi" combined together.
3.Establish Art in Rite
“Establish humanity in rite”（The Analects of Confucius）；“roamand play in arts”（The Analects of Confucius）.
The Qing Dynasty restructuring of the Confucian Classics saw great achievementsin "li （rite-politics）"studies. At
the same time, the Stele Calligraphy Movementis opposition with the “you （roam-game）”calligraphic tradition. The Stele School Movement returns to Qin and Han concept of “li.” Changes seen in Model-leter Calligraphy occur by chance, whose power exists within one’s body, heart, will, spirit, breathing, and soul.Stele Calligraphy on the other hand exhibits a more serious mood, facing heaven and earth as well as the limits of man. When China faced Western learning during the Late Qing Dynasty, Ma Yifu and Gu Hongming both promoted the translation of “li” as the proper translation of "arts" ratherthan “yishu” which is used today. The creation of literature and arts enjoys the vigor of both "establish humanity" and "roam and play."If "you" is emphasized alone, its vigor will become more and more juvenile, or game like. Faced with the challenges of life and death, loyalty and forgiveness, right and wrong, just and evil, we will be leftwithout solution.
4. Republicanism of masses and individual
Before the Qin Dynasty, “ren” was emphasized as an individual politicalentity, whereas “min” was emphasized as a part of the collective life. The atmosphere of Steleology was shaped by intellectuals and laborers collective creations. In “Da Xue（The Great Learning）,” it is written: “The great Learning relies on understanding with ethics, connecting with the people, and moderation in best time.”When making a stele, its significance should be clear and definite, there should be a close connection with the people, one should know when his writing is complete. This reasoning is the same as that found within ancient texts.Research or revivalism has become political aesthetic Stele School, which is not only connected to cultural’s process of change, but also the integration of the interests of the people. This is new democracy cultural order’s rational experience.
5. From Actuality to Honesty
Zhong Yong wrote that “Honesty is the Law of Nature." Faced with the impact of Buddhism and Daoism, Tang and Song Dynasty Confucians found the theory that “actualest” explains “honesty.” They reply that "kong（empty）"and "xu（deficiency）"found within Buddhism and Daosim are the highest conditions found within both schools of thinking. Faced with the challenges of western modernity, KangYouwei, Xu Beihong chose “actualism” to oppose popular modern sects of thinking during that period. Through their own efforts executed over a long period of time, their created another form of modernity. Chinese contemporary oil painting spawned creativity in political actualism tradition. Therefore, “actualism” is definitely not a scientific visual experience, but rather a Confucian philosophical “actualest to honesty.”Stele School's knowledge system and methodological theory does not only consider the interests of ink game, discussion, but are also composed of archaeology, textual research, geography, fengshui, architecture and other varied froms. If the making of the stele is not actual, it will be difficult to achieve the desired long-lasting result. We should pursue the “actualest”, “honesty” will absorb techniques to the law of nature.
With today’s deepened globalization, contemporary art is the most powerful force which absorbs culture from around the globe, as other art forms lack that kind of deep pathogenicity. Humanity seldomly has any new problems. The obvious crisis in contemporary art is analogous to corrupt practices within the study of Model-leter School which has been criticized with practitioners of SteleSchool. Abstract art only emphasizes the artist’s inner “self-diciplined”historical view, neglecting public history and nature. Parts of Anglo-American young artists who’s post-pop excessive games and entertainment become “partyart.” Reviewing practices emphasized by Stele School and following the trend of Clasics, contemporary art may be treatmented from such abuses.
“New Stele School” may not necessarily generate a series of contemporary art exhibitions, but through the discussion of several issues, will gradually expand over time.
The exhibition “Trauerspiel & The Firstborn" invites artists Ding Nan and Nina Schuiki (Austria), who within the deep depressions of their work focus on Greek tragedy to German Trauerspiel(Walter Benjamin’s thesis), as well as the political aesthetic significance of the position of the firstborn within the ancestor-clan law system.
#新碑学 # NewSteleSchool
4 Jiuxianqiao Rd, 798 Art Zone,
+86 10 59789671
周二至周日10：00 - 18：00
Tuesday-Sundy 10:00 - 18:00
丁楠 Ding Nan
昵娜水汽 Nina Schuiki
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