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Chinese Philosophy and Contemporary Aesthetics

Unthought of Empty

Kejun Xia

The purpose of Chinese Philosophy and Contemporary Aesthetics is simple and straightforward: to discuss empty, nothing, opening, white, nature color, blankness, and different delicate senses, in ink-water painting and calligraphy, around discourses of poetics, philosophy ideas, and art critics.

Because xu has inner plasticity and re-generation, which are crucial for its aesthetic discourse, the relation between "nature" or "naturalness" and "emptiness" approaches a fundamental question of modernity—the relation between event revolution and "silent transformation."

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This book is an outgrowth of an unforgettable exhibition held five years ago in Beijing. As curator, I found myself deeply moved by the dialogue between painters over white and blankness, and the unique experiences created by the works of such artists as Qiu Shihua, Liu Guofu and Chen Guangwu.

For the publication of this book, I thank my translator Jeff Crosby for his dedicated and precise translation work. Our collaboration over the years has given us both a better understanding of contemporary art and the art of China. I would also like to thank Liu Yehua, editor at China Renmin University Press, for her great effort to make this book a reality.

Special gratitude goes to my friend Fabian Heubel, who has long been a close partner in philosophical discussion. Our dialogue on everything from contemporary interpretations of Zhuangzi to the contemporary transformation of Chinese traditional art has carried on for many years. This book would not have been possible without his support and affirmation. Thanks also to Dr. Dimitra Amarantidou who carefully edited this text to make it more comprehensible!

Finally, my heartfelt thanks go to my wife Jian Yankuan. Her steadfast love and support over the years have brought me the peace I need to think and write. I dedicate this book to her. ← xi | xii →

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