The East Asian Literati Painting Theories of Sisŏhwa as a Contemplative Practice

Journal of Aesthetic Education 52 (3):56 (2018)
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Abstract

This paper examines East Asian literati’s sisŏhwa (poetry, calligraphy and painting) mainly done by ink and wash painting and focuses on their painting theories related to integrative learning and artistic practice. The literati expressed their philosophical ideas using visual and textual language according to Illyul theory based on the Sŏhwa Same Origin theory. They delivered their intentions through symbolic meaning of the visible in terms of the Uisang theory, and put emphasis on ki in their pictorial space using the Kiunsaengdong theory in a monistic universe. The literati’s process of sisŏhwa practice unifies the mind/spirit with body/material and connects humans with nature/the universe. It also enables the creation of a representation of nature according to Shitao’s Oneness of Brushstroke theory. Ultimately it trained them for aesthetic harmony and spiritual enlightenment. As a result, Sisŏhwa Contemplative Practice theory was formed. This paper suggests that this theory should be reconstructed as the basic discipline in education.

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