Paintings emerge from a culture field and must be interpreted in relation to the net of culture. A given culture will be implicated by the sign system used by the painter. Everyone agrees that in , the most important cultural bond is to ancient Chinese Taoism, and to a lesser degree, to Confucianism. Obviously, then, the key for these landscapes is an alert understanding of Taoism, and the primary source is the book the Tao Tê Ching. Some of the most crucial elements in Taoist beliefs are often ignored in the analysis of the Taoist landscapes, and this deserves more attention. The core of Taoism lies in a philosophic and religious guess, and the guess is made as an effort to reach a high-order explanatory theory of the origin of the universe, the structure of the universe, and the best path for human life. The guess of the ancient Chinese sages goes something like this: The universe is created by an Ultimate One whose nature remains mysterious, beyond the power of words, an Absolute pervaded by the spirit of motherhood, and thus moved to the acts of creation, using two agents of creation. These two agents are invisible
The Journal of Aesthetic Education – University of Illinois Press
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