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"Contemporary Chinese Art"
Contemporary Chinese Art
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“Art’s inception occurred the instant man was able to think for himself." This fact, uttered by its anonymous speaker, holds true because artistic expression is what allows a person’s thoughts, feelings, and points of view to be represented. Art knows no limits, and has no boundaries. For example, humans today are able to decipher and understand relics of art from million-year-old societies, even though we no longer know their language or customs. Presently, a favorite genre of art to study by art enthusiasts is Chinese painting and sculpture. This is because although hundreds of years separate them, ancient and modern Chinese works of art share many similar characteristics. An example of this parallel can be found in the early painting known as The Great Wave and the contemporary piece known as Untitled, more commonly referred to as Ahead.

The Great Wave, painted by Katsushika Hokusai, is one of the most famous pieces of art found in Chinese culture. It’s origin dates back to around 1831, during the Edo Period. The painting is part of a series of masterpieces entitled Thirty-Six Views of Fuji. The painting is mostly dominated by three main colors: white, blue, and brown. Hokusai most likely chose these colors because of their association with the harmony of nature; brown for earth, white for air, and blue for water. The painting itself depicts a torrent seascape with Mt. Fuji looming in the background. In this work, he depicted the darkened curves of the foam of the waves as claws that seem to reach for the fishermen. The forthcoming smash of water delivers tension and suspense to the scene. On an interesting compositional note, the largest wave is said to form a massive ‘yin’ to complement the ‘yang’ of void space below. In the foreground, a small peaked upsurge forms...

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