UNESCO-NIE Centre for Arts Research in Education (CARE)

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Name of Author: 
Chun, Wee San
National Institute of Education
Year of completion: 
Country of Research Data: 

An Academic Exercise submitted in partial fulfillment of requirements for Bachelor of Arts (Hons)


The landscape paintings of Chen Wen Hsi are often overlooked or perceived from a Western perspective; hence this study was concerned with examining his modern landscapes through Qi, the most fundamental Chinese aesthetic principle. Prior to the discussion on Chen's artworks, this study traced the origin of the character Qi and defined its meanings in different contexts, namely Chinese philosophy, Chinese literature and Chinese painting. It then investigated the varied translations and interpretations of Qi, identified the errors and cleared misconceptions by offering an accurate interpretation of Qi. Finally, it looked into the manifestations of Qi in Chinese landscape painting, and in particular, in Chen's landscapes. Findings show that Qi in the landscape paintings of Chen can actually be identified and appreciated through the means of Si [Thoughts], Jing [Scene], Bi [Brushwork] and MO [Inkwork]. It is hoped that such findings could stimulate more research in wider areas, such as looking at landscapes of other modern Chinese painters. It is also my sincere hope that the outcomes of this study could serve to provide implications for the teaching of appreciation of Chinese painting in schools.

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