Volume 18. Krystyna Wilkoszewska (ed.). Aesthetics in Action. International Yearbook of Aesthetics. Volume 18. 2014 Content The 18th…More...
Springtime in Beijing was, this year, too short. Short and very busy. Some of our good friends visited here, including Ken-ichi Sasaki, Curtis, Carter and Ales Erjavec, and I was very happy to meet them. I will enjoy seeing all of you in between the regular meetings of our Congresses.
Recently, I have attended several conferences in China and elsewhere. In early April, I went to Hangzhou for a symposium on the theoretic significance of Chinese ink-wash painting hosted by Pan Gongkai. We had a very good discussion there on the famous West Lake garden, a place traditionally called "Paradise on Earth" in China. Our friends, Curtis Carter, Richard Shusterman and Peng Feng, gave excellent presentations there. We also met other scholars including François Jullien and Cheng Chung-ying. Two topics discussed were especially interesting and deserve mention here: first, the physical brushwork as the traces of human action to signify the feeling and emotion, or states of mind of the painters, and second, the brushwork as the evidence of the painter's character as a morally exemplary human being. These two concepts represent two interrelated ways of thinking about and interpreting Chinese ink-wash painting.
A little later in April, I went to Chengdu (The city where many of us met in 2006. I hope you still remember this city where the Executive Committee meeting of IAA voted to approve Beijing as the venue for the 2010 IAA Congress). At this 2014 Chengdu conference, two key concepts attracted the attention of the participants. First, contemporary literary theory and secondly, its trans-cultural travel. "Contemporary" and "contemporarity" are important concepts because people are considering the possibilities to go beyond the post-modern and post-modernism. The introduction of so many different theories into China has contributed to confusion among Chinese scholars. They now wish to return to their own ways of living and artistic practices. Their aim is to find possibilities for focusing on their own practices while continuing to introduce the theories from abroad. Secondly, the matter of the trans-cultural travel of theories is important. During the 20th century, many theories have become influential internationally. Most of them originated from Europe and became internationally influential by way of their reception and development in the USA. Now, as theories travel to China, it is hoped that their reception and development here can become theoretically significant and fruitful in the future as well.