a country called art
Post #586 • July 21, 2005, 11:21 AM • 9 Comments
When I have been able to sneak it in, I have been learning Chinese. (Why? More on that soon.) This morning, with some time off to relax before a busy afternoon and night, I pulled a favorite Balthus book from the shelf. It fell open to an entry entitled Ideograms.
The Chinese characters. I know a few. Ideograms help a lot with drawing and knowing how to paint. The character is executed in a limited space, which leads one to call on one's sense of precision and aesthetics. The word "rest," for instance, is composed of the words "man" and "tree." Wonderful! I think it would be very useful to teach the art of ideograms in Western schools because it sharpens the sense of equilibrium in composition. I've never been to China, but I lived in the heart of the Swiss Alps when I was small, in the Wattenburg mountains. While reading a Chinese book one day, I discovered that the Chinese see things appearing and disappearing in the mountains just like me. I am drawn to Asian art because of its universal aspect, which Western art doesn't have. Unfortunately, few painters are interested in Chinese paitning these days. I am also fascinated by its economy. As for ancient Japanese painting, it's strange how much it resembles the Siena School.
With politics coming up here and there on the blog over the last week, I thought of how certain artists, regardless of where they work, live in a timeless, borderless country called Art.