Anti Homogenizing-If Song Dynasty Also Use, my traditional aesthetic project

(This article is translate from the Chinese version of my article.)

This project is a sub project of the class I teach in CAFA. The same problem I faced in both projects is how to understand traditional aesthetic, what is it, is it the wrapping paper or the core? There are two threads come out in the chaos, the first one is that the relationship between tradition and aesthetic, the second is the modernity of the aesthetic. By which I mean, I should make clear about definition of Song Dynasty aesthetic, and the value of this kind of aesthetic under that period, also to distinguish the value when it merges in the contemporary society.

When I was at college,about seven years ago, I was lack of a kind of ability of telling good or bad. I felt that I already tired of watching traditional stuff, but put my heart on remote website, books. Because it makes me feel that I could open my view, and I felt that their design is really better than China’s, such as Nordic Design or Japanese Design.

Well, actually in China, the visual colloquially is everywhere, we could see European style office building, apartment, and house, even the landmark building in many areas. And our life happy is represented by the American decoration Style in my hometown. We drink coke,coffee, cocktail, we wear a white wedding dress, luxury… I don’t know whether is a kind of containment of our tradition.

Sony Dynasty is a time in China, that the dominator speak highly of the man of letters and but restrain the knight Class. Scholars had been well dealt with, which make them act the more important roles in the society, also they affected all aspects of people’s life during that time. Their preference of jade, their awe of the ancient people affect the craftsman who creates daily use wares. The placid and detached from The confucianist. The Taoist and The Buddhist also was express by the ceramic ware through the glaze, decoration, and their name, Such as Azure Glaze of Ru Kilneye, Misty Blue Galze of Jingdezhen Kilneye. That’s made the atheistic of the ceramic connected with human spirits.

In the modern Jingdezhen, there is an industry have a solid relationship with traditional ceramic and their atheistic. There is about two hundred shop selling the mimic ceramic and bronze ware from the Han Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty in a gloomy alley, people call there Fanjia Jing. All the shapes and the function have references from history. The basement of this industry is quite similar with my aesthetic lesson, as we both need to study and understand in which dynasty does the shape begin to be produced systematically, what kind of clay of the ceramic use during that period, what are the textures are and what color of the glaze, and how does people call them. Better than us. They even take ceramic piece for the chemical analysis before making. For me, these products are not from our times radically,they are the representation of certain atheistic of different times. The problem they face is also serious, an owner of a store tell me that, after this industry being explored by the CCTV2, they cannot sell those ceramic as the real one, the truth of that they are new not from old devaluate the wares and let the crafts make much less money. Even they are still breaking the ceramic in a wood-fired kiln or salvage the large pot in Fujian (according to the owners). They still feel it’s hard to open the market.

I think it’s possible to let them find some new market, by transforming the content a little bit. So I built a platform to let my student try first. I name the project as If Song Dynasty Also Has, and
explain to my students how to think with their imagination and research. This project is a sub project of the class I teach in CAFA. The same problem I faced in both projects is how to understand traditional aesthetic, what is it, is it the wrapping paper or the core? There are two threads come out in the chaos, the first one is that the relationship between tradition and aesthetic, the
second is the modernity of the aesthetic. By which I mean, I should make clear about definition of Song Dynasty aesthetic, and the value of this kind of aesthetic under that period, also to distinguish the value when it merges in the contemporary society.


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