Calligraphy Master Wang Xizhi's Aesthetics

   Kant is an important figure in the history of Western philosophy and aesthetics. He is not only the founder of German classical aesthetics, but also a figure who has a profound influence on Western modern and modern aesthetics.

   Hegel was critical of Kant, but at the same time he fully affirmed that, "Although Kant's philosophy still has some flaws", "this is a turning point in modern philosophy." He also said: "Kant's theory is indeed a starting point for understanding the true concept of art." From the perspective of the subjective aesthetics that began to appear in modern times, it is indeed based on Kant's aesthetics, especially the "genius" theory in it, as its origin and starting point. Kinstakov once pointed out: "Kant focused on the subject of artistic creation in his theory of artistic genius, expounding the essence of artistic genius and its relationship with nature... At the same time, the creation of genius is not divorced from nature. "Kant's aesthetics pioneered the study of "the true concept of artistic beauty" from the perspective of genius-subjects in modern times.

   Wang Guowei's "The Position of Quaint in Aesthetics" was also written under the influence of Kant's aesthetics. Not only his concept of "all beauty is the beauty of form" came from Kant, but his view of genius also came from Kant. The article reads: "Artists. The production of genius. This is the conclusion of scholars over a hundred years since Kant (that is, Kant-quotation note). However, there are things in the world that are by no means real works of art. It is by no means a person who uses the product, and the person who makes it is never necessarily a genius, and we see it as if it is the same as the art produced by a genius. There is no name, but the name is quaint."

   Wang Guowei puts the beauty of quaint elegance between "genius production", that is, "real art", and "utilization", that is practical. In this sense, "quaint" is inferior to "genius art" or "true art". In the level of quaint elegance, Wang Guowei placed calligraphy as a whole at the lower level, calling it the "low-level fine arts". ”Are all placed in the “low-level art” category, thinking that “it is by no means true art”. Although this unfair depreciation can be said to be Wang Guowei's own opportunity, its origin is Kant. Kant believes that for appreciative judgment, "the combination of good...and beauty destroys its purity." Therefore, "vassal beauty" is lower than "free beauty" or "pure beauty." Although Wang Guowei believes that calligraphy belongs to the "beauty of form and the beauty of form", but he also believes that it is a practical product close to non-art-text, specifically, it is close to the social and practical meaning of the bell, seal, and rubbing. The words of the essay are therefore "low aesthetics." In fact, this is a kind of prejudice.

When commenting on Kant’s aesthetic thought, Mr. Jiang Kongyang once said: “Although vassal beauty is not as free and pure as free beauty, it is not necessarily low-level beauty.” This statement can also be used to comment on Wang Guowei’s “low-level art”. "Say. In fact, Chinese calligraphy as a whole, especially from the famous rubbing works, can’t be said to be “never the real work of art” or lower than “the production of genius”, but it should be said that it is the art of genius in itself. Taste. This can be said by Kant's genius to "attack the shield of the son with the spear of the son."

  What is genius art? Kant wrote:

The art of beauty is the art of genius...People can see from this that genius (1) is a kind of natural talent, which does not provide any specific regulations for what it produces, so originality must be its first characteristic. (2)...The works of geniuses must be models at the same time, which means they must be examples. It is not produced by imitation itself, but it must be the criterion of judgment or rule for others. (3) How it created its works, but it itself cannot be described or explained scientifically.... The author himself does not know how the concepts are established in his heart, nor is he affected by his own. Control... (4) Nature passes through the art of genius and does not make laws for science, and it is only within the scope of art that should be the art of beauty.

   This is an overview and emphasizes the four major characteristics of genius: originality, exemplary, natural expression, and artistic beauty. Although Kant here highlights talent and natural revelation, as well as difficult to explain inspiration, unconsciousness, etc., this should also be said to be the reality of psychology, and its overall spirit is to highlight the free creation of art and emphasize The unity of freedom, development, and law emphasizes the unity of genius and nature.

   In order to prove that the historically formed Chinese calligraphy is not a "low-degree art", here we first use Kant's four characteristics of genius to take care of the typical phenomenon of Chinese calligraphy-the phenomenon of Wang Xizhi.

   The book theory of the past dynasties has a variety of high evaluations and specific descriptions of Wang Xizhi, the "book sage" in the history of book history, such as——

  Wang Xi’s book has a magnificent character, such as a dragon jumping into the sky, a tiger lying down on a phoenix gate, so the treasures of the past dynasties will always be taught. (Liang Xiao Yan "Comment on the Good and Bad of Ancient and Modern Scholars")

   Yi has less handwriting and is rich in handwriting. He is unique in the beauty of a family. (Tang. Zhang Huairuan "Book Discussion")

   At that time, there was a divine help. After he wakes up, he will update dozens of books in the future, and there is nothing like the one written by the 祓禊. (Tang He Tingzhi's "Lan Ting Ji")

   Youjun's brushwork is like Mencius's words, Zhuang Zhou talks about nature, and speaks horizontally. Nothing is unsatisfactory, and it can be treated with common sense. (Song. Huang Tingjian "Inscription on Jiang Ben Fa Tie")

   The right army is excellent, and the genre is unique. Books do not enter the Jin Dynasty, they are not the upper class; the law is not the king, but it is called a good product? ...... Is there anyone who can speak righteously by She Zhongni, who can be a book of Dharma with few differences? (Ming. Xiang Mu "Calligraphy Elegant Words. Rules")

He incorporated all the various magical uses of the Qin and Han seal scripts that he had obtained from the expo throughout his life into the real cursive style, thus forming the best posture of his time, bringing forth the new and opening up a new world for future generations.,,, ,,Since the Tang Dynasty, people who have studied books have always recommended Youjun...

   In the history of Western literature, there is "The Unexplainable Shakespeare" written by Goethe; in the history of Chinese calligraphy, there is an inexhaustible Wang Xizhi. The book theory cited above provides a glimpse of the inexhaustible high evaluation and description of the "sage" Wang Xizhi in history. However, isn't this one of the best examples that Kant genius said? May wish to make a brief mutual verification between Wang Xizhi’s calligraphy phenomenon and the four characteristics of genius mentioned by Kant:

   One, "Genius is completely opposed to the spirit of imitation." The predecessors "do not provide any specific regulations for what it produces." Therefore, for Wang Xizhi’s calligraphy, “ingenuity must be its first characteristic”, and the so-called “genre ingenuity”, “innovation of the old and new”, and “beautiful in the beauty of a family” in the above cited book, “formed his era. "Best posture"... can be regarded as synonymous with originality. Among other reasons, Wang Xizhi's ability to counter-imitate and be good at original creation is because he is richest in "innate spiritual endowment", that is, "innate creative function as an artist". Zhang Huai-wan's "Six Types of Books" said, "If it is omnipotent, unique in nature, shining the present and resisting the ancients, and the era is popular, then the less is the best." This is the high evaluation of Wang Xizhi's natural endowment and original function.

   2. Wang Xizhi's calligraphy is not only original, but also exemplary. According to Kant's understanding, original works can also be "meaningless", but exemplary works must be meaningful, so they can "be the criterion of judgment or rule" for others. The Chinese calligraphers said that Wang Xizhi's book "has been a treasure of the past, and will never be taught" and "opened up a new world for future generations." Therefore, all scholars "prefer the right army first." Ancient book theory even said: "Faith is not the king, but Chen Yipin?" This emphasizes the paradigm of historical initiative. Wang Xizhi fully proved with his artistic creation, "Genius is: a subject expresses the originality of the paradigm of his natural talent in the free use of his cognitive function."

  3. The natural expression Kant said is also typical in Wang Xizhi's creation. The endless "first line book in the world"-"Lanting Preface" was born like this: "At that time, there was divine help, and after waking up, there will be hundreds of books in the future, and there is no such thing as a book written by a scorpion. ". "Divine help" is of course a description. In relation to the following, this means that "how it created its works, but it cannot be described or explained scientifically by itself", in other words, when it was created Almost "not under my own control", but it comes out spontaneously. Of course, this is not impossible to explain scientifically, but rather difficult to explain scientifically. As for Wang Xizhi's other works, it can also be said to be like Mencius's words, Zhuangzi talks about nature, and everything is satisfactory. Therefore, Dong Kui’s "Postscript to Guangchuan Calligraphy. Yu Yuan Gui Tie" pointed out: "Xi's calligraphy is just natural, and won't you wait until you learn it? The critics don't know that there is a secret in the book, and it is a matter of nature..."

  4. Kant said, “Nature uses genius to set laws for art instead of science”, which refers to the compliant rationality created by artistic beauty. Because genius is born of natural endowment and conforms to the laws of nature, his creation can achieve unity with nature, in other words, nature can achieve unity with art through him, so Zhang Huai-wan's "Book Broken Middle" said that Wang Xizhi "prepared all Body, self-contained family law, ever-changing, with the help of the gods, self-destined and spiritual, how can it reach its peak?"? Cen Zongdan’s "Book Review" also said: "The language is wonderful enough to contend for creation, and Xi Zhiyi." It has the ever-changing individual freedom of the subject, but also conforms to the laws of natural creation and the art of calligraphy. This unity of freedom and laws is sincere. As Kant said, "Nature is in the main body of the creator (and coordinated with its functions) to give laws to art."

  In Kant's aesthetic system, only genius art with four major characteristics is beautiful art, the highest art, which is what Wang Guowei called "true art". For this aesthetic theory and artistic feature, the phenomenon of Wang Xizhi in Chinese calligraphy is sufficient to prove it, and many book reviews cited above are also sufficient. It can be seen that Wang Shu is the "art of beauty" at the highest level. Set in the calligraphy based on the style of Wang Shu since the Jin and Tang Dynasties as a model rather than a simulation object, it is different from the two kings but different from the two kings. Its masterpieces are like the stars in the night sky, which are innumerable; This is exactly the expression of "art that produces beauty requires genius". This is also evidenced by history.

  According to Zhang Yanyuan's "Famous Paintings in Past Dynasties", Wang Yu of the Jin Dynasty stated that "the book is the law of the right army, and the right army also learned to paint at the time." He once said to Wang Xizhi: "Books are my own writings, and paintings are my own paintings." The word "I" is prominently emphasized. This is a strong subject consciousness first seen in art history, and a strong yearning for and a warm call for the world of originality. .

According to the "Southern History. The Biography of Zhang Rong", Zhang Rong's book is "extraordinarily strong." He also said: "If you don't hate ministers without two kings, you also hate two kings without courts." This is a standard and publicity of artistic personality. The above is to require "no regulations on what it produces" and declares that "it is completely opposed to the imitation spirit." Liu Xizai's "Art Overview. Book Overview" fully affirmed Zhang Rong's bold words.

Regarding Zhang Xu in the Tang Dynasty, Dong Kui’s "Between Zhang Xu's Book" wrote: "Long history is in the book, and the sky is also. The false pen and ink and the insights are the ones who have the perfection and the hand, how do you know that the straightforward method is self-contained? Twisting the room? Those who watch the book, like a horse in a nine-gao, can't ask for a similar shape. Fang Qi's wine is thriving, and when you get to know it, you don’t know the difference between the pen and the ink, and those who forget the book..." As for the madness of Huai Su, "there is nothing in art, so the grass sage is the most vertical" (Lu Shou "Huai Su Master's Cursive Script Song"), his creation "is in novelty and unpredictable, ancient thin Lili is half-moonless. When I am drunk, I will write two or three lines, and I will not want to write when I wake up" (Xu Yao's "Inscription Huai Su Master's Cursive Script"). The cursive writing of Zhang Xu and Huai Su also seems to be “unable to describe or explain scientifically” by themselves. They forget the pen and the book, and are not bound by the laws and regulations. Therefore, as Kant said, "the judgment of the beauty of its works is not allowed to be derived from any law." "It cannot offer an offer." In any formula, in order to be established as a norm". The calligraphy of Xu and Su fits perfectly with Kant's aesthetics of genius.

   In the Song Dynasty, Mi Fu did not follow the old track, and was extremely talented. Wang Wenzhi's "Queju on the Book" says: "Tianzi (natural talent, endowment) Ling Ke does not need to boast, and he will be able to stand on his own. Featured works must be super-magic genius art, or in other words, they must be art of authentic beauty.

The phenomenon of Wang Xizhi in Chinese calligraphy, as well as a series of calligraphy creations by famous artists, and a series of calligraphy theory criticisms can be mutually verified by the genius theory of Kant’s aesthetics. Art theory is biased. Historical facts have concluded that Chinese calligraphy, which can be distinguished by Kant’s aesthetics, can never be said to be "never a real work of art." Art produced by a genius” can never be said to be “low art”. This is confirmed by the genius theory of Kant's aesthetics.

   Looking at the expositions of recent and modern calligraphers and aestheticians, they all give Chinese calligraphy a lofty aesthetic evaluation and supreme artistic status. E.g--

   Among all kinds of fine arts, writing is the highest, the advantages that the side does not have, the writing has it, and the writing can show what the side can’t. (Liang Qichao)

   The world recognizes that Chinese calligraphy is the highest art because it can show amazing miracles. (Shen Yinmo)

   Our country calligraphy is not only a kind of fine art, but also pure fine art, which is the highest state of art. ... Therefore, the ancients regarded calligraphy as superior to painting, and it was not without cause. (Deng Yizhe)

   to the Wei and Jin dynasties...Calligraphy is one of the advanced art of development and painting. (Feng Guanyi)

   Now when I talk about art, I first mentioned calligraphy and praised it as the highest art. (Feng Zikai)

   We believe that calligraphy itself is the first of all kinds of art. Without the knowledge of appreciation of calligraphy, it is impossible to truly understand Chinese aesthetics. (Jiang Yi)

All this is to regard Chinese calligraphy as the highest art or the highest level of art (of course the word "most" seems to be considered). These evaluations may come from ancient traditional culture and theories that have been free for a long time; or from Kant’s formal aesthetic concepts; or from contemporary appreciation and acceptance of the public’s artistic taste, and the reasons for being “high” may also vary. This is aside, but this kind of high evaluation at least shows that calligraphy is not a "low-level art", but a high-end art unique to China. This book believes that the reason why Chinese calligraphy is "high" is that it not only stays at the level of formal beauty, but is also closely related to the creation and acceptance of calligraphy and the subjectivity of calligraphy. In addition, it also has the compatibility of "Tao and nature". Or manifestation, that is to say, it often connects the various levels of the subject's personality and the highest category of the object-"Tao" and "Nature".