Chinese Visual Arts

Art and Design


Confucius was the most famous Chinese philosopher, politician and teacher. He tried to improve the social relationships of China. His teachings reflect the social and political ideas of ancient China. The following paper analyses the impacts of Confucian art in Chinese history. In addition, it determines the relationship between the Confuciuss words and visual images.

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Confuciuss teachings are visible in Confucian art. It was initiated in China and then spread in all over the Southeast Asia. Confucian arts have strong influence in Japan, Korea and Indonesia. Some of the important elements of Confucian arts are the calligraphy of Confuciuss thoughts and writings. Most of these arts are located in the schools, colleges and temples of China and Southeast Asia. Moreover, old Chinese potteries and white ware ceramics have various Confucian symbols and designs that show the examples of ancient scholarly and religious practices. In addition, the Chinese scholars rocks are the symbols of Southeast Asian old traditions. Confucian arts became popular in classical early period. His principles guide Chinese people to develop their common beliefs and traditions. He showed special interest in family relationships, respect to the seniors, ancestors worship and family loyalties.

Confucius introduced the school of thoughts during Chinese spring and autumn period. His teachings are the pillars of Chinese art and culture. His literatures were honored as the Chinese state ideology during 100 BC. Confuciuss philosophies are attached with human relationship ethics. Confucian arts show the philosophy of loyalty, moral integrity and justice. He introduced various fundamental principles of life that help millions of people to improve their lives.

Contributions of Confucius to the Humanity

Confucius was the greatest philosopher of Chinese history. He tried to improve the personal and social relationships of people and society. He showed special interest in the moral rectitude of life. Ancient Chinese artists painted various paintings of Confucius and his teachings that impacts Southeast Asian societies for a long time. He shared his knowledge with his students, government employees and different communities. Confuciuss students had various characters. Some of them were strong and argumentative, whereas, some others were modest and peaceful. Furthermore, some students were slow or coward. On the other hand, some others were brave and open-minded. Confucius tried to teach his students according to their knowledge, abilities or personalities. He guided talented people to use their abilities in a positive way. Confucius used different techniques to teach his students. He introduced religious rituals, music, literature, poetry and arts in teachings. Such practices helped different communities to understand the value of his teachings in an easy way. Many students attended Confuciuss lectures, but some students could not understand the main goals of his lessons. In such conditions, the arts, poetries and literatures helped them to understand their lessons. Confucius showed special attention in some terms, such as humanity and ethical behaviors. His teaching methods consist of vitality, and he described the term humanity as a way to love people and their ancestors. His arts and literatures elaborate the knowledge of intellectual power, moral education, physical exercise and aesthetic education. Confuciuss philosophical practices were initiated by the teaching activities and political practices. Confucian arts and literatures are the bases of Chinese peoples life. Thousands of students followed him during his life. Moreover, after his death, hundreds of disciples grounded his tomb. He was honored as the pioneer of Chinese culture. Thousands of arts and designed by the Southeast Asian artists that shows the cultural richness of Confucianism. For example, currently, China Institute Gallery consists of different metallic tureens, statues, utensils and designs that describe Confucians life and legacy in art.

Arts of Chinese History

Confucian arts and visual images have unique relationships with his words. These visual images and designs explain the Confucian philosophy. Hundreds of Chinese visual arts and memorial arches show various exemplary figures. These arches provide information about famous ancient people, their names and deeds. Such memorial arches honor the ancestors of Chinese history. In ancient time, these arch constructions needed the approval of local feudal authority and emperor. Moreover, the arches were designed strictly to honor a family or person. Such constructions show a strong relationship between Confuciuss words and visual arts. He taught his disciples to respect and pray for their ancestors. Hence, these arches are honored by the Chinese society. In addition, currently, hundreds of Chinese museums consist of Confuciuss statues, paintings and other objects that show the works of Confucius. Chinese Institute Gallery consists of some paintings that show Confucius with his disciples and students. Some other pictures show the culture of the nation of Ancient time. Scholars address the beliefs, life and teachings of Confucius in three categories. These categories show life images of Confucius and his ancestral cult. Also, it defines Confucius as a ritual expert.

Works and Arts of Different Time

Some ink paintings and artistic works illustrate the histories of various dynasties. For example, Ni Zans ink painting, Six Gentlemen shows Yuan Dynasty. It was painted in between 1301-1374. The painting consists of six trees. They are pine, camphor tree, elm, Chinese scholar tree, cypress and phoebe. These trees illustrate the Confucian symbols of dignity and moral integrity.

Moreover, the art and calligraphy of Yan Zhenquing of Tang Dynasty shows the strong patriotic history of the nation. In the calligraphy, Yang Zhenquing expresses strong, heroic and patriotic feelings for his nephew, who sacrificed his life for the country in between B.C. 618-907. The brush strokes of the paint are unique and apparent that hold strong feeling for a hero and his country. These calligraphies are highly influenced by the teachings of Confucius. He taught his disciples to love and respect their country. Thus, the calligraphy conveys the message of Confuciuss words.

In addition, in between 1368 to 1911, Ming and Quing dynasties created different albums to portray the teachings of Confucius. One of the popular pictures of Ming dynasty shows that Confucius is sitting in between his disciples and practicing some religious rituals. The picture shows that Confucius is using his cosmic forces to teach his disciples.

Furthermore, the Quing dynasty book consists of a woodblock print that represents a big sculptural icon. This sculptor portrays Confucius as the great emperor. Also, the book consists of the paintings of Song dynasty votives statues. One of the statues of the dynasty portrays Confucius and his wife. These statues and art works were made in between 960 and 1279, and they were worshiped by his students and disciples. Thus, Confuciuss disciples follow his path and remember their seniors and ancestors.

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In conclusion, Confucius was the greatest leader, philosopher and teacher of China. His teachings reflect various social and political ideas of ancient China and Southeast Asia. Confucian arts and designs help people to remember his works and old cultures. It teaches people to develop their common beliefs and traditions. Also, it helps Chinese people to improve their family relationships and loyalties. Confuciuss philosophies are attached with human relationship ethics. Hence, it guides people to develop their relationship with their seniors or to respect their ancestors. His teachings and contributions are developed by different artists and scholars of various dynasties. These artists created paintings, literatures and designs that help people to follow religious principles. Thus, Confucian arts and designs help Chinese societies to develop their lives.


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