MA Final Project

A Project about Chinese Philosophy – The Arms

ABSTRACT:The advent of the digital age, with its relentless progress, has, in no doubt, contributed to the development of numerous and highly effective methods of communication. These have had a profound influence on audience preferences and perceptions; more so by mainstream media such as the Internet, TV and Hollywood films, than other forms of media.

Due to audience partiality for particular types of media, some perspectives are rarely evoked.

Thus, certain genres of music, art and literature are barely noticed in current society, leading to their ultimate demise – this due to an ever diminishing audience that appreciates this output, thus diminishing the chances that a newer and younger audience would get exposure to these art forms, thus diminishing the chances that new artists would continue to produce works of a particular nature or genre.

The thought of losing the practices behind certain art forms that have been practiced continuously since ancient times is not something that sits comfortably in my mind.

It made me think about what traditional art forms from my own cultural background are in danger of being lost forever – art forms that remain both relevant and important today, especially because of the ongoing negative effects modernity has on Taiwan and China.
My aim is to create a work that will revive an appreciation of the oriental aesthetic. I hope this will allow the beauty and philosophy within these art forms to, once again, thrive in modern society.




This project aims to address the following question:

How can I express Chinese philosophy in art through alternative, modern and/or non_traditional media, yet at the same time neither lose nor miscommunicate the core concepts behind this philosophy?



Western art and its development has focused more on social and functional commentary whilst, to me, Chinese art is more about internal dialogue, inner thoughts and meditation. It is more inward facing than observational.

It is very hard for such meditations to be contemplated within highly developed, commercial social structures. Therefore the core concepts behind oriental philosophy may be forgotten as modernity progresses; inevitably leading to fewer people appreciating it.

Throughout this project I hope to create a film to will evoke a deeper appreciation of oriental philosophy.

The Oriental aesthetics found within Chinese traditional paintings and calligraphy, for the most part, follows traditional methods: the techniques, meditations, topics and styles. However, there is far more to the art form than merely a painting of, for example, a landscape view of mountains and rivers.

As modernity continues its progress throughout the world, as we become more globalised, it is likely that fewer and fewer people will understand the philosophy behind this art. An individual’s taste and perceptions is strongly influenced by mainstream media and popular culture. In order for this philosophy to be continuously introduced to a younger (and wider) audience, in order for it to be appreciated, modern media and its techniques/methods should be used so that it may become more accessible to the public, so that they may are better able to understand the inner beauty and meditations.





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