4 The Dimension of the Human-God Relation in the Thought-picture of Chinese Contemporary Art

In: Yearbook of Chinese Theology 2015


After introducing the sevenfold dimensions of relations within the logic of the world-picture, this essay holds that there seem to be three kinds of relations between humans and God (or ‘the transcendent’/ ‘the ultimate reality’) in logic: (1) where the two oppose each other (are separate), (2) stand side by side, and (3) combine into one. This paper primarily examines the reasons why many patterns or images such as ‘rascal’, ‘giggle’, ‘boredom’, ‘abreaction’ and ‘rage’ have appeared in Chinese contemporary art since the 1990s. By describing the particular artworks of Daozi (his ‘Saint Water-ink Painting’), the Gao Bothers (their change of creation), Qian Zhusheng (his prints), Wang Lu (his oil paintings on the theme of the Bible), Ding Fang and Zhu Jiuyang (his ‘picture of the ripple’), the author proceeds to a discussion about the specific contents of these works of art. The discussion is set in the context of an overall theme, which is the relation between humanity and God. The art works themselves can be seen to be embryonic forms of this dimension in the thought-picture of Chinese contemporary art. The author draws the conclusion that Christian artists in China should connect their personal spiritual life with the cultural life of their artistic creations and in this way absorb modern artistic language, along with its individuality and sense of history. This is in order to develop the transcendental space of Chinese contemporary art, forming spirituality within its conceptual dimensions.