A Suggestion Toward the Visual-Oriented Humanities: In Case of Japanese Aesthetics in Painting
Though historically influenced mostly by Chinese and European cultures, Japanese aesthetics in terms of painting may show a good example for the possibility to construct the humanities through pictures in the contemporary visually-dominated age. In contrast to theory-oriented painting in China and Europe, while Chinese painters were requested to represent ‘qi’ (spirit) of nature and European to imitate nature, Japanese painters seem not to have been obsessed by theoretical meaning of pictures. Instead, they only enjoyed and exerted their ability to creating a frame or images of pictures, producing the dimension of a picture. Thus leaving theories or wordy explanations that can supplement pictures away, history of painting in Japan has developed, producing Ukiyoe in modernity and Manga in post-modernity. The traditional, authentic humanities consist in verbal thinking and discourses, but, considering contemporary culture all over the world as a result of ocular centrism and being disgusted by affluent discourses in many ways, we can take notice of Japanese aesthetics of painting, which could suggest a new way to the humanities.
Keywords: The Humanities Through Pictures, Visually-oriented Culture, Japanese Aesthetics in Painting
Prof. Masahiro Hamashita
Professor, Department of Intercultural Studies, the Faculty of Literature, Kobe College