MLitt Fine Art Practice School of Fine Art

Xiaofan Zhang

Similar scenery: Intertextuality between different cultures based on Ecological Aesthetics

Similar scenery: Intertextuality between different cultures based on Ecological Aesthetics

In the 1960s, British scholar Ronald Hepburn published ‘Contemporary Aesthetics and the Neglect of Natural Beauty’ that was the first paper in the field of environmental aesthetics, after that some scholars put forward the concept of ‘ecological philosophy’ and called for the western traditional concept should go beyond ‘Anthropocentrism’. British artist David Hockney’s early works are basically about people and society, but in his recent works, he shows more about his natural aesthetic experience. In China, a lot of art works and cultural heritage also contain rich ecological culture, reflecting the emphasis of traditional Chinese understandings on the harmonious coexistence of human and nature. Although scholars have rich research results on ecological issues, in the book ‘Principles of Aesthetics’ (Ye Lang, 2009), it is still pointed out that ‘ecological aesthetics is not mature from the perspective of some current theories’. When I studied the Miao clothing patterns in Longlin, I found that there were obvious natural attributes in their clothing patterns. In the research of Chinese scholars, the cognition of forming this concept came from the worship of nature. When I interviewed Miao women and found the reasons for their creating these patterns, they said that the inspiration came from the flowers and plants they usually saw. When referring to Wordsworth’s poems in ‘Landscape and Western art’ (1999) , Malcolm Andrews puts forward that “nature is a source of stimulating beauty and spirit for him, and all his feelings are so active when he feels the shape, color and sound of the natural world.” So I found that in some art works, Western and eastern aesthetics can have a dialogue, or even complement each other.
Therefore, my research and practice are based on the similar natural aesthetic experience of human beings under different cultural backgrounds.