Asian studies in Lithuania

Traditional Aesthetics and Art Theory of East Asia

Authors: Andrijauskas, Antanas
Published in: Vilnius
Published on: 2017
Publisher: Lietuvos kultūros tyrimų institutas

The author’s Antanas Andrijauskas 40 years long career is very colorful and diverse. A philosopher, civilization theoretician, specialist of cultures and arts, has written hundreds of scientific papers on Lithuanian, Israeli and East Asian cultures. However, in his works, professor mostly focuses on the latter. In trilogy’s ’’History of Aesthetics and Art Philosophy Ideas: East – West’’ second book ’’Traditional Aesthetics and Art Theory of East Asia’’, author overviews China’s and Japan’s traditional art development and analyzes its aesthetical features.

In the first part of book, dedicated to Chinese art aesthetics, A. Andrijauskas introduces reader to the most important traditional arts of the country: calligraphy, scenery painting, poetry and music. While describing each and all of them, the author looks over historical context, points out the main principles of art execution, introduces the most famous artists and schools of that time. Professor also puts emphasis on importance of Confucianism, Daoism and Chan ideas. Author expresses that these, up until mid-20th century, have greatly influenced Chinese art. After China became the center of culture and science in East Asia, aesthetical and philosophical principals of the country had spread to Japan as well.

In the second part of book, describing development of Japanese art, A. Andrijauskas introduces traditional arts of the country during different periods of time. Among them, from China borrowed calligraphy, scenery painting, poetry, tea ceremony and within Japan emerged theater. Nevertheless arts in two countries were more or less the same, their importance, execution and traits were different. According to the author, in Japan these differences were determined by country’s geographical position, people’s mentality and Shintoism, Zen Buddhism philosophical systems. Due to this contrast, poetry genre haiku, ukiyo – e woodblock prints, no and bunraku puppet theaters were created in the country.

Wide range professor Antanas Andrijauskas in the book ’’Traditional Aesthetics and Art Theory of East Asia’’ presents a lot of thorough information on two countries – Japan’s and China’s – history of art development and aesthetic principles. However, since prior knowledge in art theory and East philosophy is required, this work is not for every reader.

Initiators of the project: Japan foundation VDU