Creativity + Taoism
Course No. HCS 300 Credits: 3.0
This interdisciplinary course explores the ground from which, in the Chinese Taoist philosophic view, all great creativity springs. The purpose is two-fold: first, to investigate and achieve an understanding of the Taoist world view through readings of primary texts such as the "Tao Te Ching" and the "Chuangtzu," and selected works from the Ch'an (Zen) tradition. Second, we proceed to examine the Taoist and Ch'an perceptions are applied to and affect the creation of the art object in traditional China, primarily represented by selections from Chinese poetry. Appropriate attention will also be paid to intended relationships between painting and poetry, occurring when poems are inscribed directly on paintings to create an aesthetic whole. Here the notion that "visual" and "literary" experiences are somehow mutually exclusive will be challenged. We read such poets as T'so Ch'ien, Wang Wei, Su Tung-p'o and Han Shan, and we look at paintings by such artists as Mu Ch'i, Mi Fei, Shih T'ao and Ni Tsan. Students are encouraged to connect and contrast Taoist assumptions and themes with their own knowledge and experiences as developing artists. May be applied as Creative Writing Concentration course.