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Arts of Zen in East Asia

ARHA 277
Spring 2016
Section: 01  
Crosslisting: CEAS 288, RELI 277
Certificates: International Relations

Zen (or Chan in Chinese, Sun in Korean), a school of Buddhism that originated in China and later spread to Japan and Korea, is considered a gateway to East Asian thought and a force that challenges modern materialism. The nature of abstraction, spirituality, and spontaneous enlightenment in Zen Buddhism can be best characterized in the arts associated with this religious school, which include ink painting, calligraphy, ceramics, and garden design. In this course, we will look at how the ideas of Zen were elucidated in the visual arts by examining major works produced in East Asia from the 13th through the 20th centuries. We will also examine the ways in which art was incorporated in the practice of Zen rituals, especially those related to meditation, gardening, and the tea ceremony, and how they were juxtaposed with literary k'an (gong'an in Chinese and kong'an in Korean) to form visual and textual mind puzzles based on allusions and wordplay. Through a comparative approach, we will analyze the development and changes in the form, style, and iconography of Zen art in East Asia, while tracing the history of Zen Buddhism and the transformation of its underpinning philosophical concepts related to enlightenment, nothingness, and beauty. The goal of this course is to form an in-depth appreciation for the arts of Zen in their historical, philosophical, and cultural context.
Credit: 1 Gen Ed Area Dept: HA ART
Course Format: Lecture / DiscussionGrading Mode: Graded
Level: UGRD Prerequisites: None
Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (CEAS-MN)
Past Enrollment Probability: 75% - 89%

Last Updated on JUN-24-2024
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