The significance of Xuwu 虚无 (Nothingness) in Chinese aesthetics

Frontiers of Philosophy in China 5 (4):560-574 (2010)

Abstract
Just as nothingness is a fundamental concept in Daoist philosophy, it is also a fundamental concept in Chinese aesthetics, where it has multiple meanings: First, nothingness, as a reaction against unaesthetic psychical activity, is a primary precondition of aesthetic and artistic activity. Second, as the void or intangible stuff juxtaposed to substance, it is an indispensable compositional property of artworks as well as an essential condition for the manifestation of an artistic form. Finally, as a reaction against the unaesthetic world of daily life—the experiential world—nothingness is the fundamental basis and essential provision for establishing an artistic world.
Keywords Daoism  nothingness  aesthetic  art  aesthetics
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DOI 10.1007/s11466-010-0115-1
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Daoism and Wu.David Chai - 2014 - Philosophy Compass 9 (10):663-671.

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