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Hugh Moss. An Artist’s Perspective: How Art Works

Though brought up in a culture of Western art, I was trained from an early age to appreciate Chinese art. I have been involved in all aspects of the art-world – as dealer, collector, agent for living Chinese artists, and eventually as a practising artist, and have been struggling to refine a viable, all-encompassing theoretical approach to art for five decades. This theory will be presented online in its entirety at a later date, and its application to making more sense of many aspects of Chinese art is explored here through the medium of the handscroll. 

Central to this premise is the notion of us possessing not one but two modes of consciousness, with art performing the function, among many lower-level functions, of being an efficient channel of communication between the two. The first is the intellectual mode, which is common enough that we all understand it. It is, by definition, a mode of differentiation. The perceived phenomena of self and environment are separated, identified and named, giving rise to the more specific languages of communication such as speech, the written word, mathematics, and so on. In that mode we respond to experience by reducing it to manageable fragments. That is its great strength: it functions successfully because of its limitations.

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