Chinese Philosophy and Culture: Chinese National Arts

When we talk about Chinese art or art in general, I like to make a distinction between two categories: silent and verbal. I do this, because if we look at the true definition of art we can debate where to draw the line between art and entertainment. This definition being: “Art serves no purpose, but itself”. Im my paper I would like to be very liberal with this line and see Chinese painting and craftsmanship as silent and Beijing (Chinese) Opera as verbal. Both have contributed a great deal to the culture of present China and continue to do so. In the next couple of pages, I will try to make a selective, but thorough summary of these artform.
I would like to write my paper as an history lesson, mixed with the general appreciation of art. I think this will make the history more vibrant and clearly shows changes both in mentality as in forms. When looking at any form of art we have to keep in mind that it changes depending on the changes in the surrounding environment and the people within it. China is no exception and like many countries it has a vibrant and one of the longest history. We begin in ancient times, those running up to the first true Dynasty in China, the Qin Dynasty. Up to and during this point, painting wasn’t really the biggest art form, mainly due to the illiteracy and the simplification and unification of the written language by Qin Shihuang. Because of this pottery and craftsmanship was the biggest art form and is actually the oldest and most globally appreciated at that. Porcelain, Jade, Wood,… nothing was spared to be processed and altered. Transforming simple tools for dinner or good look and emotional objects that can put your mind at ease. Many of the crafts were and still are to some degree, mainly used for superstitious ends or just to look at. The famous Porcelain from Jingdezhen is most likely the most famous example.
After the unification of the written language more options other art forms opened up like e.g....