成竹于胸 – Chinese philosophy and culture

chénɡ zhú yú xiōnɡ 成竹于胸

Have a Complete Image of the Bamboo Before Drawing It / Have a Fully Formed Picture in the Mind’s Eye

在文艺创作开始前,艺术形象已在头脑中生成。这一术语揭示了文艺创作运用形象思维的特点,也是对文艺创作乃至工艺设计提出的要求。对于文艺创作者来说,思想观念、情感、意志与物象结合,在心中形成审美意象,艺术构思已经完成,然后才是运用技巧、借助物质材料外化为具体可感的作品。对于工艺设计者来说,则有更多的理性思考,允许修改,而成竹在胸则是一种理想状态。

This term means to have an image of the art in one’s mind prior to artistic creation. It describes the use of mental imagery in the course of artistic creation, and also sets a requirement for both artistic creation and for design in craftsmanship. For the creator of an artwork, concepts, feelings, intentions and objects should be integrated in the mind to form an aesthetic image. After this artistic conceptualization is completed, technique is used in conjunction with physical materials to form a tangible work. For a craft designer, the emphasis would be more on rational thinking, and revisions would be permissible. Having a fully formed picture in advance is an ideal state.

引例 Citations:

◎故画竹必先得成竹于胸中,执笔熟视,乃见其所欲画者,急起从之,振笔直遂,以追其所见,如兔起鹘落,少纵则逝矣。(苏轼《文与可画筼筜谷偃竹记》)

(所以说画竹一定要先在心中生成竹子的整体形象,拿着画笔仔细观察竹子,然后才可能在心中出现所想要画的竹子,这时要急速起身追赶这一形象,挥笔作画,一气呵成,捕捉住心中所想的竹子,就像兔子跃起、鹰隼俯冲一样迅速,稍一放松,竹子的形象就消失了。)

Thus when drawing bamboo, you must first have a complete image of the bamboo in your mind’s eye. First hold the pen while carefully observing the bamboo; only then will the bamboo you wish to draw appear in your mind’s eye. Then, as quickly as a leaping hare or a swooping raptor, you must wield your pen and capture this image in one go. The slightest letup and the image of the bamboo will be lost. (Su Shi: An Essay on Wen Yuke’s drawing “The Valley of Bamboos”)

◎文与可画竹,胸有成竹;郑板桥画竹,胸无成竹。浓淡疏密,短长肥瘦,随手写去,自尔成局,其神理具足也。(郑板桥《修竹图》)

(文与可画竹,心里先有竹子的完整形象;郑板桥画竹,心中没有竹子的完整形象。竹子颜色是浓是淡,枝叶是疏是密,竹身是短是长、是肥是瘦,都是随手而画,自成一种形态,也都充分表现出了竹子的纹理神韵。)

When Wen Yuke draws bamboo, he already has a complete image of the bamboo in his mind. When Zheng Banqiao draws bamboo, he does not have a complete image of the bamboo in his mind. The colors of his bamboo might be dark or pale; the leaves might be dense or sparse, the stems might be short or long, thick or slender – they are all drawn spontaneously, assuming a form of their own and fully displaying their own textures and charms. (Zheng Banqiao: Remarks on “Drawing Bamboos”)

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