The term Ju Yan, not only highly inclusive in the academic sense but also rich in connotation, was widely used in literary and art studies, especially in the field of literary criticism and the appreciation and collection of works of calligraphy and painting. But scholars have not paid enough attention to Ju Yan except in the studies of painting and calligraphy and even worse, few interdisciplinary studies of this term can be found. The term Ju Yan originated in the Buddhist scriptures of the Tang Dynasty, and its earliest connotations were ″root″ and ″consciousness″. This connection point lies in the most basic function of the eye, that is, its function of identification. The term then became a pronoun for wise vision in religion. From the Tang to the Song dynasties, the literati-bureaucrats learned Buddhism, hence the transformation between Buddhism and Confucianism. Ju Yan had the functions of evaluation as well as identification, incorporating its religious connotation and literary and artistic meanings. On the one hand, Ju Yan was used both in literary and art criticism with different emphases. In literary criticism, the term was mainly used to comment on literary works as well as theories, while in calligraphy and painting criticism, it was often used for art appreciation and comments. Critics used it to discuss the style and taste of artistic works. The most famous critic was Li Dongyang, who formulated the relationship theory of Ju Yan and style, Ju Er and tone, which echoed his ″literary style theory″. The term functioned well both in literary theory and calligraphy and painting theory even though by different means. On the other hand, for the appreciation and collection of art works, ″recognition″was essential. In both literary and art theory, Ju Yan referred to evaluation and aesthetic appreciation, as was reflected in the following two aspects: First, outlining the basic methods of evaluation and of selecting and reading literary works; Second, identifying the authenticity of a piece of works and its style. However, with the spread and influence of different experiences and methods, some connoisseurs also became the leaders of the culture of the times, e.g. the so-called Ju Yan Men who enjoyed great honor and prestige. Ju Yan gradually developed a utilitarian function in art connoisseurship. In terms of the subject and object of art works, Ju Yan referred to its inherent Zen philosophy and the insight of evaluation, a clear mental state as well as superb aesthetic vision with which the subject evaluates the works. When applied to the object of creation, Ju Yan refers to the purpose of the work as well as its taste, style and form, authenticity and standard. The subject of creative work finally came back as a man with Ju Yan. Ju Yan was transferred from a Buddhist term to one of art evaluation and appreciation. It blended into poetry, calligraphy, painting and Zen, and spanned many academic realms such as literary criticism and the connoisseurship and collection of calligraphy and painting. It not only showed the traditional literati-connoisseurs' acknowledgement of traditional art and their progress, but also reflected the philosophical characteristics in the integration of literary and artistic criticism in ancient China. Ju Yan was an approach with which the Chinese people understood art and the world. They tried to perceive and understand time and space with their senses, even life. This approach was figurative and unitary. It not only shows the uniqueness of different art categories, but also the connection and inner unity among different academic realms.
孙敏强 谢文惠. 试论中国古代文论中的“具眼”说[J]. 浙江大学学报(人文社会科学版), 2020, 6(2): 46-.
Sun Minqiang Xie Wenhui. A Tentative Account of ″Ju Yan″ in Ancient Chinese Literary Theories. JOURNAL OF ZHEJIANG UNIVERSITY, 2020, 6(2): 46-.