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Class 11 English Chapter 4 Landscape of the soul
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Landscape of the soul
TEXTUAL QUESTION AND ANSWER
Notice these expressions in the text. Infer their meaning from the context.
Anecdote: a short entertaining story about a real incident or person.
delicate realism: intricately accurate and true to life.
figurative painting: representing by means of a figure or symbol in the painting.
illusionistic likeness: a similarity which is almost real.
conceptual space: an abstract idea of space.
UNDERSTANDING THE TEXT
1. i) Contrast the Chinese view of art with the European view with examples.
Ans. The Chinese or Asian paintings differ from their European counterparts in the basic approach and perception. The Chinese focus on the essence of inner life and spirit in their paintings, whereas the Europeans try to achieve a perfect illusionistic likeness’ or the actual image.
For example, there was once an Emperor in China who got a landscape painting done for his palace wall. He admired the painting with forests, mountains, waterfalls, cloud and the sky.
There were also men on hilly paths and birds flying. The painter drew the attention of the Emperor to a cave in the painting and said that.a spirit lived there. At the clap of his hands, the cave door opened to show the splendid inside. The painter stepped into the cave and instantly the door closed. In front of thee astonished Emperor, the painting just vanished and so did the painter.
He was never seen in this world again. In another instance, a painter hesitated to draw the eye of the dragon he had painted, fearing the dragon might fly away. These examples show the spirit in which art was considered by the Chinese.
Though using the same medium of expression, the Europeans sought to achieve symbolic representation. Their paintings had a perfect realism delicately presented through their brush. For example, in the 15th century, a blacksmith named Quinten from Antwerp, wanted to marry the daughter of a painter. But, it was not accepted by the father as he did not approve of Quinten’s profession. So one day, Quinten quietly entered the painter’s studio and painted a fly on his latest painting board. It appeared so real that the painter was deceived to swat it away.
Quite impressed he took Quinten as an apprentice and gave his daughter in marriage to the young man who went on to become one of the famous painters of his age. The European painter wants us to view the painting from a specific angle exactly as he saw it through his eyes. But the Chinese painter does not choose any particular angle, it requires the participation of the viewer, both physically and mentally.
(ii) Explain the concept of shanshui.
Ans.The ‘conceptual space’ depicted in Chinese landscape is expressed as ‘shanshui’, which means ‘Mountain-water’. When these two words are used together, they represent the word ‘landscape’. Mountain and water are not opposites but complement each other. In the view of Daoism, mountain is Yang, vertically reaching towards the heaven, warm and dry in the Sun. Water is Yin, fluid, moist and cool. It is horizontal and rests on the Earth. Yang is also a very important element in between the two which is called the Middle Void or the empty space in between where Yang and Yin interact. This concept of the three elements is shanshui.
2. (i) What do you understand by the terms outsider art and ‘art brut’ or ‘raw art’ ?
Ans. ‘Outsider art’ is the art of those who have had no formal training and thus in a way ‘do not have right’ to be artists. Interest in this art category has remarkably grown in the contemporany world at an international level. These artists, though without formal training, show immense talent and artistic insight. Their paintings provide a stimulating contrast to the mainstream art. Art brut’ or ‘raw art are works that are in the unrefined state as regards artistic and cultural influence. Anything and everything, from a tin or a sink or a broken down car or any recycled matter can be used as material in this art form. A marvellous example of raw art is seen in the Rock Garden of Chandigarh created by the untutored genius, Nek Chand.
(ii)Who was the “untutored genius vwho created a paradise” and what is the nature of his contribution to art ?
Ans. Nek Chand, an Indian hailing from Chandigarh, took his style of raw art to an unimaginable level of excellence. Years ago,he cleared a little patch of jungle to make himself a garden sculpted with stone and recycled material. This became the renowned ‘Rock Garden’ of Chandigarh and Nek Chand is recognized as India’s biggest contributor to outsider art. He used everything, from broken pieces of cups, bangles, tins and even run down vehicles as material for his garden. He is a outstanding testimony of the difference a single man can make when he lives his dream. He has received honours and acclamations the entire world over for his work.
TALKING ABOUT THE TEXT
Discuss the following statements in groups of four.
1. “The Emperor may rule over the territory he has conquered, but only the artist knows the way within.”
[ Please note : We are providing students with the material for discussion. They will do so in groups consisting of four students In each. The motive behind this exercise is to enhance conversational skill of students.]
Group A : This is a very relevant statement. Here it is said in relauon to the Emperor who ordered the painting. But even in ordinary life, this is true for every person.
Group B : You are right. I think I understand what you mean by that.Every person is a master of his own creation, right?
Group A : Yes, the Emperor conquers kingdoms and rules over them. They belong to him. But he may not even understand the spirit of a painting.
Group B : Painters put their heart and soul into their creation. They seem to merge with the art. That is why, the painter in the palace vanished with the painting because his soul was there. It is a spiritual relationship.
Group A : Exactly, the Emperor appreciated what was apparent and visible from outside. He could not interpret the painting in any other way. That is why, it required the painter to show him the way within.
2. “The landscape is an inner one, a spiritual and conceptual space.”
[Please note : Students may use their own thoughts and ideas in these discussions. We are merely providing a few hints to direct the discussion.]
Group A : What the writer has mentioned here is little difficult to understand. What is this conceptual space?
Group B : Okay, let me explain as I understand it. The landscape in the Chinese form of art is a spiritual expression. It is very different from what we see in western paintings. Western paintings are very realistic. We almost can visualise the landscape.
Group A : Got it. We can get a very real picture, but only from a specific angle which the artist wants us to see. Maybe that is why, it is said that the western painter wants us to ‘borrow his eyes’.
Group B : And the conceptual space is actually what they call shanshui. It is similar to the yogic practice of pranayama, the space where the breath is retained between breathing in and out, It is called the Middle Void in classical Chinese.
Group A : Is it the unpainted space that is found in Chinese landscapes?
Group B : Yes. It is the white unpainted space which is very essential. There the interaction between Heaven and Earth takes place.
THINKING ABOUT LANGUAGE
1. Find out the correlates of Yin and Yang in other cultures.
Ans. Students may discuss this with teachers and answer according to the cultural presence of the place.
2. What is the language spoken in Flanders?
Ans. Dutch is spoken in Flanders.
WORKING WITH WORDS
I. The following common words are used in more than one sense.
|panel studio material brush essence|
Examine the following sets of sentences to find out what the words, ‘panel’ and ‘essence’ mean in different contexts.
1. (i) The masks from Bawa village in Mali look like long panels of decorated wood.
Ans. Rectangular pieces of wood.
(ii) Judge H. Hobart Grooms told the jury panel he had heard the reports.
Ans. Members of the jury.
(iii) The panel is laying the groundwork for an international treaty.
Ans. Group of participants/specialists.
(iv) The glass panels of the window were broken.
Ans. The glass panes of the window.
(v) Through the many round tables, workshops and panel discussions, a consensus was reached.
Ans. Discussion carried out by a selected group of speakers before an audience.
(vi) The sink in the hinged panol above the bunk drains into the head.
Ans. The wooden frame that supports the sink.
2. (i) Their repetitive structure must have taught the people around the great composer the essence of music.
Ans. Most important quality.
(ii) Part of the answer is in the proposition; but the essence is in the meaning.
Ans. True substance.
(ii) The implications of these schools of thought are of practical essence for the teacher.
Ans. Practical importance.
(iv) They had added vanilla essence to the pudding.
Ans. Flavour or perfume.
II. Now find five sentences each for the rest of the words to show the different senses in which each of them is used.
Ans. Studio :
(i)The photographer developed the photos at the studio in his institute. (Room used by artists or photographers for their work)
(ii) The renowned classical dancer conducted lessons in her studio. (Place where dancing or music lessons are given)
(ii) Chennai is renowned for its numerous film studios. (Place where motion pictures are made)
(iv) A local television studio was recently bombed by terrorists. (Place where television or radio programmes are produced)
(v) She recently got her studio apartment renovated. (A one room flat with bathroom and kitchen)
(i) His craving for matorial pleasures ultimately led him to bankruptcy. (Physical objects)
(ii) I need to collect some malerial for the lecture. (ldea, notes, information, etc.)
(iii) They imported the material for her trousseau. (Cloth or fabric)
(iv) He always aspired for material success. (Worldly comfort, wealth)
(V) The NGO donated writing materials to the village school.(Tool and articles for a specific use)
(vi) George was not really Olympic material. (was not suitable for)
(i) The strokes of his brush can create magic on canvas.(Bristles used for painting)
(ii) Let us not brush aside his suggestions. (Dismiss from consideration)
(iii) The pleader is trying to brush up the points for argument. (Refresh one’s memory)
(iv) He planned to settle down in the brush of Northern Highlands. (Sparsely settled, scrubby country)
(v)They were accused of a brush in the pub. (A short fight or quarrel)
A classical Chinese landscape is not meant to reproduce an actual view, as would a Western figurative painting. Whereas the European painter wants you to borrow his eyes and look at a particular landscape exactly as he saw it, from a specific angle, the Chinese painter does not choose a single viewpoint.The above two examples are ways in which contrast may be expressed. Combine the following sets of ideas to show the contrast between them.
1. (i) European art tries to achieve a perfect, illusionistic likeness.
(ii) Asien art tries to eapture the essence of inner life and spirit.
Ans. While European art tries to achieve a perfect, illusionistic likeness, Asian art tries to capture the essence of inner life and spirit.
2. (i) The Emperor commissions a painting and appreciates its outer appearance.
(ii) The artist reveals to him the true meaning of his work.
Ans. The Emperor commissions a painting and appreciates its outer appearance, but the artist reveals to him the true meaning of his work.
3.(i) The Emperor may rule over the territory he has conquered.
(ii) The artist knows the way within.
Ans. The Emperor may rule over the territory he has conquered, but the artist knows the way within.
THINGS TO DO
1. Find out about as many Indian schools of painting as you can. Write a short note on the distinctive foatures of each school.
[Please note: Studonts to discuss this with teachers and try to learn more about them.]
2. Find out about experiments in recycling that help in environmental conservation.
Ans: Rocycling goes a long way in conserving the environment and stopping further destruction. Experiments in recycling include.
(a) Wasto water recycling.
(b) Recycling of plastic.
(c)Use of recycled paper.
(d) Reuse of shopping bags.
(e) Recycle kitchen garbage to produce vermicompost.
(f) Sewage treatment plant.
(These are to name a few. We are sure students will come up with many more experiments in recycling.)
ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
LONG ANSWER TYPE (100-125 words)
1. Who was Wu Daozi ? What is the wonderful tale told about him ? What does it signify about the Chlnese art and painting ?
Ans. Wu Daozi was a famous Chinose painter of the eighth century. He lived during the reign of Emperor Xuanzong.
Once he was assigned to make a pairnting for the Emperor’s palace wall. The emperor spent long hours admiring the painting. One day, he drew the attention of the Emporor to a cave at the foot of the mountain on the painting and said that a spirit dwelt there. He clapped his hands and the cave door opened.
The painter showed his master the splendid interiors of the cave. “Let me show you the way”, he said and stepped inside the cave. Right in front of the Emperor, the cave door closed in an Instant. The painting and the painter just vanished into thin air, never to be seen again. These small stories bring out the essence of painting as a form of expression in Chinese culture. The artists are spiritually involved with their work. Chinese paintings require the active participation of the viewer to see his inner life and spirit
2. What does the author say on Western painting ? How does she relate lt to the story from Flanders ?
Ans. There was a blacksmith named Quinten Metsys in Antwerp during the fifteenth century. He fell in love with the daughter of a painter but could not marry her because her father disapproved of his professíon. One day, he furtively stole into the painter’s studio and painted a fly on his drawing board with such realism and accuracy that the painter took it for real and tried to swat it away. Impressed by it, the painter admitted Quinten as an apprentice and gave his daughter in mariage to him. This young artist went on to become one of the most.
acclaimed painters of his age. According to the author, Quinten’s work of art was the most representative of Western painting. They try to achieve a perfect illusionistic likeness, which means they try to create something which has great likeness to the real. The European landscape; truly representing it to the finest detail.
3. Explain the concept of slanshui in Chinese art. What role does Man play in that ?
Ans. The ‘conceptual space’ depicted in Chinese landscape is expressed as shanshui, which means ‘mountain-watar. When these two Words are used together, they represent the word ‘landscape’. Mountain and water complement each other. In the view of Daoism, mountain is Yang, verticaly reaching towards the Heaven, warm and dry in the sun. Water is Yin, fluid, moist and cool. It is horizontal and rests on the Earth.Yang Is masculine, while Yin is the feminine. There is also a very important element in between the two, the Middle Void, where Yang and Yîn interact. It is the white, unpainted space in Chinese landscape. This concept of three elements is ‘shanshul’ Man plays a fundamental role as a channel of communication between the Heaven and Earth. He is, therefore, in the words of Francois Cheng, ‘the eye of the landscape’.
SHORT ANSWER TYPE (30 to 40 words)
1. What is a landscape ?
Ans. Landscape is a picture representing natural, inland scenery. It is an expanse of natural scenery seen in one view.
2. Who was Wu Daozi ?
Ans. Wu Daozi was a Chinese painter of the eighth century. His last painting was a landscape made for Tang Emperor Xuanzong.
3. What happened when Wu Daozi clapped his hands ?
Ans. When he clapped his hands, the cave beneath the mountain in his painting opened its door to show the splendid interior. When he stepped inside, the door closed behind him. The painting and the painter disappeared for éver.
4. What is the Chinese interpretation of art ?
Ans. The Chinese artist considers art as an essence of inner life and spirit. It requires the viewer’s participation in both physical and mental levels. The Chinese painter want’s the viewer to enter hia mind and travel though ths painting at his own leisure.
5. What is the Western concept of art ?
Ans. The Western concept of art is a representation of reality. The artist wants the viewer to look at the painting from the painter’s perspective, at a specific angle. Their paintings are an illusion of the reality.
6. Which story does the author cite as a representative Western painting ?
Ans. The author relates the story of blacksmith Quinten Metsys. He was in love with a painter’s daughter, but the painter disapproved his profession. One day, he painted a fly on the painter’s latest panel with such realism that the painter tried to swat it away.
7. What are the contrasting features of Chinese and Western landscapes ?
Ans. A Chinese landscape is not meant to reproduce an exact image of the reality. The artist does not paint the world as it is. Their landscapes have an inner life and are spiritual in nature. Western landscapes depict delicate realism. They are painted the way exactly as the artist sees them.
8. What is the concept of shanshui?
Ans. Shanshui is the spiritual and conceptual space in Chinese landscapes. It stands for the words mountain-water, which, when used together, represents the word ‘landscape’. It is the link between Heaven and Earth.
9. What is Yang and Yin ?
Ans. In the view of Daoism, mountain is Yang, vertically reaching towards the Heaven, warm and dry in the sun. Water is Yin,fluid, moist and cool. It is horizontal and rests on the Earth.Yang is masculine. While Yin is the feminine aspect of Daoism.
10. What is the Middle Void ?
Ans. Besides Yang and Yin, there is also a third element where the interaction of Yang and Yin takes plaçe. It is a void, like the suspension of breath in pranayama. It finds representation in the white, unpainted space in Chinese landscapes.
11.What is ‘outsider art’ ?
Ans. ‘Outsider art’ is described as the art of those who have ‘no right’ to be artists as they have received no formal training. However, this artists show great talent and understanding of art, and their art is stimulatingly defferent from mainstream art.
12. What is ‘art brut’ or ‘raw art ?
Ans. Art brut or raw art describes the works of artists that were in their raw state as regards cultural and artistic influence. These artists make use of anything and everything from tin, broken crockery, bangles, broken down car as materials to give shape to their dreams.
13. Who propounded the concept of ‘art brut’ ?
Ans. A French painter named Jean Dubuffet propounded the concept of ‘art brut’ in the 1940s, when very few showed interest in works of untrained genius. It is now the fastest growing form of art internationally.
14. Who is India’s ‘untutored genius’ and where did he create his paradise ?
Ans. The untutored genius of raw art in India is an octogenarian named Nek Chand. He created his paradise, sculpted with stone and recycled material, which we know as the ‘Rock Garden’ in Chandigarh.
15. How has the Swiss Commission of the UNESCO recognise his art ?
Ans. The Swiss Commission, recognising the greatness of his work, called it ‘an outstanding testimony of the difference a single man can make when he lives his dream’. An exposition of his works was organised throughout Europe.
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