Zong Baihua is a famous esthetician in 20th-century China. He is also the founder of modern Chinese Arts. Zong Baihua spent his whole life in exploring the Yi Jing. He combined the Chinese artistic spirit with the German artistic spirit, and his research in the birth of Yi Jing, the creation of Yi Jing, the expression of artistic space, and the artistic aesthetics were remarkable. The theory of Yi Jing plays an extremely important role in Zong Baihua’s thoughts. From the 1930’s to the early 1980’s, Zong Baihua’s research focused on Chinese ancient art. His research involved painting, music, calligraphy, dance, poetry, architecture, sculpture, craft and other art categories. Through the study of ancient art, Yi Jing becomes the core of Zong Baihua’s aesthetic thoughts and represents the highest accomplishment of his aesthetic research.
Three books, Aesthetic Walking (Shanghai People’s Publishing House, 1981), Aesthetic Walking (Taiwan’s Hong-Fan Bookstore, 1981), and Yi Jing (Peking University Press, 1987) were published by Zong Baihua in his life. Especially, Yi Jing (1987 version) was based on the book of the same name in which Zong Baihua prepared to publish in 1948. All articles in that book were selected by Zong Baihua himself. The dissertation discusses Zong Baihua’s Yi Jing theory, and examines Zong Baihua’s art thoughts through close reading of these works. The dissertation aims to show the whole system of Zong Baihua’s thoughts of Arts.
The dissertation argues that Yi Jing is the product of the fusion of Xin and Wu. The ontology of Yi Jing is the combination of Dong and Jing, the integration of the Xu and Shi, and the integration of time and space. Yi Jing theory emphasizes on the two-way communication of Xin and Wu and on the development of the subject’s spiritual world. The essence of Yi Jing theory is the transcendence of life, pointing to the highest state of life. Through the analysis of the structure of Yi Jing, namely "Tao, Wu, Kongbai", Yi Jing dialectics, "Xu and Shi", "Jing and Dong", "Zaohua and Xinyuan" and the view of time and space in Yi Jing theory, the dissertation discusses the modern value and modern significance of Zong Baihua’s Yi Jing thoughts.
The combination of Tao and Yi is the trait of Zong Baihua’s theory of Yi Jing. Both philosophy and art take cosmic life as the object of study, only the ways of expression are different. He used the philosophical concept "Tao" to give an artistic image deepest soul. The art and philosophy are both associated with each other, so that man’s mentality can be embodied and physically incarnated. Based on Chinese ancient art theories of Wu, Kongbai, Kongling and Feidong, Zong Baihua compared the traditional Chinese artistic theory with the western art genre in the sense of modern academic system. Undoubtedly, The Yi Jing theory has modern value and significance.