Aesthetic Anthropology: Constructing A New System of Contemporary Aesthetic and Art Criticism
The past two or three decades have witnessed increasing interconnection between anthropology and cultural studies, theory of aesthetics, and art criticism. A trend is under way to combine ontology and methodology. In addition to Grosse, Frye, Strauss, and others, Chinese scholars such as Yuanpei CAI, Xiaotong FEI, and Huixiang LIN also have made significant contributions to aesthetics and offered aesthetic considerations in classic anthropological works. Many contemporary researchers have made significant achievements in aesthetics using the concepts and methods of anthropology, a movement which constitutes the building blocks of a new discipline. We are lucky to be among those who inherit, become involved in, and benefit from this trend. The time has come for a systematic summary and reflection on this historical trend in aesthetics, which may help solve complex aesthetic problems in this era and beckon scholars down a promising path of aesthetics and art criticism. The goals of this article revolve around the core issues and basic methodologies of aesthetic anthropology, and then summarize and extend its application to art criticism, with an aim to perfect the theoretical structure and methodology and stress its practical, operational value. By virtue of self-reflection and others’ criticism, we respond to trends in this emerging field while underscoring the vitality, practical value, and future creativity of aesthetic anthropology that has drawn ideological inspiration from Marxist aesthetics.
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