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The Marriage of East and West by Bernard Leach : focus on influence relationship with William Blake

  • The Journal of Aesthetics and Science of Art
  • Abbr : JASA
  • 2018, 53(), pp.197-224
  • DOI : 10.17527/JASA.53.0.06
  • Publisher : 한국미학예술학회
  • Research Area : Arts and Kinesiology > Other Arts and Kinesiology
  • Published : February 28, 2018

So-Rim Yoon 1

1상명대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this thesis is to identify the relations between Bernard Leach(1887-1979) who built the ground of contemporary studio crafts and William Blake(1757-1827) who criticized the society of the day with a unique symbol system mixed with Greek myths and Christianity that were shown in his poems and paintings. The marriage of East and West, the concept which advocated by Leach, premises overcoming of crises caused by industrial revolution and capitalism. Fulfilling the concept esthetically provides a chance to enlarge what objects are through dealing with attributes of cultures in the history. This Leach's view starts with Blake's awareness system that tends to be Mysticism and Romanticism which contain ‘transcendency.’ ‘Transcendency’, a way to face with God, is a principle of deification in the Mysticism. Selfhood is able to achieve self-annihilation using imagination and becomes a contemplative state that makes see with an omniscient viewpoint. As a result, the ‘ironie’ relations from Romanticism are built such as ‘God=human=being’ or ‘creation=corruption=redemption.’ Leach followed these Blake's ideas of how to access to objects and subjects. Therefore, he was able to set up his view in life based on the understanding of East and West cultures. For example, Leach compared Western aesthetic system with Zen, a Buddhist theory of being free from dualism, which is irrational and depends on intuitive imagination. Leach established his own visual languages which started from Blake's idea. On his etching <Gothic spirit> and woodcut <Tiger in the forest>, he borrowed Blake's system of symbols or quoted a phrase from Blake's poetry. On the other hand, Blake devised ‘Poetic Genius’ that is a device of pulling out transcendental intuition. For Leach, his device of awareness was pottery which everyone is able to understand and judge what is right and wrong since it has been lasted with human history. Blake's ‘Poetic Genius’ is a power of spirituality, and Leach's pottery is a realization of ‘Poetic Genius’ trough th time of history. The idea of integration toward Monism was suggested by Blake. It served a momentum to Leach and he brought ‘Standard Ware’ as a result of the marriage of East and West. Standard pots are the objects that show consensus norms of existence and form a foundation of new global tradition. Leach tried to achieve to overcome Modernism by acquiring ethicality, which Blake aimed, with practicing ‘universality in living life.’ Leach's and Blake's exertions for ‘redemption from a depravity’ are a great chance to set a right idea of ethicality by diagnosing true relations with materials and objectivity.

Citation status

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