by Smith except from TF Chen’ philosophy
For East & West series
All of us live comfortably in a physical three-dimensional world. Although we don’t begrudge accepting time as the fourth dimension, most of us throw up our hands when confronted with any theoretical mathematical constructs that add more dimensions. When Dr. Chen talks about Five Dimensional Universal Civilizations, he is not invoking parameters as we usually think of them. He is giving some new meanings to some old words. Since these meanings unhide the apocalyptic structure of his New-Iconography, it is intriguing to unravel them as best as we can.
Let us start with an easy four dimensional look at the Western world Chen discovered in Paris. Chen’s eye and mind discerned four societies that led to the modern West. He gave each a visual symbol—hence, four dimensions of his defining.
He let the pyramid symbolize the essential of Egyptian civilization, which was geometric, firm, collective, immobile, hierarchic, stubborn, and sealed off, with a preoccupation for abstraction, stylization, and eternity.
He depicted the Greeks with a series of vertical lines, representing columns. The ardent Greek spirit evoked a passion for liberty, clarity, democracy, eloquence, personal development, proportional beauty, harmony, equilibrium, and a search for ideals.
|Venus and Shogun/ #78009 / 50X 72″/ ac||Enriching East West(B)-Mixed Media on paper-30X40”-1994.4|
Chen gave the Romans an arch, found ubiquitously in aqueducts, coliseums, bridges, portals, temples, and arenas, symbolizing Roman desire to unify the Empire and the Roman’s genius for organization, administration, and law.
As to Judeo-Christianity, he used the Christian cross as a symbol of one true God, a soaring verve, sacrifice to the point of martyrdom, mysticism, and ideal of personal salvation.
Chen saw these four symbols being pushed together until they synthesized a composite Western civilization, a new fifth dimension, which he depicted schematically as a sort of cathedral: a series of columns supporting a pyramidic pediment circumscribed by a dome-like arch, supporting a skyward cross.
Old new East West Painting writing (B) / 158.3×129cm
Greetings From The East /66×48’’ / ac
He says, “The feverish faith and the spiritual vigor of the Middle Ages pushed men of Western Europe towards colossal accomplishments of beauty and science,” as Christian faith dominated Western civilization. “But quiet soon the center of this Cross is replaced by men, a resurrection of Greek anthropomorphism on one hand and an awakening of a scientific spirit on the other, which crystallize in the humanism of the Renaissance. With this new center Occidental Europe entered the modern age.