Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: In search of another eye : 'mimesis', Chinese aesthetics, post-modern theatre
Author: Sohn, Won Jung
ISNI:       0000 0004 2712 0942
Awarding Body: Royal Holloway, University of London
Current Institution: Royal Holloway, University of London
Date of Award: 2011
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Although a new tradition of non-mimetic theatre has secured a place in Western theatre history, I find that existing critical vocabularies fail to embrace various theatrical forms of today. Alternative frames of discussion are sought after, and I propose that a culturally distinct one will open up possibilities of perceiving contemporary performances in different ways. In this thesis I turn to the aesthetics of Chinese painting. The Western concept of mimesis in theatre is seen as being strictly related to the verbal aspects of the drama rather than the performed spectacle. Turning to paintings as a lens through which to look at theatre enables one to focus on the extra-textual aspects of performance. At the same time, looking at painting directs one to the issue of ways of seeing, which is fundamental to theatre. Looking at Chinese paintings will disclose the unique Chinese ways of seeing that affected their artistic creation and reception, as well as what different concepts of representation prevailed. In this thesis I trace the mimetic foundations of Western theatre by investigating the writings of Plato and Aristotle as well as looking at Classical Greek painting, its modern reflections and counteractions. I then propose the aesthetics of Chinese painting as an alternative lens through which to look at contemporary non-mimetic theatre. Focusing on landscape and literati paintings of the Sung era I examine how adopting this lens initiates a mode of perception that differs significantly from the Western. Finally, I explore the validity of Chinese aesthetics as a critical device with which to look at contemporary non-mimetic theatre, case-studying selected theatre performances of Tadeusz Kantor and Forced Entertainment.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available