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Ch’i and Artistic Expression: An East Asian Worldview that Fits the Creative Process Everywhere



Shaun McNiff

In the tradition of ch’i (), past and present, we have a paradigm that accurately corresponds with how artistic expression happens and heals through the circulation and transformation of creative energy. It is a thoroughly empirical approach to forces inherent in all of nature which include physical and psychic elements of creative action. Beginning with reflections on the qualities of ch’i and how it has been interpreted in the West, this article explores its presence and cultivation. The historic Taoist and Confucian emphasis on nurturing ch’i as a personal way of participating in the more comprehensive creative processes of nature offers a timely practical and conceptual model for how art heals.


Shaun McNiff

1 Lesley University, USA

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