Chou Wen-chung

An Introduction to Chou Wen-chung’s Water Image Symmetry



  1. Wenren is a classic Chinese term used by Chou to describe “the person with ultimate knowledge of the arts. …An artist is often called a creator. …Artists and scholars in the East were generally regarded as the conscience of society, and conveyers [sic] of its legacy.” Chou Wen-chung, “Wenren and Culture,” Locating East Asia in Western Art Music, Yayoi Uno Everett and Frederick Lau (editors), Middletown: Wesleyan University Press, p.213, 2004.
  2. See Chou, 1968.  “East and West, Old and New,” Asian Music, 1/1: 19–22.
  3. The oracle book, I-Ching, is believed to have evolved through a long period of time in ancient China as a principle thought of Confucianism and Taoism in its concept about humanity’s relationship and its place within the Universe. The Universe is realized as the interplay between two polarities of the yin and the yang.
  4. The basic unit of the I-Ching is the Trigram which is made up of three yao signs — three lines either representing the yin (- -) or the yang (-), broken or unbroken (—).
    A superimposition of two Trigrams one on top of the other to form a Hexagram is the basic structure in the I-Ching. Different ways of combining these eight Trigrams thus form the sixty-four Hexagrams available in the I-Ching.
  5. Discussion of the mirror or mathematical symmetry can be found in Simon L. Altmann, Icons and Symmetries, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1992
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