From “Rational Reflection” to “Art Reflection”: Contemporary Aesthetic Significance of the “1985” Art Thought Trend

Renjie WANG


This paper mainly discusses the contemporary aesthetic significance of Chinese “1985” thought trend. This paper holds that the tendencies of “philosophy”, “life stream” and “formalization” constitute the three major ideological tendencies of the “1985” art thought trend. Although the three aesthetic tendencies represent different understandings and pursuits to aesthetic connotation and aesthetic value within the artist groups during that period, they all originate in the rational ideologies of aesthetic subjects. Guided by rational consciousness and rational spirit, aesthetic subjects and creative practices of the aesthetic subjects have entered into an essentially new state, that is, the state of “how art serves people”. Therefore, influenced by the “1985” art thought trend, Chinese contemporary art has developed from “reflective art” to the new state of “art reflection”.


“1985” art thought trend; Rational spirit; Art creation

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Basanquet, B. (1997). History of aesthetics. In J. Zhang (Trans.). Guilin, China: Guangxi Normal University Press.

Marx. (2012). The German ideology (introduction). In C. W. Li (Ed.). Beijing: Chinese Democracy Rule of Law Press.

Zheng, G. (2002). Speech and movement: modernization of Chinese fine arts. Nanning, China: Guangxi Fine Arts Publishing House.



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