大巧若拙 – Chinese philosophy and culture

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dàqiǎo-ruòzhuō 大巧若拙

Exquisite Skill Looks Simple and Clumsy.

极致的灵巧、技巧看上去就像质朴拙笨一样。最杰出的灵巧一定是浑然天成而非人工刻意雕琢的。出自《老子》。老子提倡纯任自然、无为才能无不为,反对一切形式的卖弄。后用来指文艺创作中的最高技巧与境界。在文艺理论中,大巧若拙并不是“以拙为巧”或完全排斥工巧,而是摒弃过分修饰和刻意追求工巧,提倡朴素自然的浑融之美。它代表了艺术美和艺术技巧的最高境界。大巧若拙是中国古代书法、绘画、园林等艺术形式的共同追求。

The term means that ingenuity and skill at their best look simple and clumsy. The greatest ingenuity should be something completely natural and that it has not been painstakingly worked on. The term comes from the book Laozi. Laozi the philosopher believed that everything should be in keeping with nature. He advocated non-action and was against any form of excessive act. Later, the term came to mean the highest possible level of skill and perfection in artistic and literary creation. In Chinese literary theory, “exquisite skill looks simple and clumsy” does not mean the clumsier the better, nor is it a rejection of skill. Rather, it rejects excessive embellishment and over-pursuit of the exquisite, and encourages well-founded simplicity and naturalness. The phrase represents the highest possible level of perfection in artistic beauty and skill and is also what the people in pre-modern China strove to achieve in calligraphy, painting, gardening, and other forms of art.

引例 Citation:

◎大直若屈,大巧若拙,大辩若讷。(《老子·四十五章》)

(极致的直好像弯曲一样,极致的灵巧好像笨拙一样,极致的能言善辩好像不会说话一样。)

Straightness, when extreme, looks crooked. Skill, when superb, looks clumsy. Eloquence, when great, seems to stammer. (Laozi)

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