Lotus Rising Out of Water
The term of lotus rising out of water describes a scene of freshness, quiet refinement and natural beauty, in contrast to “gilded and colored” embellishments. During the Wei and Jin dynasties, people valued nature and favored this aesthetic view. In their artistic creations, they pursued the natural and fresh style like lotus rising out of water. They sought natural presentation of their ideas and were opposed to excessive ornamentation.
Xie Lingyun’s poems are natural and refreshing like lotus rising out of water, whereas Yan Yanzhi’s poems are elegantly embellished, like gilding an object and adding colors to it. (Zhong Rong: The Critique of Poetry)
It is like a lotus rising out of clear water: natural and without embellishment. (Li Bai: To Wei Liangzai, the Governor of Jiangxia Written While Thinking of My Friends on My Way into Exile at Yelang Following the War)