Yang Geng, Lingling Peng
Pages 103-124
DOI: 10.3726/b10729_103


As a response to the problems of language in Chinese modern and avant-garde art from 1988 to 1998, early video art reclaimed the independence of language from social reality and political influence and established it on the basis of the time phenomenon. By comparing the category of time in the Western philosophical tradition and in Chinese traditional thought, we find that the “immediacy” of Zen provides a hermeneutical approach to the nature of language as a reflective medium, closely related to the silent experience. In line with the three basic principles of transcendental Zen, video media purifies body language into the immaterial language in three ways – through disembodied video movement, the de-objectified video image, and discontinuous video narrative.