In Asia, all sculptures are diagrams, conventionalized schemes mastered by professional artists from academic rules, traditional texts, "handed-down" models. Standard forms and identical patterns are repeated and refined for centuries. The intensity, consciousness, and perfection of Asiatic art comes only from repetitiousness and sameness, just as true originality exists only where all artists work in the same traditions. Never anywhere in Asia was there no awareness that real freedom in art, and the absolute essence that makes art the thing it is, can be realized only through the formula; in Asia this has been understood. Without art's continuity and an art-for-art's sake conviction and art's unchanging spiritual identity and a timeless world point of view, Asia's art would be inaccessible and the "one thing" completely secret. The one thing is the only thing in art worth thinking and talking about.



from TIMELESS IN ASIA in Art News, January 1960.


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