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Recent years has seen a significant surge of interest in discussions about the ontological condition of computer games concerning art, in particular, whether this derivative could be viewed as an art form, is heating on. Most leading aestheticians and scholars who devote to game studies advocate that the relation between art and game should be indefinable, insofar as the descendant of their marriage has no predominant feature or noticeable manifestation. With that, it should be an open concept at best. However, it has to be a closed concept, and there must be some overarching universal properties to sustain their relationship and maintain their offspring's life.

The plurality and flexibility of contemporary art and game make them and their progenies as a robust force and troublesome chaos. Retrospectively, in the past, the essential property of art is beauty, and pleasure is the one to games. Both of them could still be easy observed nowadays. However, have a look at the visual art after the revolution in the early twentieth century, the first video game OXO (Noughts and Crosses) in 1952, and the ideological revolution in game industries while the early 1970s, these characteristics have been being withheld and subtracted gradually by their creators. Artists, scientists, hackers, game designers, game enthusiasts, educators, composers, nearly everyone involved in writing this turbulent love story. "There is really nothing like it when it comes to stirring the spirit." (Danto, 2013)

This chapter intends to examine the marriage between art and game and the definition of their offspring. In order to explain this ambiguous story to readers, this article exploits romantic metaphors serves to portray the relation between art and games.


Looks like the real thing but is not the real thing

– Plato –

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Last Updated: 06/10/2019




In contemporary terminology, "Computer Art" has seldom appeared as a discussion topic in the academic world; it will be absorbed into the spectra of Digital Art, Media Art, and New Media Art.  Those scholars, who still insisted on using the term "Computer Art," are using it out of respect to those pioneers' strong contributions as well as longing for the turbulent era of Computer Art.  The notorious "Two Culture" lectures in the 1950s intensified the division between Art and Science.  It caused an extended chaotic debate among scholars.  In the 1960s, Computer Art as "The Third Culture" was treated as a fill in the considerable gap solution between Art and Science.  It comes, not only, with lofty expectations but also with enormous biases; unfortunately, it slowly faded away and eventually exited the stage of Art.


Since the beginning of Computer Art over 50 years ago, the related researches by western academy have been gradually diminished starting in the 1990s; on the other hand, similarly, researches in the mainland have come to a complete overhaul also in the 90s.  The scholars researching speed on the definition of Computer Art is falling way behind the rapid development and multiplication ability of computational science.  Scholars felt disoriented entirely by this complex and multivariate development in computational science.


Computer Art still exists nowadays; however, it has infiltrated and fully integrated into different branches of Art.  It also carries all its controversies and problems into these branches of Art.  Thus, it is crucial to dig up the relationship between Computer Art's ancient history and the pioneer Art movement in the same era.  Also, it is critical to analyse the negative evaluation.  The purpose of this thesis is to provide the author with a foundation and reference point for her future research on Computer Art creation, implementation, and study through the in-depth analysis of the history of Computer Art.


Key Words:Computer Art, Two Cultures, The Third Culture

DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.15757.90084


Creation is the behaviour of creating, especially the action of bringing the imaginal world into ordered existence. In the context of contemporary artistic practice, different scholars have their theories to discuss the creation of original activity. Shihab al-Din Al-Suhrawardi, one of the founders of an illuminationist philosophical tradition in the Islamic East that introduced a theory of ‘presential’ knowledge, elaborated a complex ontology of lights and added a fourth ‘imaginal’ world.

The imaginal world that illuminationist philosophy describes creates a connection between the theory of illumination and the behaviour of creating. Being a Chinese creator, whose art landscape installations are influenced by Chinese philosophy, finding that relationship with another different philosophy and rethink the creative behaviour.

In this thesis, the purpose is to figure out how the philosophy of lighting affects the act of creating and how it affects the imaginal world for the creator. 

At the first chapter, there is a brief discussion of the conception of time and the creation attitude in Contemporary Art, taking the psychological and philosophical sides of the creative behaviour into consideration. Then talk about Busan Biennale (Hybridizing Earth, Discussing Multitude), and the representation of time in Contemporary Art in the artwork in China, Japan, and Korea exposed there.

In the second chapter, introduce the illuminationist Islamic philosophy. Then describe the intellectual relationship between Shihab al-Din Al-Suhrawardi and Henry Corbin, and discuss the connection and discrepancy about the concept of ‘illuminationist’ from Al-Suharwradi. Proceed to explain the logic (the role of philosophy and the definition), physics(the psychology and the epistemology), metaphysics(essence and existence, the ontology of lights, and the imaginal world), politics, ethics, and legacy of the illuminations tradition(post-Suharwradi traditions and historiography). Describe the visit to the exhibitions ( the 11th Gwangju Biennale, Seoul Biennale-Media City and Busan International Film Festival) that motivated the discussion about those three question: 

1. How is the imaginal world system running? 

2. What connection exists between the imaginal world and the real world? 

3. What is the relationship between the philosophy of illumination and the creation of Contemporary Art?


In the third chapter, a description of the role of Contemporary Art creator, especially the creator, affected by Chinese Philosophy, to discuss the central theme: the strong connection between the Philosophy of illumination and the creation of Contemporary Art. Use of the personal creative experience and the analysis of the exhibition from Paik Nam June Art Central to discuss and rethink how the Illumination Philosophy affects the creation.

In the last chapter, there is a summary of the conclusions discussed in the previous section. Moreover, a determination is given.


Key Words:illumination, the imaginal world, the ontology of lights, contemporary art, creative production


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Based on the theory of "symbology", it analyses its structural organisation and understanding of the visual language's referential role, how vision becomes a symbolic concept, and its social and cultural implications and functions. Using symbols to understand, think, and study, start with semiotics and enter the text to analyse the encoding process of decomposition (decoding) visual symbols.

This thesis mainly uses the semiotic theory of modern and contemporary scholars such as Ferdinand de Saussure and Charles Sanders Peirce as the basis of research, and establishes the basic argument of visual language "symbol," with related literature and vision. Examples, as a reference and basis for social coding and decoding in the application of visual symbols, to construct a relatively holistic research framework, and to convey the main structure and communication of the cultural coding of visual examples with the communication function model of Roman Jacobson Function for analysis. In this way, the "connotation" of visual examples is referred to as functionality, and cultural decoding is used to understand how visual symbols are encoded in developmental mechanisms.


Key Words:Semiotics. Cultural coding, decoding; media communication;

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