ZHUANG ZHOU. 2012. Exhibition “Great Teachers of Humanity”. “ETNOMIR” Cultural Education Center

Author: Алексей Леонов
Material: Шамот
Location: "ETNOMIR" Cultural Education Center

“Once upon a time, I dreamt I was a butterfly, fluttering hither and thither, to all intents and purposes a butterfly. … Soon I awaked, and there I was, veritably myself again. Now I do not know whether I was then a man dreaming I was a butterfly, or whether I am now a butterfly, dreaming I am a man”


369 – 286 BC

Greatest Chinese philosophers, author of the ancient Chinese classical Taoist treatise “Zhuangzi” .

Zhuang Zhou’s philosophy is basically skeptical and considers life limited, but knowledge unlimited. Our perception of the environment depends on our ideas. Experienced perception will be objective only if we are free from the conventions and paradigms imposed on us; then we will be able to perceive the environment clearly and correctly (“min”) and will be able to act spontaneously and easily (“wuwei”). One who has managed to take this path can be called an ideal person. Only such an ideal person, the “true man,” can acquire the “true knowledge.”

Zhuang Zhou is credited with writing the first seven chapters of the book “Zhuangzi”, one of the most important Taoist canons and monuments of world philosophical thought. “Zhuangzi” had a strong influence on the further philosophical tradition, especially on Chan Buddhism (Zen) and on Taoist philosophy.