Professor Jao’s artistic accomplishments concentrate mainly on calligraphy and painting. His artistic philosophy is that artistic creation should be combined with the other aspects of ancient Chinese culture, especially scholarship. For that reason, he advocated a “dual synthesis of scholarship and art.” He considered that in order to promote the development of Chinese calligraphy and painting, the idea of “combining poetry and painting” as in traditional calligraphy was insufficient. It is necessary to integrate essential parts of Chinese culture such as scholarship, religion, palaeography and even philosophy into the art of calligraphy and painting creation, with the aim of extending their connotations. Therefore, in the paintings of Professor Jao, we can see not only poems but also ideas from religion and philosophy with rich layers of connotation behind them.
As for the artistic creation, Professor Jao proposed the three steps of “following the ancients, following nature and following the heart”. He maintains that the process of “following the ancients” is more than just a learning process; instead, it is the ultimate objective of artistic creation, and “following the ancients” should not be constrained by ancient conventions. Likewise, “following nature” is also more than just physically sketching the natural world; merely imitating nature is as much a mistake as imitating the ancients. Professor Jao considered that after the steps of “following the ancients” and “following nature”, one should formulate a new artistic orientation. Once the forms of artistic expression are established, you must apply the techniques invented by the ancients, while also including your own insights drawn from observation of nature, and express these in an original way through your own creations. It is only in this way that you can create fully achieved artworks in a distinctively individual style.
Concerning Professor Jao’s artistic creation, perhaps “at the moment of creative insight, both artist and artwork are wise in experience” is the most fitting description. Based on the technique of “following the ancients, following nature and following the heart”, Prof. Jao achieves the ultimate realization of his spontaneous creative impulse.
Feng Guo He Tang
Fo Xiang Si Ping
Duo Le Chang Nian
He Tang Yu Nian
Cui Qiao Jin Xi
Jin Shu Chu Zeng Shu Yi Ze