chapter  4
Mimesis and Visuality
Pages 44

This chapter centres on the problem of representation. It shifts from the analysis of the Zen arts as forms of representation, to focus on visual discourses and images, and investigate the representation of the Zen arts. It aims to ask what can explain the existence and use of visual images and technologies, which divert attention away from the teacher's body, by offering alternative forms and methods of practising. To answer this question, we need to investigate these images from the standpoints of the narratives that are created about them. There are various narratives: historical, institutional, personal and philosophical. Within these narratives about the Zen arts many kinds of bodies are visually imagined and represented, but how many of these bodies are manifested in practice and experience? To answer this question it is necessary to make the visual image itself the subject of an analysis of cultural theories and fantasies about the body in the Zen arts, and to begin by asking what seeing means for practitioners of the Zen arts.