It was one year ago when the new journal idea came into my mind and giving birth to it has been an exciting journey. I was thinking of a unique academic international journal in English combining arts education and arts therapy with a China focus, the first of its kind to bridge East and West, art and science. I started to invite people one by one onto the editorial board. After more than a half year of preparation, our editorial board has been set up and consists of nearly 50 influential researchers and scholars active in different fields in China and abroad. This group reflects the multidisciplinary commitment of CAET and our vision to enhance serious inquiry into the function and value of the arts in the current social context of East and West.
As the founder of the journal, I also see this as an interesting and rewarding personal journey. My Chinese and biomedical background and many years of living in both China and Europe have given me many perspectives on China and the scientific community, but it was only when I was drawn into the art world through modern dance and later through dance movement therapy that my perspective about myself and the world become more multidimensional and comprehensive. The challenges and bottlenecks I encountered in scientific research suggested that the insights I sought could not be provided by hard science alone which is more mind oriented. When we engage the arts and embodied experience, we are creating more possibilities for understanding ourselves and the world, and for answering many questions, including scientific ones. So I see the value of the arts not only in performances by arts professionals but also as an essential element of life for every human being as well an indispensable counterpart to science — just like the Yin and Yang we need to make a good balance. This is my fundamental motivation for establishing the journal. Looking back, it was 10 years ago when I brought the knowledge from the West to China with dance/movement therapy colleagues from Europe and the United States. Now, I find myself facilitating the reverse process with the journal where a mutual flow and dialogue will help us complete a circle of learning.
I feel extremely happy and lucky to have Professor Shaun McNiff on board to be one of the chief editors of CAET. Shaun has a profound understanding of the value of art and keeps inspiring our community with his passion for integrating artistic and scientific inquiry. In addition to the many other leaders in the arts in education and therapy fields who have joined our editorial board, I also feel it is important to have young talented researchers participating to bring new ideas and innovation to our journal. The expertise and dedication of Shaun and other editorial board members, and the support from both art and science will play a significant role in determining CAET’s success.
Getting the first issue to take off has taken considerable time and effort from all of us who are engaged in this process. While there are challenges for many Chinese authors who are writing in the English language, we do hope our readers and colleagues can enjoy reading the different perspectives in the articles in the first issue which we hope will facilitate more dialogue between the East and West. We would like to thank all our authors whose articles have or have not been accepted for publication in this issue for the enthusiasm and support for the CAET journal, and for the time and effort you have spent to prepare the manuscripts, especially those authors whose mother tongue is not English. We also thank each of the reviewers who read the manuscripts and offered constructive feedback. We are very pleased to have people with committed to the mission of the journal join us for this exciting and meaningful journey.
I do hope CAET will be your partner in your research and practice. We look forward to working closely with our art and science communities in the future.
Dr. Tony Zhou, Founder and Executive Editor
Dec 15, 2015, Delft
我感到很高兴和荣幸将Shaun McNiff 教授请到我们编委会担任CAET期刊的主编。McNiff 教授对艺术有着深刻的理解，他不断地用其整合艺术和科学探索的热情激励着我们领域的同仁们。除了艺术教育和治疗的卓越领导外，我觉得将年轻有为的中青年才俊请到我们的团队中是非常重要的。他们的加入将为我们的期刊带来活力和创新。Shaun和其他编委的专业知识和奉献，以及来自艺术和科学的支撑将决定CAET将来的成功。
Since 1970 I have explored how the arts heal throughout history and in the different regions of the world by transforming pain and suffering into endlessly variable and unique affirmations of life and by activating creative energies that exist inside and outside the person in what might be imagined as a pulse of nature, maybe close to China’s untranslatable Tao. These forces are not only accessible to all humans, they are what make us human.
As an advocate for a deeper appreciation of this common humanity I have always celebrated understanding and respecting different traditions that move like rivers toward and from the source that holds their ongoing changes. My work with the arts also affirms the endless differences in individual expressions, manifestations of our unique creative DNA and biodiversity. I miss this deeper sensibility in our current Western discussions of culture where more attention needs to be given to how the arts both individuate in the most radical ways while also uniting in communion with all people and living things.
This was the context of my life and thought when Dr. Tony Zhou invited me to be part of CAET. I was taken aback by his commitment to all of the arts, close cooperation between education and therapy, and the need for a more robust partnership between artistic inquiry and science—all of which have been the bedrock of my career presented to me now in a new opportunity to span East and West and to affirm the importance of China to our past and future.
As we begin the work of CAET I am once again limited by my inability to access the written expressions of China but I hope the journal, fully accessible to readers of Chinese and English, will promote more cross-cultural understanding and opportunities for others like me to learn and be a more complete participant in the world.
Dec 20, 2015, Boston
Shaun McNiff 教授