Abstract：The ontology of artworks tells us that a work of art, for example, a painting, cannot be identified as either physical or mental object. By the same token, this paper argues the working of art or artistic labor cannot be identified as either physical or mental labor. However, the works and workings of art are regarded as either physical or mental in the prevailing aesthetic theory. The main reason is that classical Western metaphysics is bifurcated. However, traditional Chinese division of ontological categories is not a bifurcation but a trifurcation, which consists of dao道, xiang象, and qi器. This tripartite distinction avoids substantivism, while at the same time providing a framework that encompasses both the objective and the subjective face of the art work, by means of a dynamic exchange between the two poles. This paper shifts our perspective from classical Western metaphysics to traditional Chinese metaphysics and sets up a dialogue between Chinese and Western aesthetics. The ontological status of works and workings of art is neither physical nor mental, but the “betweenness” of the two.