In Wind Water, Ruiz stages a three-way dialogue between three great cultures: the West, China and Arabia. He imagines what might occur if Shih-T’ao’s six poetic procedures for attaining the primal respiration or cosmic breath in painting were applied to one of the flagships of Western art, Velazquez’s Las Meninas. Ruiz wants the three cultures to interact and test each other like the paper, stone and scissors of the children’s game. The result is an insoluble dispute, a différend. No reconciliation or compromise is possible between these cultural outlooks.