Hi everyone! I hope you are all well and healthy. In this final round of research I will be comparing what I learned in the previous rounds to complete answering my inquiry question; How do art and culture correlate one another to develop influence and reflection? In my two previous rounds, I analyzed artwork that originated and centralized traditions of African and Chinese cultures. Further, I looked at one piece of pronounced artwork that derived from each of these regions and discussed the aspects it epitomizes and the culture that it may directly or indirectly signify. In this round I will focus on inspecting the relationship between art and culture and the impact one has on the other.
What is Art?
Art is a primary influence of society and ideals and perspectives we are constantly exposed to. It shapes the configuration of change, instills values and translates experiences across time into a form of an artist’s interpretation or representation. Art can be categorized in several divisions, with musical, visual, animation, theatrical, literally and numerous more forms of creative expressions existing throughout our history. Even though a semblance of “art” can be classified and designated in a specific division by its external characteristics, it is essentially defined by the intrinsic qualities of the artists and viewers’ choice, as art cannot be independently elucidated. Art commonly preserves what historical records of fact-based explanations cannot: The feeling of existing at or in a particular space or time. Art can, therefore, be perceived as a repository of a society’s collective memory, with music, paintings, sculptures and literary works existing timelessly all around us. Art is essentially a design of communication, an assembly of stories used to convey a message that can be perceived endlessly through time or perhaps disappear and the artistic result of its vulnerability.
What is Culture?
Culture can simply be described as the attribute knowledge of a group of people, encompassing la religion, cuisine, language, social habits, music and arts. However simply and consciously culture may be defined, it’s essence is indescribable and the memories of the cultures that exist in the heart of individuals around the world are timeless and equally valued. Culture can further be described by shared patterns of interactions and behaviours, cognitive construction that depend on socialization to comprehend. Thus, it can be defined by the collective growth of a group, nurtured by social patterns distinctive to the group itself. Culture surrounds the most effortless and intricate things in our lives alike. For example, what we wear, how we choose to wear it, the nature of a relationship, what we believe is right or wrong, moral convictions, how we behave in the presence of certain people and numerous other things that we may never realize as it is an essential integration and every-day nature of our lives. The word “culture” derives from the Latin word “colere” which means to tend to the earth and grow, the nurturing cultivation of bringing something to life. The word shares its etymology with several other words that are actively associated with fostering growth. Thus, the essence of culture can equally be defined as such, but also with the consideration that culture is a sturdy but equally fragile construct that exists primarily in the hearts of the people connected to it.
Does art primarily influence culture or does culture mainly affect art?
So, does art conform to the atmosphere and dependency of culture or does culture shape the perspective of art? In my previous research, we viewed the characteristics of art in two distinct cultures around the world. Characteristics of artwork originating from China and Africa. Regarding, the elements and common thematic constituent in the artwork, we can see that several of their characteristics are tied with traditions and perspectives influenced by their culture. Looking upon the Benin Ivory mask – a portrait of the Queen Mother Idia, analyzed in my previous post, is an evident representation of a time in history, the portrayal of royalty and the persistent culture and tradition of their times. In both cultures I analyzed I regarded that the symbolism in any given form of artwork, whether it is theatre, sculpture or painting, is often directly and inherently affixed and associated with the interpretation and representation of their culture. For example, in my second post, I inspected recurring characteristics in its artwork and I found that the artist, being intuitively aware, often depicts some form of totality in their symbolism. Many of the symbols in Chinese art is a signification of something specific. Bamboo, for instance, represents a spirit that has the capacity to be bent by circumstance, but not entirely broken, again directly association artwork with the beliefs, tradition and evidently, culture of their time.
Even though it is shown that art is often a representation of its culture when regarding the culture itself, culture is equally a depiction of creativity and individuality. This essential makes their relationship a correlation. When viewing the specific artworks, creativity inlet and broad culture of the African and Chinese regions, it is rather evident that art may act as a catalyst in the face of culture. However, one may argue that art is culture and that art has the undeniable capacity to stand alone in its creative individuality or be a representation of something that is broader and affixed with something else. Art and culture portray a constant relationship with each other that will remain as long as people keep the flame of tradition and the cultures of our ancestors from dying out. Art can utilitarian influences on society as well as tradition and conservative impacts. Additionally, culture is a constant flame in the hearts of the individual it’s concerned with. So, How do art and culture correlate one another to develop influence and reflection? The answer is at once, intricate and simplistic. They are a constant force that has worked in the field of influence with one another throughout our past. Today, they exist both independently and in each other’s dependency at the same time. One thing we can say for certain is that art intrinsically a part of and a reflection of the larger element of our lives.