Metamorphosis – How do art and culture correlate one another to develop influence and reflection?

What challenges did you overcome throughout this inquiry project? How did you go about overcoming these challenges?

I started this inquiry project quite late, which I hold only myself accountable for as I was not very organized from the start of the course. Having said that, in order to ascertain that I would complete this inquiry in time with the rest of the class, I had to hold myself the dates I set to complete the given number of posts. This required me to arrange solid periods of time in which I would focus on completing the work that I was behind on. During my inquiry, I faced challenges dividing and assembling the seemingly endless paths of information concerning my topic. I chose to analyze certain aspects of cultures and traditions as well as the art that shapes or is shaped by the encompassing atmosphere. I specifically looked at African and Chinese cultures and regarded a single creative piece of work originating from that region. I found that the African region especially provided a very broad span of distinct cultures that I found it difficult to simplify and define such intricate and complex traditions and identities as essentially a culture is a form of identity. I overcame this challenge by instead, focusing on the artistic portion that was tied to culture in my question. I examined common or underlying elements of the art from each culture which permitted me to look at the wider spectrum of identities from that region. This aided me in narrowing down my information while also giving me a habitual pattern of research to follow when analyzing artwork and the culture that encompasses it.

How did this inquiry change the way you think?

I think this inquiry transformed my perspective of art and even how we define what is creative and what aspects relate to culture. A persistent question that remained throughout this inquiry was the speculation of art influencing culture or culture having the primary impact on art. However, after researching the topic, the relationship between these two characters became at once abundantly clear and exceedingly complex. In truth, art and creativity is a matter of the viewer’s perception and the culture that may encompass it is of the artists’ intention. In short, art is a paradox and both art and culture can be seen as catalysts of each other as well as constantly coexisting characters. This inquiry made me realize that both arts and culture have unique forms of its own representation. Some people may argue that art can be defined independently without association with culture or influences in society and others might contend that culture constantly holds artistic value as to some, it may be defined as an art. Then again, to others art may be a defining part of a culture in certain circumstances. Thus, the relationship between art and culture is a constant quarrel and concurrence, with the only defining factor of the two, upon the viewer to decide.

How did this investigation impact your future decisions?

This inquiry will impact my future decisions when regarding artwork or being introduced to a new culture. I especially love looking at art and simply considering artwork and I often try to discern if there are any art galleries in any given place that I am visiting. I can now look back to the several pieces of artwork that I’ve regarded and realized that there are often common patterns and cultural or personal significance in any form of art. Just last year, I visited the Louvre in France and after doing this inquiry I can see that there were several forms of thematic elements and cultural semblance in a number of the notable pieces I remember in their vast catalogue. As soon as the situation of Covid-19 passes, I definitely plan to visit a few local art galleries as creativity and the curiosity and fascination of looking at numerous forms of art have been a constant companion for me during isolation. I hope that when I regard art or are introduced to aspects of new cultures in the future, I can see each character with a new, rather fresh perspective. I also hope that when observing art in the future, I will be able to discern more clearly the elements, forms of symbolism and equally cultural importance in any given piece. 

What impact will this investigation have on others locally and/or globally?

I think that this investigation can have an impact both locally and globally as art and culture is present timelessly, everywhere around the world and equally in attendance even in so many of the seemingly unimportant details of our lives. For example, the cultures that encompass us often also help us decide what to wear, how to wear it or perhaps what we would like to eat. It equally may aid us in discerning deeper more complex aspects of our identity such as what we believe in and the moral or ethical values that we hold ourselves to. As art is an abiding and everlasting companion to culture, the two are closely linked and understanding what defines their relationship together as well as individually, will help others comprehend each character independently and in a coalition to the other. I think this research will equally encourage others to more closely view the aspects of their own culture as it made me regard more closely the details of the cultures and traditions that surround me.

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