The art world is full of incredibly talented artists. Their paintings, sculptures, and drawings are breathtaking. But have you ever wondered why art is so expressive? Or why some art is considered more “modern” while others are considered “traditional”? The answer lies in the culture or region the artist was born into. One nation in the world that is known for artistic talent, is India. India has a rich and long history. It is the birthplace of many ancient civilizations.
Art is an expression of a person’s culture. According to the Smithsonian Institute, art expresses an individual’s culture through visual images, sculptures, architecture, and crafts. But, what does it express about different nations and cultures? Through the centuries, different cultures have used art in unique ways. For instance, Native Americans used it as a form of prayer. Other cultures, such as the Mayans, used art as a form of storytelling.
Everyone has something to say. Whether it’s through writing, drawing, or painting, people have used art to express themselves since the beginning of time. With people of all ages and backgrounds using art to communicate, it is no wonder how different cultures express their beliefs, values, and traditions based on art.
How Does Art Bring Different Cultures Together?
Art has always been a way to tell stories, therefore it has the ability to bring people together. Artists can share their passion with viewers and spark important dialogue, regardless of the artist’s nationality or the country’s culture. Additionally, art can speak to the universal language of emotions and ideas, from abstract paintings to photography, sculpture, and music as well.
Is Art Different in Different Cultures?
Culture shapes the way we identify things, including art. Looking at paintings, for instance, we associate certain colors with a certain emotion or cultural meaning. We see red for passion, blue for sadness, and, of course, yellow for sunshine. What’s not as clear is how much this cultural influence influences how we define art.
Many countries have their own style of art and ways of expressing themselves. In certain cultures, art is often used for personal expressions and a form of self-expression. It is a way for people to voice their thoughts and feelings.
Art, like language, is culturally influenced, and while there are cultural trends that have lasted over time, there are some that come and go. For example, at one point in history, it was considered the height of fashion to flaunt your wealth with ornate and over-the-top jewelry made of gold and other metals. A trend like this only lasts so long before people realize that beauty isn’t just about material wealth. Art is the same way—it changes according to what society finds to be fashionable and “cool,” but, eventually, cultural trends will overtake, and what was once considered “cool,” will someday be thought of as “lame.”
Art is subjective, but the content of art can vary greatly, depending on the culture. Some items, like batik and t’ait’ai chi, are common across cultures, while others are unique to particular societies. Where do the differences come from?
In Western culture, it is normal to be interested in art. However, in other cultures, people may be uncomfortable with someone showing interest in art or may be unsure how to express themselves artistically. In Chinese culture, art is viewed as a tool to tell the story of a person, place, or idea. Art in China is very serious and detailed. In Egyptian culture, art was mostly religious. It was not transferred or sold outside of a place of worship, and artists had to remain anonymous. In Asia, art is often much more colorful. It is seen as a form of expression, so artists take many risks with color, form, and technique.
Having said that, cultures worldwide have their own unique art, and different cultures share the form of art that expresses different aspects of their society. The art of different nations can tell us a lot about their cultures and lifestyles.