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Nonwest Influence on Western Culture, Essay Example

Pages: 4

Words: 1222

Essay

China had rich and unique culture for most of its history. For a long time, artists in China used medium such as wood, clay for ceramics and silk for textile. China was the heart of the art in Asia for many decades. However, after European overpowered China as elite world power, China begun to be influenced by Europe instead of vice verse. British colonized most of China and thus their culture was infused. This interaction between Europe and China shaped the western culture in many ways. At the same time, Chinese art influenced the European art in a number of ways (Szelényi and Robert 430). For instance, in China, the visual art was ranked high in the hierarchy in term depending on the material, themes, and social position of those who practice them. The interaction between China and Europe popularized the use of porcelain (ceramic ware) in Europe.

The Chinese ceramics, reached Europe in the middle age. They were greatly treasured and were often provided with precious mounting. For instance, the lung-chuan bowel was brought from near east and in 1434 and was given it gothic mounting in 1435. In the century that followed, porcelain became one of the most popular Chinese exports to Europe. The number of porcelain that were exported into Europe could be counted into million.

This trade had a huge impact, and changed the course of ceramic history in Europe. The traditional stoneware fell out of favor. Instead, the technically superior and aesthetically versatile Chinese produce were greatly admired. After several decades, the European started to produce copies of this Chinese product. For instance, low-fired ceramic that were decorated in blue on a white ground were produced at delft and traded wildly now as European arts. In fact, once Johann Gottfried reinvented the porcelain in 1709, high temperature kilns were set up as messissen. Even today, the decoration and shapes of the porcelain that is very common in Europe can be traced from China. Nowadays there are varieties of decorations, on ceramics ware, however, the blue and white (original model from China) can be called the most succesiciful ceramic in the world.

From a survey of literature, due to the increased demand of the Chinese product in the middle ages, the Chinese artisan begun to product specifically for European, market. The Chinese artisan begun to adapt their product to what they saw as European taste and preference. The begun to makes specific designs for their customer (Wong 458). At some point, they even begun to imitate the European ceramic ware, which were copies of the Chinese model in the first place.

There are various stylistic and cultural interactions between China and the west complex. The exchange of self-consciousness that engineered indicates the more sophisticated interaction between east and west that took place in arts during the nineteenth century. However, one thing is clear, Chinese art influenced the European art in a number of ways.

Africa influence on modern western culture

The interaction between Europe and Africa occurred during the early 19th century when Europeans colonized African. Prior to that, trade was only confined in costal line. During the early 19th century, the aesthetic of the African tradition sculptures greatly influenced European artists, who developed what is now known as modern art, for stance, in France Pablo Picasso, henrys Matisse and other artist blended a highly stylized treatment of human figure in Africa sculptures with post imperialist painting style (Shi-sheng and Zhang 120). The resulting pictorial flatness, fragmented cubist shapes and vivid color was used to represent early modernism. One distinct feature of the African sculpture is the ability to portly the felling aspect. Modern artist were attracted to African arts due to their callous approach in sculpturing the human figure.

This is true because while European artist knew nothing about the African sculpture they encountered, they could easily recognize their spiritual aspect. The European artists were able to incorporate these qualities in their own work to improve on the naturalism characterized the western art for long period.

The influence of the African mask to Western Europe dates back to 1950, when Picasso first saw the mask. Picasso is a key figure with regard to the spread of the African influenced modernism in the west. Picasso noted that the mask were unique. Some were frightening, while others were decorative.

Most African masks were considered utilitarian object rather than art. However, Picasso appreciated their design as well as emotion that they conveyed. He was taken by the power of their form. He later began working the masks into simple sketches for les demoiselles. This is commonly known as origin of the cubist movement and modern art (Yingqin 100).

One common factor between les demoiselles and African mask is the ability of the masks to convey of emotions. However, unlike African mask that was created for utilitarian purpose the demoiselles mask were created as fine arts. This means that their main function was to  be appreciated for the message that they conveys and for their formal elements. Most of the African artistic elements that create beauty and interest were incorporated in order to enhance their ceremonial functionality when used in healing, initiation rituals.

African mask played an instrumental part in the development of the modern art because they were emblematic of the key paradigm shift. Before the development of the modern art, the artist main objective of studying and recording the seeable world, was to feel the role of a storyteller. The Picassos les demoiselles work was the first modern art to not only bring what people can see but also what the mind knows and what the heart feels about the subject. Just like African mask, the Picassos les demoiselles work shoe different views of the same figure. The two arts validate the knowledge that most objects must be seen in different point of views in order to be understood (Pun, Chin and Henry 225).

The Picassos also broke the norm of the artist with a reporter and a recorder who are not involved in real life. When one approaches the painting, the viewer will thrust into the role of customer in sordid scene. In the postcolonial era, the impact of traditional African aesthetic and process is profoundly embedded in artistic practice that is rare evoked. The increased effort to understand completely the full spectrum of the aesthetic foundation for earl modernism has evoked the interest to investigate the influence of the African art on modern art. The globalization of the world of art render doubt to any term that assume a distinct divide of the between west and non-west art.

Works Cited

Pun, Kit-Fai, Chin Kwai-Sang, and Henry Lau. “A Review Of The Chinese Cultural Influences On Chinese Enterprise Management.” International Journal Of Management Reviews 2.4 (2000): 325.

Shi-sheng, Yang, and Zhang Yu-xian. “The Research Of The Differences Between Chinese And Western Diet Cultures/ Une Recherche Sur Les Differences Entre Les Cultures Alimentaires Chinoise Et Occidentale.” Cross-Cultural Communication 2 (2010)

Szelényi, Katalin, and Robert Rhoads. “Academic Culture And Citizenship In Transitional Societies: Case Studies From China And Hungary.” Higher Education 66.4 (2013): 425-438.

Wong, V. “Use Of Complementary And Alternative Medicine (CAM) In Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Comparison Of Chinese And Western Culture (Part A).” Journal Of Autism & Developmental Disorders 39.3 (2009): 454-463.

Yingqin, LIU. “Exploring The Impacts Of Cultural Globalization On Cultural Awareness/Values And English Writing In Chinese Context.” Intercultural Communication Studies 21.2 (2012): 94-110.

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