Affect Art Essay, Research Paper
Art has always been considered by many as the ultimate form of human expression. However art is in the eye of the beholder and therefore something considered as art by one may not be art to another. Art is an internal part of a person and that is why different people view art uniquely. Thus, art cannot be defined.
Art in general is a representation of its culture. By viewing and observing the many different work of arts, one can always distinguish its origin. Every different type of culture and era presents distinctive and unique characteristics. However, everyone has their different view of art making it a universal language as shown in the English expression, A picture can tell a thousand words . .
The earliest recorded art was used as a form of communication and religion by the Egyptians. The next important era for art was the time of Greek art followed by Christian Art during the Renaissance. Art has transformed from being a mere painting on the wall of the caves into a tremendous force in the society these days.
Many people think that art is only the picture hanging in the gallery or in museums. For me, I believe that everything is art from buildings to machines. Each of these things started as an idea and made into form. The transformation of the idea into a design and finally made into a creation is already art. Life itself is an art.
From Muzium Negara, we see how the different cultures are defined in art. The Malays can be said to be every elaborate. Everything is done in detail. We see how many cultures have influenced the Malay culture. The tombstones show their Acheh influence. The shadow play itself shows the mixture of different cultures from 8 different countries. Although diversified, all the different shadow plays are based on myth and religion which, tells the story of a great leader. The tales told in the shadow play and the shadow play itself is a form of art. The life of a leader so great is interpreted and told over and over again. The tales are told from the perspective of the different cultures. All shadow plays are a source of entertainment with a mutual basic concept. The shadow plays are all performed with one leader, known as the Tok Dalang in Malaysia, who practically speaks the whole dialogue unaided. It is amazing how the different countries from across the continent can own and influence something in common.
The weapons used in Malaysia are also a mixture of influence from different cultures. The Jembiah for example is from the Middle East while the Sewar is a weapon commonly found in Sumatera. There are many reasons for this. Two of them would be war and colonization. War brings together people from different countries. When one country invades and conquered another, they bring with them their culture and lifestyles. This can be seen in buildings in Malaysia. Malaysia has been colonized by a number of different powers, the Portuguese, British and Dutch among some. Most buildings in Malaysia either show Portuguese, British or Dutch influences. When the powers rule a country, they will definitely build houses, shops and administration buildings. These colonial powers are almost certain to model the buildings after the buildings in their homeland.
It is easy for the Western art to be accepted into Malaysia as the western culture was considered the great and true culture. The Eastern communities have always thought of the West as the dominant and better culture and have always tried to imitate their lifestyle. And so the influence of culture began with the imposition of Western aesthetic standards and tastes. This happened at the expense of the indigenous “art” of Malaysia. However, this does not mean that only the colonial powers has influenced the lifestyle and culture in Malaysia.
The Lion Dance, which originated from the Tan dynasty (AD618-806) in China, has been a part of the Malaysian culture for many decades. The Lion Dance together with Tai Tan Fatt represents the harmony and friendship between Man and Beast. This again shows the assimilation of a foreign culture. The Chinese who were fleeing the social and political upheavals in China brought in their culture. They not only brought in their traditional way of making art but also their knowledge of the Western practices.
The Malacca Baba and Nyonyas are an example of how people affect art. ‘Straits Chinese’ or the Baba and Nyonyas, are Chinese of noble descendants that have adopted a lot of the Malay culture into theirs. Although for most parts they are Chinese, they practice their own culture and beliefs. With this a whole new unique society was born. Although they are a very small minority, they play an important role in the Malaysian society.
As Malaysia is a multi-racial country, all the different races will dig into their own cultural heritage to produce a multi-cultural picture. With this Malaysia has a very diverse community which is derived from many cultures in the world.
I believe that art is not a thing but rather a mix of different aspects that have taken years to build and develop. It is not something that can be defined, but rather something that is felt. How art affects the people depends on the individual, each individual sees and feels something different therefore making art a unique language.