Good Example Of Critical Thinking On The Development Of The Arts
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How the Edo period artists recreated their notion of "classic" in their works? What are the contemporary interpretations of "classics"?
The term classic is defined as something that is depicting a style that can be regarded as timeless and lasting. The Japanese Edo period is marked significantly by the policy of isolationism (Louis 324). While this period is perceived to among Japan’s most abundant period, it is also the period that marks the lavish progress in the arts and culture. To give way for further enjoyment of the art and culture at the same time taking pride in the nation’s rich history and tradition, Edo artists in the likes of Chikamatsu Monzaemon, Matsuo Bashō, Torii Kiyonaga and Utamaro capitalized on Japan’s ancestral traditions and colorful cultures. The bushi tradition was given strong emphasis especially in the field of architecture and designs. Houses were also designed and constructed using traditional designs using materials found in nature or depicting a more natural theme. It also relates to the principles embodies in Philosophy and Metaphysics. Today, there is a more contemporary interpretation of a classic. The contemporary definition is more on the colloquial interpretation of the word as having to occur regularly. In addition, it has been used to define a cataclysmic event that has altered the way the world sees life and culture as never before (Lombardi). Some would classify a modern classic as one being written or produced after World War II. This is to serve as a timeline or a significant milestone that seeks to distinguish literature from the classical to the contemporary period. If the classics, as interpreted by the Edo artists, were those being shaped by philosophy and metaphysics, the contemporary classics are molded according to the merits of science. Notable contemporary artists are the likes of Walter Miller, who write the modern literary genre entitled A Canticle for Liebowitz and Phillip Roth, who was best known for his work entitled Portnoy’s Complaint.
What kind of art was produced in the Indus Civilization? How did Buddha’s images existed? How is it related to Hindu tradition? How do the Sultans (Muslim rulers) reinvented Indian art and architecture to satisfy their political agenda? How the Hindu kings reacted against it? How contemporary artists in India are responding to their cultural heritage?
The most influential factor, that shaped the Indus Civilization, was the Indus River. In fact, it has become the center and the focal point of civilization. This ancient civilization has developed around the ways of life of the people living during that time. Their major influences and inspiration included their source of livelihood, their rituals, and their colorful traditions. The presence of precious stones like gold and bronze, majority of the arts had been centered to the aesthetic enhancement and embellishments. This is reflected in the fine and elaborate jewelries of the people and the numerous gold figurines and statuettes. The first human image of Buddha existed during the 1st century AD along the northern portion of India. However, prior to this depiction of the image of Buddha were about near 600 representations of the divine figure taking the shape and form of a wheel, an empty throne or footprints (McArthur). Later on, Hindu as a religion was developed, and the image of Buddha was influenced by this through the depiction of the idol in reverse position taking the image of Kanishka. Kanishka is from India, which primary influence if Hinduism (Knipe). The use of Kanishka’s image in the arts has served as a political, spiritual and military tactic among the Sultans and the Muslim leaders. The use of elaborate and lavish representations of spiritual influence allowed the Sultans to infiltrate the communities without appearing like a conqueror but as spiritual leaders. The Hindu kings did not react negatively to this approach because it took the shape and guise of a less invasive form or approach. Indian contemporary artists are still influenced by this earlier influence and style as depicted in their elaborate use of materials and grand prints usually seen in their fabrics. This is the reason the Indians can preserve their unique style in the arts and architecture.
Knipe, David. Hinduism. San Francisco: Harper, 1999. Print.
Lombardi, Esther. Modern Classic - What Is a Modern Classic. 12 November 2013. Web. 17 January 2015.
Louis, Frédéric. Japan Encyclopedia. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 2002. Print.
McArthur, Meher. Reading Buddhist Art: An Illustrated Guide to Buddhist Signs and Symbols. London: Thames & Hudson, 2004. Print.
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