Eastern art history


Eastern art history

Eastern art history is devoted to the arts of the Far East and includes a vast range of influences from various cultures and religions. The emphasis is on art history amongst many diverse cultures in Asia. Developments in Eastern art historically parallel those in Western art, in general a few centuries earlier. ["The Meeting of Eastern and Western Art", Revised and Expanded edition (Hardcover)by Michael Sullivan,] African art, Islamic art, Indian art, [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C05EED91E3CF933A25754C0A962958260&sec=&spon=&pagewanted=2] NY Times, Holland Cotter, accessed online October 27, 2007] ] Chinese art, and Japanese art [Japonisme: The Japanese Influence on Western Art Since 1858 (Paperback)by Siegfried Wichmann# Publisher: Thames & Hudson; New Ed edition (November 19, 1999), ISBN-10: 0500281637, ISBN-13: 978-0500281635] each had significant influence on Western art, and, vice-versa. ["The Meeting of Eastern and Western Art", Revised and Expanded edition (Hardcover)by Michael Sullivan, Publisher: University of California Press; Rev Exp Su edition (June 1, 1989), ISBN-10 0520059026, ISBN-13 978 0520059023]

Buddhist art

Buddhist art originated in the Indian subcontinent in the centuries following the life of the historical Gautama Buddha in the 6th to 5th century BCE, before evolving through its contact with other cultures and its diffusion through the rest of Asia and the world. Buddhist art traveled with believers as the dharma spread, adapted, and evolved in each new host country. It developed to the north through Central Asia and into Eastern Asia to form the Northern branch of Buddhist art, and to the east as far as Southeast Asia to form the Southern branch of Buddhist art. In India, Buddhist art flourished and even influenced the development of Hindu art, until Buddhism nearly disappeared in India around the 10th century due in part to the vigorous expansion of Islam alongside Hinduism.

In various spiritual traditions, mandalas may be employed for focusing attention of aspirants and adepts, a spiritual teaching tool, for establishing a sacred space and as an aid to meditation and trance induction. Its symbolic nature can help one "to access progressively deeper levels of the unconscious, ultimately assisting the meditator to experience a mystical sense of oneness with the ultimate unity from which the cosmos in all its manifold forms arises." [See David Fontana: "Meditating with Mandalas", p. 10] The psychoanalyst Carl Jung saw the mandala as "a representation of the unconscious self," [ [http://www.crystalinks.com/mandala.html Mandalas - Crystalinks ] ] and believed his paintings of mandalas enabled him to identify emotional disorders and work towards wholeness in personality. [See C G Jung: "Memories, Dreams, Reflections", pp.186-197]

Bhutanese art

Bhutanese art is similar to the art of Tibet. Both are based upon Vajrayana Buddhism, with its pantheon of divine beings.

Bhutanese art is particularly rich in bronzes of different kinds that are collectively known by the name "Kham-so" (made in Kham) even though they are made in Bhutan, because the technique of making them was originally imported from the eastern province of Tibet called Kham. Wall paintings and sculptures, in these regions, are formulated on the principal ageless ideals of Buddhist art forms. Even though their emphasis on detail is derived from Tibetan models, their origins can be discerned easily, despite the profusely embroidered garments and glittering ornaments with which these figures are lavishly covered. In the grotesque world of demons, the artists apparently had a greater freedom of action than when modeling images of divine beings.

Cambodian art

Cambodian art and the culture of Cambodia has had a rich and varied history dating back many centuries and has been heavily influenced by India. In turn, Cambodia greatly influenced Thailand, Laos and vice versa. Throughout Cambodia's long history, a major source of inspiration was from religion. Throughout nearly two millennium, a Cambodians developed a unique Khmer belief from the syncreticism of indigenous animistic beliefs and the Indian religions of Buddhism and Hinduism. Indian culture and civilization, including its language and arts reached mainland Southeast Asia around the 1st century A.D. Its is generally believed that seafaring merchants brought Indian customs and culture to ports along the gulf of Thailand and the Pacific while trading with China. The first state to benefit from this was Funan. At various times, Cambodia culture also absorbed elements from Javanese, Chinese, Lao, and Thai cultures.

Visual arts of Cambodia

The history of Visual arts of Cambodia stretches back centuries to ancient crafts; Khmer art reached its peak during the Angkor period. Traditional Cambodian arts and crafts include textiles, non-textile weaving, silversmithing, stone carving, lacquerware, ceramics, wat murals, and kite-making. Beginning in the mid-20th century, a tradition of modern art began in Cambodia, though in the later 20th century both traditional and modern arts declined for several reasons, including the killing of artists by the Khmer Rouge. The country has experienced a recent artistic revival due to increased support from governments, NGOs, and foreign tourists.

Chinese art

Chinese art (Chinese: 中國藝術/中国艺术) has varied throughout its ancient history, divided into periods by the ruling dynasties of China and changing technology. Different forms of art have been influenced by great philosophers, teachers, religious figures and even political leaders. Chinese art encompasses fine arts, folk arts and performance arts. Chinese art is art, whether modern or ancient, that originated in or is practiced in China or by Chinese artists or performers.

In the Song Dynasty, poetry was marked by a lyric poetry known as Ci (詞) which expressed feelings of desire, often in an adopted persona. Also in the Song dynasty, paintings of more subtle expression of landscapes appeared, with blurred outlines and mountain contours which conveyed distance through an impressionistic treatment of natural phenomena. It was during this period that in painting, emphasis was placed on spiritual rather than emotional elements, as in the previous period. Kunqu, the oldest extant form of Chinese opera developed during the Song Dynasty in Kunshan, near present-day Shanghai. In the Yuan dynasty, painting by the Chinese painter Zhao Mengfu (趙孟頫) greatly influenced later Chinese landscape painting, and the Yuan dynasty opera became a variant of Chinese opera which continues today as Cantonese opera.

Indian art

Indian art can be classified into specific periods each reflecting certain religious, political and cultural developments. The earliest examples of are the petroglyphs such as found in Bhimbetka, some of them being older than 5500 BC. The production of such works continued for several millennia with later examples, from the 7th century being the carved pillars of Ellora, Maharashtra state. Other examples are the frescoes of Ajanta and Ellora Caves.Specific periods:
*Hinduism and Buddhism of the ancient period (3500 BCE-present)
*Islamic ascendancy (712-1757 CE)
*The colonial period (1757-1947)
*Independence and the postcolonial period (Post-1947)
*Modern and Postmodern art in India

One of the most popular art forms in India is called Rangoli. It is a form of sandpainting decoration that uses finely ground white powder and colours, and is used commonly outside homes in India.

he visual arts (sculpture, painting and architecture) are tightly interrelated with the non-visual arts. According to Kapila Vatsyayan, "Classical Indian architecture, sculpture, painting, literature (kaavya), music and dancing evolved their own rules conditioned by their respective media, but they shared with one another not only the underlying spiritual beliefs of the Indian religio-philosophic mind, but also the procedures by which the relationships of the symbol and the spiritual states were worked out in detail."

Insight into the unique qualities of Indian art is best achieved through an understanding of the philosophical thought, the broad cultural history, social, religious and political background of the artworks.

Indonesian art

Indonesian art and culture has been shaped by long interaction between original indigenous customs and multiple foreign influences. Indonesia is central along ancient trading routes between the Far East and the Middle East, resulting in many cultural practices being strongly influenced by a multitude of religions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Islam, all strong in the major trading cities. The result is a complex cultural mixture very different from the original indigenous cultures.Indonesia is not generally known for paintings, aside from the intricate and expressive Balinese paintings, which often express natural scenes and themes from the traditional dances.

Other exceptions include indigenous Kenyah paint designs based on, as commonly found among Austronesian cultures, endemic natural motifs such as ferns, trees, dogs, hornbills and human figures. These are still to be found decorating the walls of Kenyah Dayak longhouses in East Kalimantan's Apo Kayan region.

Calligraphy, mostly based on the Qur'an, is often used as decoration as Islam forbids naturalistic depictions. Some foreign painters have also settled in Indonesia. Modern Indonesian painters use a wide variety of styles and themes.

[
Borobodur temple, c. 760–830 AD.] Indonesia has a long-he Bronze and Iron Ages, but the art-form particularly flourished from the 8th century to 10th century, both as stand-alone works of art, and also incorporated into temples.

Most notable are the hundreds of meters of relief sculpture at the temple of Borobodur in central Java. Approximately two miles of exquisite relief sculpture tell the story of the life of Buddha and illustrate his teachings. The temple was originally home to 504 statues of the seated Buddha. This site, as with others in central Java, show a clear Indian influence.

Japanese art

Japanese art and architecture is works of art produced in Japan from the beginnings of human habitation there, sometime in the 10th millennium BC, to the present. Japanese art covers a wide range of art styles and media, including ancient pottery, sculpture in wood and bronze, ink painting on silk and paper, and a myriad of other types of works of art; from ancient times until the contemporary 21st century.

"Ukiyo", meaning "floating world", refers to the impetuous young culture that bloomed in the urban centers of Edo (modern-day Tokyo), Osaka, and Kyoto that were a world unto themselves. It is an ironic allusion to the homophone term "Sorrowful World" (憂き世), the earthly plane of death and rebirth from which Buddhists sought release.The art form rose to great popularity in the metropolitan culture of Edo (Tokyo) during the second half of the 17th century, originating with the single-color works of Hishikawa Moronobu in the 1670s. At first, only India ink was used, then some prints were manually colored with a brush, but in the 18th century Suzuki Harunobu developed the technique of polychrome printing to produce "nishiki-e."

nihongo|Japanese painting|絵画|Kaiga is one of the oldest and most highly refined of the Japanese arts, encompassing a wide variety of genre and styles. As with the history of Japanese arts in general, the history Japanese painting is a long history of synthesis and competition between native Japanese aesthetics and adaptation of imported ideas.

The origins of painting in Japan date well back into Japan's prehistoric period. Simple stick figures and geometric designs can be found on Jōmon period pottery and Yayoi period (300 BC – 300 AD) "dotaku" bronze bells. Mural paintings with both geometric and figurative designs have been found in numerous tumulus from the Kofun period (300-700 AD).

Ancient Japanese sculpture was mostly derived from the idol worship in Buddhism or animistic rites of Shinto deity. In particular, sculpture among all the arts came to be most firmly centered around Buddhism. Materials traditionally used were metal—especially bronze—and, more commonly, wood, often lacquered, gilded, or brightly painted. By the end of the Tokugawa period, such traditional sculpture - except for miniaturized works - had largely disappeared because of the loss of patronage by Buddhist temples and the nobility.

Korean Art

Korean art is noted for its traditions in pottery, music, calligraphy, painting, sculpture, and other genres, often marked by the use of bold color, natural forms, precise shape and scale, and surface decoration.

While there are clear and distinguishing differences between three independent cultures, there are significant and historical similarities and interactions between the arts of Korea, China and Japan.

The study and appreciation of Korean art is still at a formative stage in the West. Because of Korea’s position between China and Japan, Korea was seen as a mere conduit of Chinese culture to Japan. However, recent scholars have begun to acknowledge Korea’s own unique art, culture and important role in not only transmitting Chinese culture but assimilating it and creating a unique culture of its own. "An art given birth to and developed by a nation is its own art."

Generally the history of Korean painting is dated to approximately 108 C.E., when it first appears as an independent form. Between that time and the paintings and frescoes that appear on the Goryeo dynasty tombs, there has been little research. Suffice to say that til the Joseon dynasty the primary influence was Chinese painting though done with Korean landscapes, facial features, Buddhist topics, and an emphasis on celestial observation in keeping with the rapid development of Korean astronomy.

Throughout the history of Korean painting, there has been a constant separation of monochromatic works of black brushwork on very often mulberry paper or silk; and the colourful folk art or "min-hwa", ritual arts, tomb paintings, and festival arts which had extensive use of colour.

This distinction was often class-based: scholars, particularly in Confucian art felt that one could see colour in monochromatic paintings within the gradations and felt that the actual use of colour coarsened the paintings, and restricted the imagination. Korean folk art, and painting of architectural frames was seen as brightening certain outside wood frames, and again within the tradition of Chinese architecture, and the early Buddhist influences of profuse rich thalo and primary colours inspired by Art of India.

Laotian art

Laotian art includes ceramics, Buddhist sculpture, and music.

Many beautiful Lao Buddhist sculptures are carved right into the Pak Ou caves. Near Pak Ou (mouth of the Ou river) the "Tham Ting" (lower cave) and the "Tham Theung" (upper cave) are not too far from Luang Prabang, Laos. They are a magnificent group of caves that are only accessible by boat, about two hours upstream from the center of Luang Prabang, and have recently become more well known and frequented by tourists.The caves are noted for their impressive Buddhist and Lao style sculptures carved into the cave walls, and hundreds of discarded Buddhist figures laid out over the floors and wall shelves. They were put there as their owners did not wish to destroy them, so a difficult journey is made to the caves to place their unwanted statue there.

Thai art

Thai art and visual art was traditionally and primarily Buddhist. Sculpture was almost exclusively of Buddha images, while painting was confined to illustration of books and decoration of buildings, primarily palaces and temples. Thai Buddha images from different periods have a number of distinctive styles. Contemporary Thai art often combines traditional Thai elements with modern techniques.

Tibetan art

Tibetan art refers to the art of Tibet and other present and former Himalayan kingdoms (Bhutan, Ladakh, Nepal, and Sikkim). Tibetan art is first and foremost a form of sacred art, reflecting the over-riding influence of Tibetan Buddhism on these cultures. The Sand Mandala (tib: "kilkhor") is a Tibetan Buddhist tradition which symbolises the transitory nature of things. As part of Buddhist canon, all things material are seen as transitory. A sand mandala is an example of this, being that once it has been built and its accompanying ceremonies and viewing are finished, it is systematically destroyed.

Historian note that Chinese painting had a profound influence on Tibetan painting in general. Starting from the 14th and 15th century, Tibetan painting had incorporated many elements from the Chinese, and during the 18th century, Chinese painting had a deep and far-stretched impact on Tibetan visual art.McKay, Alex. The History of Tibet. Routledge. 2003. p. 596-597. ISBN 0700715088] According to Giuseppe Tucci, by the time of the Qing Dynasty, "a new Tibetan art was then developed, which in a certain sense was a provincial echo of the Chinese 18th century's smooth ornate preciosity."

Vietnamese art

Vietnamese art is from one of the oldest of such cultures in the Southeast Asia region. A rich artistic heritage that dates to prehistoric times and includes: silk painting, sculpture, pottery, ceramics, woodblock prints, architecture, music, dance and theatre.

Traditional Vietnamese art is art practiced in Vietnam or by Vietnamese artists, from ancient times (including the elaborate Dong Son drums) to post-Chinese domination art which was strongly influenced by Chinese Buddhist art, among other philosophies such as Taoism and Confucianism. The art of Champa and France also played a smaller role later on.

The Chinese influence on Vietnamese art extends into Vietnamese pottery and ceramics, calligraphy, and traditional architecture. Currently, Vietnamese lacquer paintings have proven to be quite popular.

Vietnamese calligraphy

Calligraphy has had a long history in Vietnam, previously using Chinese characters along with Chu Nom. However, most modern Vietnamese calligraphy instead uses the Roman-character based Quoc Ngu, which has proven to be very popular.

In the past, with literacy in the old character-based writing systems of Vietnam being restricted to scholars and elites, calligraphy nevertheless still played an important part in Vietnamese life. On special occasions such as the Lunar New Year, people would go to the village teacher or scholar to make them a calligraphy hanging (often poetry, folk sayings or even single words). People who could not read or write also often commissioned scholars to write prayers which they would burn at temple shrines.

Eastern art gallery

ee also

*Scythian art
*Laotian art
*History of painting
*History of Chinese art
*Culture of the Song Dynasty
*Ming Dynasty painting
*Tang Dynasty art
*Lacquerware
*Mandala [ [http://www.crystalinks.com/mandala.html Mandalas - Crystalinks ] ]
*Emerald Buddha
*Urushi-e
*Asian art
*Gautama Buddha
*Buddhism and Hinduism

References

External links

* [http://www.metmuseum.org/Works_of_Art/asian_art Asian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art]


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