The Need to Study Modern Asian Art

The study of modern Asian art is also a daunting challenge because Asia is synonymous to premodern art and therefore, it is not easy to know where to begin. There are also stumbling blocks and pitfalls in studying the evolution of Asian history from the perspective of a Western experience. Firstly, the Western world looks…

The study of modern Asian art is also a daunting challenge because Asia is synonymous to premodern art and therefore, it is not easy to know where to begin.

There are also stumbling blocks and pitfalls in studying the evolution of Asian history from the perspective of a Western experience. Firstly, the Western world looks to have a condescending view when it comes to Asia's contribution to modern art.

Secondly, Westerners seems to view Asia purely as a source of inspiration and nothing more. Thus, they are not interested in the development of modern art within an Asian context. The condescending attitude and the lack of interest to figure out what had transpired since ancient times and how changes occurred in modern times is something that Westerners may deny. Nonetheless, actions speaks louder than words.

Art historians are quick to point out that although Western artists and professors of fine arts had invited Asian artists to talk extensively about Asian art and encouraged Asian to learn more about modern art from the point of view of Westerners, the same attitude has never been reciprocated . It is difficult to point out a period in art history showing American and European artists traveling to Asia and immersing in the arts and culture of the region.

Art history is filled with awe-inspiring stories of artists gambling everything they have to live and work in Paris in order to learn more about their craft. However, it is difficult to point to one historical event wherein artists from the West went in droves to immerse in Asian art.

Those who were able to see the error of their ways had recently discovered a treasure trove of amazing discoveries with regards to Asia's modern art movement. The first thing that they learned is that the evolution of modern art in Asia is as complicated as that in the West. In addition, they discovered that Asian culture has influenced the way Asia artists developed their craft. One of the most interesting findings was the impact of the Western mind's individualistic worldview in contrast to Asia's collectivistic worldview. In the same way that the West is defined by individualism and Asia by its collectivism, the same worldview has affected the way they create art.

In India, Indonesia and other parts of Asia, artists are known to work at the village level. It could be argued that Western artists also know how to cooperate with each other. Neverheless, it is highly doubtful if they were able to work closely and over a long period of time as compared to Asian artists working at the village level. It is important to dig deeper and learn more about this phenomenon, especially when it comes to the impact of a collectivistic worldview in modern Asian art.