Art exhibitions have taken a revolutionary turn with a new method, which involves short-term visual display of unique artistic artifacts. This move has perhaps been motivated by the rising number of art enthusiasts and their ever-increasing preferential diversity. Art exhibitions have highlighted some of the rarest pieces of art but temporarily perhaps to tease the test buds of their faithful.
Chinese art has undoubtedly been sidelined in the global scene with artwork mainly from the west constantly hogging the spotlight. Perhaps in an attempt to avoid normal cliché the V&A in the UK organized a unique showcase of very rare pieces of art from china. Chinese artistic prowess can be traced as far back as the Neolithic times and has had numerous creative peaks, which still find themselves sidelined by western art. This sidelining has meant the deprivation of the rich artistic culture of the Chinese people from arts enthusiasts but this new move by the V&A acts as an eye opener as to just how brilliant Chinese art is and a sour demonstration of the visual pleasures art enthusiasts all over Europe have been for so long denied. The showcase took a chronological arrangement with artwork from as early as 700 AD being first on display. This art gallery proved to be truly special and genuinely unique, as very few paintings from china dating back to 700 AD and back have survived the test of time. The showcase provided a clear visualization of Chinese cultures and beliefs with paintings from the Buddhist period gaining prominence and standing out. The showcase also displayed the evolution of Chinese art with written culture starting to infuse aspects of visual culture; this is evident from calligraphy inscriptions found in some paintings, it also highlighted the various artistic styles used in china with artists abandoning colored modes of painting and opting for monochrome images mostly done in black ink (Hill, 2010).
The art gallery served a great purpose in the disambiguation of Chinese culture to citizens of the UK to whom, before the exhibition, the concept of art in china was completely unheard of. The exhibition served as somewhat a social bridge between western culture and the Chinese culture and created awareness and a greater deal of understanding of the complex yet unique and beautiful Chinese art and to an even greater extent Chinese history and culture. A good example is that of paintings from the period of the Mongol conquest of china (Hill, 2010). The general mood of Chinese artists at that time is clearly shown in their artwork the most obvious indicator being their abandonment of the use of bright colors and inclination towards artwork with darker shades and images that clearly tell of their tribulations.
The successful planning and execution of such an event is clearly an achievement worthy of applause as procurement of such unique pieces of artistic history from such a distant land is certainly no walk in the park. The organizers of the event clearly went out of their way in pursuit of the rarest pieces of art from deep within Chinese history and managed to, at the same time, both shock and thrill art enthusiasts in the UK.
The rising trend in art galleries of displaying short-term exhibits can be greatly attributed to a change in demographics of their clientele. The large and diverse nature of emergent art enthusiasts has forced art galleries to view their frequenters as tourists each with specific needs and unique motivations. Thus, the need arises to satisfy the needs of each one of these art enthusiasts and what better way to do so than o set up a large number of temporary but indeed very diverse showcases that indeed appeal to the artistic tastes of almost all art gallery frequenters.
Short-term visual art exhibitions should be recognized within the scope of special cultural event as they provide a unique experience and deeper understanding of the culture on display. Such events grant the opportunity to experience a different culture and familiarization with the various aspects of that culture as well as insight into the historical background of that particular culture,
Bushell, S. W. (2012). Chinese Art. New York: Parkstone International.
Hill, I. (2010, January 18). Arts: Beautiful Chinese art from Emperor's niece. (Features). The News Letter (Belfast, Northern Ireland), p. 2.
Priest, l. (2010, October 19). CELEBRATION OF CHINESE ARTS AND CULTURE OCT. 26 MARKS OPENING OF STATE'S ONLY CONFUCIUS INSTITUTE.. States News Service, p. 4.