Asian art in general does not distinguish between major arts and minor arts, between creative arts and decorative arts. Sacred by essence and inspiration, it embraces all activities that are the result of a skill, from music to sculpture, from architecture to weaving and to carpentry.
An artist is not like one in the West, a genius freed by any discipline who “creates what he feels”; rather, an artisan is someone who seeks, and sometimes attains, expressive perfection based on codified rules considered to be eternal.

Art is, in fact, always a transfiguration of Nature (be it taken as a divine principle, cosmic order or visible world) and is, therefore, “conventional”; it expresses itself through unchanging signs and symbols, in other words, it speaks the language by which Nature itself makes itself intelligible to man.

This language, a measure of beauty, obviously varies from culture to culture. Hindu art is primarily plastic and sensual, Islamic art calligraphic and abstract, Chinese art pictorial and figurative. Characteristics that, without prejudice to mutual influences and some variations, are also reflected in the furnishings and in the common objects of daily use: a portal, a dotal trunk, an armoir, a votive altar, a bed, a carpet.

by Franco Benvenuti

source: Marie Claire Maison n.4 – June 2004

Categories: Approfondimenti

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