If you had lived somewhere on the American continents in 700-1000 C.E., which culture would you have wanted to belong to? State the name of the culture and which of their beliefs or activities led you to choose that culture. Did their arts play a part in your decision?

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Course Learning Outcomes for Unit VI Upon completion of this unit, students should be able to:

1. Justify visual arts in relation to history and culture. 1.1 Define art’s integral role in the daily activities of native cultures. 1.2 Identify art’s influence on the historical development of Central and South America. 1.3 Interpret the historical background of chosen works of art.

3. Interpret artworks using the elements of design.

3.1 Recognize visual characteristics found in Chinese and Japanese art. 3.2 Identify the influence of Buddhism and Hinduism on local traditions of Chinese and Japanese

art and architecture.

Reading Assignment Chapter 18: Traditional Arts of Asia Chapter 20: Africa, Oceania, and the Americas The below link contains interactive audio that will explain Chinese landscape paintings using Fan Kuan as an example: Pearson (n.d.). Fan Kuan, Travelers among mountains and streams [Audiovisual webpage]. Retrieved from

http://closerlook.pearsoncmg.com/view.php?type=closerlook&id=645 Click here to access the Closer Look video on Fan Kuan’s Travelers Among Mountains and Streams. Click here to access the video transcript. The below link contains an interactive audio presentation titled “Hip Pendant Representing an Iyoba (Queen Mother)”: Pearson (n.d.). Hip pendant representing an Iyoba (Queen Mother) [Audiovisual webpage]. Retrieved from

http://closerlook.pearsoncmg.com/view.php?type=closerlook&id=608 Click here to access the Closer Look video titled “Hip Pendant Representing an Iyoba (Queen Mother).” Click here to access the video transcript. The below link contains an interactive audio that will explain Lintel 24, Yaxchilán: Pearson (n.d.). Yaxchilan lintel. [Audiovisual webpage]. Retrieved from

http://closerlook.pearsoncmg.com/view.php?type=closerlook&id=550 Click here to access the Closer Look video titled “Yaxchilan Lintel.” Click here to access the video transcript.


Art beyond the West




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Unit Lesson Chapter 18: Traditional Arts of Asia Each region has its own local culture; however, ideas do transfer and morph to local regional tastes. India: We start out in India: the core of the continent both culturally and geographically. In the advanced city of Harappa, there are artifacts that tell of a high level of art and advanced city planning. This area was the focal point for civilization for 1,000 miles along the fertile Indus Valley. Male Torso (page 303 of your textbook) shows a sharp contrast to what we were seeing in Mesopotamia around the same time with Head of an Akkadian Ruler (page 249 of your textbook). The Male Torso is much fleshier, meaning the bone structure is not easily seen. Little art from this time period survived (Frank, 2014b). Buddhist art: Early Buddhism did not allow the production of images, but the practice began to need visual icons to inspire devotion. The Great Stupa (on page 304 of your textbook) is an early Indian Buddhist dome structure, which evolved from the burial mound. It is oriented to the four cardinal directions and marks a sacred location since relics are buried at the core (Frank, 2014b). The layers of relief structure tell the story of Buddha’s life. After Alexander the Great’s conquest of large parts of West Asia, we see an artist fusion take place. Bodhisattva (located on page 305 of your textbook) is an excellent example of this fusion; the artist shows a knowledge of Roman portraiture, a classical Greek method of showing the body beneath the drapery, and the subject is Buddhist. A bodhisattva is a person who has reached enlightenment but stays on earth to teach others. Hindu art: The Hindu Temple is a significant architectural distinction of India. The Kandarya Mahadeva Temple (located on page 307 of your textbook) is one of the best preserved temples complete with a porch for preparation of worship and an inner chamber called the Womb Chamber where the image of God is kept (Frank, 2014b). The sacred chamber is marked with a tall tower, which is often done to show the most important part of a temple. Southeast Asia: One of the major works of world art is Borobudur in Indonesia, which is an Indian stupa, or sacred mountain, with a lot of elaborate details. Ten miles of relief sculpture describe the struggle of existence: the cycle of death and rebirth. A high wall prevents seeing out, and curves limit the view ahead; the whole path imitates life. You cannot see what is coming next nor can you see where you are in your journey until you reach the end. When you finally reach the upper level, it is as if you have reached the ideal world; now you can look out over the landscape, and this broad view is now enlightenment. China: Most people were buried with most of their belongings to improve their afterlife, but one emperor took it to the extreme. Emperor Qin Shihuangdi, who unified China, wanted to guard his afterlife and had an army of life-size clay soldiers created for his protection. The Terra Cotta Warriors (located on page 313 of your textbook) are not made from a mold! These 6,000 sculptures are archers, foot soldiers, and cavalrymen, and each one is unique and different. Can you imagine creating that many sculptures? Traditional Chinese painting involves both calligraphy and landscape. Leaders were expected to show their character and strength through elegant writing, so painters decided to introduce calligraphic brush techniques to elevate painting to the status of calligraphy and poetry. A great example of this is Travelers Among Mountains and Streams (located on page 315 of your textbook). Fan Kuan uses intricate brushwork to show the spirit of the rock and trees. This place does not exist; it is from his imagination and is aimed at creating and capturing the energy of nature.




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Chapter 20: Africa, Oceania, and the Americas

Africa: Traditional arts from Africa are made from perishable materials that are extremely varied and few. Arts from sub-Saharan Africa are not for visual pleasure but are for religious rituals, civic life, and community functions. A great example of art that was used for civil and community functions is the Mangaaka Power Figure (located above and on page 341 of your textbook). Mangaaka, or justice, is personified in this figure and is used to finalize civil cases, ratify a treaty, or change a law. Tribal members would hammer a metal piece into the statue’s surface to show that they were affected by the change and agreed with it. Oceania and Australia: It is very hard to generalize such large areas, but overall, when discussing Oceanic art, there are a few common beliefs. Much of the art has to do with a world created by an Earth Mother and Sky Father. Also, most art shows how the ancestors influence events on earth and that there is a spiritual power active on earth. A great example of the latter two beliefs is Protective Prow Figure (located on page 346 of your textbook) from New Georgia Island. This woodcarving serves a purpose of protecting the boat. The figure and bird act as a protective spirit that guides the voyagers through safe waters. Birds are seen as messengers from the spirit world, and while the figure is only six and a half inches tall, the forward thrust and boldness of form make it appear larger than it really is.

References Frank, P. (2014a). Chapter 20: Africa, Oceania, and the Americas [PowerPoint slides]. Boston, MA: Pearson Frank, P. (2014b). Prebles’ artforms: An introduction to the visual arts (11th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson

(Frank, 2014a, slide 18)





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Suggested Reading If you would like to study the content from the required reading further, consider reviewing the below PowerPoint presentations. The presentations include images of the artwork discussed in the chapter and explanations: Click here to access the Chapter 18 PowerPoint Presentation. Click here for a PDF version of the presentation. Click here to access the Chapter 20 PowerPoint Presentation. Click here for a PDF version of the presentation.


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