The way of life, general customs, beliefs, arts, rituals, music, dance and so much more comes together to constitute a culture. And it is only through a healthy interaction on a global platform that the cultures of the world gain an exposure and are exposed to thousands of others.
Culture has a strong bearing on the constituent individuals in their perception, interests and strengths, which is translated smoothly into their creative expression, thus defining a certain style and matter. In the times that we are headed to, it is only the strength of the culture and its ability to absorb and adapt that keeps it alive, relevant and flourishing.
Every constituent member of any culture has a unique perspective and understanding of any event. When presented with the same visual, people from varied cultures have varied interpretations. This phenomenon is basically what we call Visual Culture.
When we analyze any visual, we hardly realize that the perspective is heavily inspired from the cultural capital and background we possess and have been a part of. The inherent visual culture that we belong to is reflected in the myriad analyses that we carry out and sometimes share with other groups, letting the other cultures peek into ours.
Quite simply put, the materials that the people belonging to any cultural community require and use constitute the Material Culture. The creation, history & heritage, conservation and interpretation of various objects come together to contribute to this Material Culture.
However, it is not mere things that constitute the material culture. It is the “thingness” or the innate traits, interpretations, use and place of these things in the lives of the people belonging to this culture. It is the relationship between these very things or objects and the people that forms the material culture.
The buildings or the various architectural elements that are an inherent part of any cultural community have a deep influence on the people and their perception and perspective. A culture assigns certain symbolic meanings and connotations to the architectural aspect and the people associate the two quite strongly.
It is because of this interdependence of culture and architecture that there develops a dialogue between the arts and architecture.
The theory of beauty or of the philosophy of art – aesthetics determines the acceptance and appreciation of any object. It is due to a certain cultural background that the aesthetics evolve and we are conditioned to admire varied forms of arts. As the aesthetics of a selected cultural community are exposed to more global cultural communities, a sense of dynamism is introduced to the entire concept and wheels of evolution begin to turn.
CULTURES OF THE WORLD
Cultures of the world can be divided or demarcated as per their geographic location. The geography of any region plays a very important role in the development of a culture as it contributes to the cuisine, availability of certain materials, terrain, climate and the language.
These become the defining or shaping factors of a certain culture of a particular geography.
There is a different market and marketplace for all kinds of art. There can therefore be a clear categorization on the basis of the kind of market the art works can be sold in. it may vary as per the transient taste and trends or a fascination for a certain exoticism or even a love for a culture of their own or a version of patriotism.
Cultural arts can also be put under distinct categories as per the form or technique of the artwork. The form or technique is an important aspect for the creator or artist and the buyer or collector. Sometimes the form or technique tends to take precedence over the artist or the cultural aspects of the artwork.
A transient yet significant factor to categorize cultural art across the world. The popularity however, is always temporary, changing with the times and fickle. The popularity may depend on the individual artist and his worth or the geographic or ethnic origin, sometimes the technique and at times on the theme or issue that was the impetus for the artwork.
A purely economic way of dividing up the cultural artworks. While there is a certain subjectivity to art appreciation and analysis, the valuation however is quite numerical and objective. It depends largely on the artists, the timeline and the current trends.
SIGNIFICANCE OF CULTURE
In the current socio-cultural scenario, the people from most cultural communities are developing disconnect from their culture and heritage. However, others are drawn to it quite inexplicably. For some these traditions may seem redundant and archaic while for others these are something to draw inspiration from.
No matter what opinion you hold, there is a certain merit to the existence and continuance of culture, even if it is in its modern form. Culture gives you something or some place to belong to when you are lost in a sea of people. It is the past, festivals, values, beliefs and rituals that connect you to many more that belong to your culture. It is through this bonding or connect that a rooted support system is built up which largely benefits all those that belong to a cultural community.
WHAT CONSTITUTES VISUAL CULTURE?
Visual culture is a simulated or observed visual representation of our world. In every act and activity, we humans consciously and subconsciously represent ourselves in a visual manner. The parameters for visual culture are not very different from those of a culture in general terms – race, history, religion, geography, economy, and technology. It is essentially a shared practice of a group or a community that draws out meaning from the visual, oral, and textual world of representation.
IMPACT & BENEFITS
The society at large benefits not just from the culture of the community, but also from the interaction between different communities. The social structure and moral fabric of the society is strengthened by a deep rooted yet evolving culture. There are times when there are certain social evils that are rooted and hence thrive in the society due to a variety of factors. It is when the cultural communities interact on a global platform that these are acknowledged and a slow yet determined change is set in motion.
The culture of art in any community brings with it a great socio-economic benefit. The youth is engaged, there are new opportunities for entrepreneurship and the local market opens up for more investors. It is through these basic factors that the socio-economic factors find appreciation and subtly lift up the standard of living.
Culture inspires a general social behavior. The art culture brings in a more aware, positive and constructive outlook and behavioral traits. There is a release for inner anguish and a medium for expression that channelizes the high energy and emotions of the youth.
An important aspect of any culture that forms the foundation for the growth and development of the community. Youth with an aptitude for art finds a stream for education that later converts into an employable skill. When art culture is introduced as a mainstream education option, it opens up opportunities for those with learning disabilities or those that have no interest in the traditional careers.
A medium of expression for those who have trouble expressing through other means. Art has been a strong therapeutic tool for some time now and professionals have begun to give it its due regard. When words seem to fail people with a traumatic or stressful past, especially children, color, forms and shapes have often come to their rescue.
Also for the general psychological health of the society, art culture has always been a major boost and has been a great source of positivity.
DYNAMISM IN CULTURE
Culture itself is dynamic. Ever changing, ever absorbing and ever evolving. The magnanimity of a culture lies in its ability to discard that which is redundant and irrelevant and in absorbing what is new and contextual today.
Culturally the growth of any community has found its impetus in apt exposure. The community when finds an avenue or a global platform where it can get some exposure of all that lies without and an opportunity to showcase that which lies within, it flourishes. It is therefore imperative to allow the organic nature, the dynamism and evolution of art culture to continue without any rigidity.