East Asian Art

Subject: Art
Type: Exploratory Essay
Pages: 3
Word count: 950
Topics: Art Comparison, Communication, Painting


Art is an inspiration or medium of communication that is used as a preserve for cultural heritage. In most cases art is often guided by regional inspiration. East Asian art from the mediaeval times was guided by cultural heritage. The material, technique and mode of art communicates the desired message following a certain theme and guidance. The paintings of the night-shining white and the old plum epitomize the transition of art and its role in preserving culture. The main thesis of the paper is analysis of art and the role of material, technique and mode in communicating the cultural theme in art. 

Night Shining White 

Night Shining White

Night-shining white is a painting that bears cultural significance as it epitomizes the Chinese couture and their historical background. The painting was chosen for the purpose of this paper because it reveals numerous artistic values in painting and also tells a story of rich cultural heritage. The painting is an ideal choice as it portrays the use of different varied material and painting techniques that can be used to explain how Chinese paintings are created. The painting represents a pictorial composition that tells detailed stories relatable to Chinese culture which makes it an ideal choice. 

The painting uses different technique, material, and function to illustrate its purpose. The painting uses the line technique and shading to illustrate the key issues that are stressed upon on the painting and to cover the main aspect. Through the material used which is paint and the use white paper, the painter appears to have created a form of contrast to highlight the key issues of concern while paying less interest to the main variances. The function of color, line and position techniques have been used to tell the story of the painting in an elaborate way that shows the position of the horse with its head high which shows that the horse is struggling. The dark like crossing over its head to the peg shows that the horse is tethered but appears to be moving forward to break from the peg. The technique applied in the paper shows the features of the horse such as the legs, the eyes, and teeth. The use of light as a technique has been used to support the key driving factors illustrating the painting such as the stress points. 

The video of how a silk painting was made tells a story that appears to recreate and suggest the style of art used in the creating of the painting night shining white. The video explains the Chinese cultural heritage and the aspects that represent their art and religion. The use of the horse suggests the nature of the paint and the aspect of the painting. Through the video, the author uses different categories of information to explain the driving factors of painting such as the use of contrasting colors to stress on the key aspects of the painting. The use of the line technique also appears to be synonymous with both the video illustration and the painting highlighting its critical value in shaping boundaries. 

The Old Plum

The Old Plum

The Old Plum is a Japanese painting that was chosen for the purpose of explaining the relationship between Japanese cultural paintings and the relationship between different values that define the culture. The painting was chosen because it illustrates a detailed artwork that depicts the geographical position of a certain area and the heritage of Japan. The painting also highlights key issues that are representative of Japanese painting techniques such as the use of lines and color to link a certain culture and different issues that relate to the painting. The painting is an ideal choice that relates to Japan and their mode of painting. 

The painting The Old Plum represents artistic values as it takes a story of a Japanese painting that illustrates a pictorial composition showing geographical features and the environment as illustrated in three panels. The painting has applied the use of the golden paper which the painting is created on to show a sort of contrasting issues. The golden color depicts brightness to show the color of sunlight. The painting has also used the use of a dark oil paint to create a contrasting look to the golden colored surface which shows different appearances such as trees, plantation, valleys, and rocks. Through the dark oil paint, one can see sketches that are relatable which represent different geographical features. The landscape technique as applied in the painting gives the image a continual look that draws a relationship between the different images covered. The painting is concurrent with the main theme which is birth and renewal as seen in the four panels that show the beginning and the ending of a well-designed nature art piece. 

The painting is synonymous with the painting techniques that are emphasized upon in the Japanese gold leaf video that explains the significance of the gold color and the approach of art to explain the cultural heritage. The painting appears to have used the same brush and techniques explained in the video to support the key analogy of the gold leaf and the main explanation about the concepts that are related to the topic. The theme of old sprouting into new to explain the aspect of rebirth is seen which explains the beginning of new aspects and the birth of different situations as seen in the theme. 


In conclusion, the material, mode and technique of painting indeed communicates the theme of an art work to illustrate the key relevance of an art piece. Through the art work used in the paper s discussed supports the thesis and its illustration of the role of art and the significance that relates to art.

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  1. Barnet, Sylvan. A Short Guide to Writing about Art. Pearson, 2008.
  2. Han Gan. Night Shining White. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/39901?pkgids=396&ft=*&offset=0&rpp=20&pos=36
  3. Inside Japan Tours Ltd. Japanese Gold Leaf Painting. https://bamboocanvas.org/japanese-gold-leaf-painting-2/ accessed on May 16, 2018
  4. Kano Sansetsu. Old Plum. https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/44858?pkgids=396&ft=*&offset=0&rpp=20&pos=35 
  5. V&A Museum. Masterpieces of Chinese Painting 700 – 1900: How a Silk Painting was made. https://bamboocanvas.org/masterpieces-of-chinese-painting-700-1900-how-a-silk-painting-was-made/ accessed on May 16, 2018
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