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Impact of Cultural and Religious Beliefs on Visual Culture in Asia

Compare and Contrast Two Artworks or Objects

A common thread we have investigated in this class is concerned with how cultural and religious beliefs impacted the development of visual cultures in Asia over time. Objects used for ritual can shed light on how artists and patrons made sense of the world around them, providing valuable insights into perspectives on life and death, familial relationships, nature, and
connections to the divine. Compare and contrast two (2) artworks or objects that served ritual or religious functions. For both you must: 1) describe the work’s form and subject matter, making note of any significant iconography; 2) describe how the object was used (or theories scholars have about its use); and 3) explain which belief system the object correlates with (make note, in particular, of some core values associated with this belief system).

As a concept, identity is multi-faceted and never truly fixed. Especially in a complicatedgeopolitical region like Asia, notions of identity (including cultural identity and self-identity) have been expressed, constructed, and/or cultivated in art through a number of different strategies. Compare and contrast two (2) artworks that shed light on the identity of an artist, a patron, or a culture writ large. For each you must: 1) describe the work’s form, subject matter, and function; 2) situate the work in its specific context and; 3) explain relevant debates concerning function and style and their relationships to specific constructs of identity (whether
social, political, cultural, etc.).

Courtly patronage played a vital role in the many ways that art and architecture function socially, politically, and aesthetically throughout Asian art history. Compare and contrast two (2) artworks or architectural sites (or one artwork and one architectural commission) made/designed for a courtly patron (an emperor, an aristocrat, etc.). How do they convey notions of dynastic or political power in their respective cultural contexts? For each you must: 1) specify why the work was made, including who it was made for (if known) as well as itsfunction/purpose/use; 2) describe the work’s form, subject matter, and any significant
symbolism; and 3) situate the work in its specific historical context.Question #4: Whether rejected or purposefully reinvented, traditional practices have played a role in negotiating history and modernity in the works of artists in Asia. Compare the role of tradition (encompassing art styles, subject matter, object functions, etc.) in two (2) carefully chosen and fully identified artworks. How do the selected works use, re-translate, or even reject the past when evoking issues of the present? Your essay must: 1) describe each work’s form, subject matter, and function; and 2) utilize key concepts and issues concerning uses of “traditional practices” discussed in lectures and in course readings to help situate the works in their respective contexts and to make connections between them. Along with your two case studies, you may make reference to other appropriate artworks if necessary.

Since this is a take home exam, you may use and make reference to your notes, lecture slides,and the course readings. You do not have to complete additional research beyond what isalready provided by the course materials. If you quote, paraphrase, or summarize any published reference material, you must properly cite usingIf you use lecture slides to confirm dates or basic historical facts you don’t need to include acitation. However, you should include a citation if you directly quote an argument presented during the lecture (especially if you use the same phrasing). In order to cite a lecture, use this format for your footnote or endnote:
Closely paraphrasing another author’s text (using their words but replacing some with variationsof your own) without citing them constitutes plagiarism. This is a serious offense. Please review Carleton’s Academic Integrity policy:

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