International Journal of Art & Design Education

Culture-Consciousness: Understanding the Arts of other Cultures

Volume 5.1   1986



This paper discusses the concept of dualism and the division of body from mind, with particular reference to identity. The importance of social and cultural context in determining identity is asserted, together with the notion that identity cannot be regarded as being independent of culture. It is further argued that art is formed by and from society and that this has important ramifications for understanding the art forms of other cultures. This means that in order to appreciate the art of other cultures, it is important to accept and employ the criteria valued by those cultures. To understand an alien art form requires opening oneself up to the possibility of emotional disturbance through a genuine engagement with the culture from which it emerged. The task of art educators is to stimulate culture-consciousness through feeling and reason.