Should Understanding Come Before Appreciation?

Nov 5, 2018 · 2 min read

Not long ago we have received a message on BBuzzArt’s Facebook page asking if he is qualified to be a BBuzzArt member if he does not understand art. You know that our answer is certain since BBuzzArt welcomes all people regardless of their background or knowledge as long as they are interested in art. However, this led us rethink the question: Should understanding comes before appreciation?

Too often has contemporary art been accused as being too difficult to be understood since the age of conceptual art. And this statement has avoided many people without an art education background to step into an exhibition. On the other hand, some artists also intentionally distanced themselves from the public understanding out of the wish of not becoming ‘pop’. The gap has then long developed when art is classified to be ‘high-class’ and restricted to its own circle.

Before art is called art, before it becomes part of the intellectuals, ‘art’ was only the instinct comes from human beings as a form to react to the nature, as simple as carving on the cave wall to record number of preys caught.

Appreciation comes when traces of the past are shared and others share the same excitement with the creator. Understanding is generated within the process the sharing. In other words, appreciation contains understanding. And this understanding is not on an intellectual ground, but by feeling, by genuineness.

I always find comfort when I throw back to the times of my childhood. At that time, to me, art was the joy of painting pictures and showing them to my mum. If a child could find art in the action of sharing beautiful things, and appreciation plays as a response to the efforts, why would there be a question whether understanding should come before appreciation? Or perhaps, we simply have forgotten the basic element of art is just to give and receive wholeheartedly.

Appreciating art in BBuzzShow@Seoul

Appreciation takes practice. Again we would like to invite you to BBuzzShow@Seoul in person at Indie Art Hall GONG and feel art. Until 14 Nov, we will see you there!

Buzzing Art, Budding Artists.

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade