Angkor is an extensive Cambodian site, and King Suryavarman II organized its construction. This site prompts a discussion on whether Angkor Wat can be considered a Buddhist site, as there are images of Hindu deities on the interior. This essay, after explaining what Angkor is, will argue that this Cambodian icon is an integral Buddhist site because of its secluded location, the idyllic sensation it has that is present across all Buddhist sites, and how practicing Buddhists can still enjoy an introspective experience at Angkor.

Angkor Archaeological Park, located in the Cambodian province of Siem Reap, is a UNESCO site…


Ukiyo-e was an expressive genre that featured entertainment scenes, women, and urban settings. Two contemporary artists, Ryoko Kimura and Lady Aiko, combine ukiyo-e and pop culture to create innovative works. This paper will employ a visual analysis of these two artist’s works to express how these artists preserve certain qualities of ukiyo-e while revealing their progressivist opinions.

Kimura’s 2016 work, , borrows the expressive quality evidently seen in the eighteenth-century ukiyo-e aesthetic. The man on the right is drinking beer and raising his glass in happiness. The man in the middle is unconscious from heavy alcohol use. The man…


A tea ceremony is an iconic tradition where guests gather to enjoy tea and sweets. A tea house is a cozy establishment, and even the architecture is specifically designed to guarantee an uplifting experience. This essay, after explaining the origins of the tea ceremony, will argue how the low-lying ceiling of the tea house and the ritual of pondering while drinking tea lift a guest’s spirit.

Wabi is an artistic style that emphasizes intensity. Unglazed stoneware was the first example of wabi, but potters soon began to deliberately work on kilns so they can produce the specific glaze that was…


High art and low art are two separate entities, as the former appeases the elite and the latter is more universal and includes decorative art. However, modern-day Japanese society bridges the gap between these two entities, as a particular artist unveils how anime critiques the established tradition of using flat planes and that commonplace objects should constitute as art. This essay, after explaining Takashi Murakami’s artistic career and the launch of the superflat movement, will analyze his flowers and Louis Vuitton designs to demonstrate how success isn’t solely linked to fine art painting and that art can boost one’s mood.


Borobudur is a temple in Indonesia that exemplifies Southeast Asian culture. The temple also prompts a discussion about the importance of physical location, how places of worship document a praised individual’s life, and how Buddhist temples embody Buddha himself. This paper, after explaining what Borobudur is, will argue how decorated works inside the temple mirror that of a sacred Hindu space, that Borobudur is a manifestation of Buddha, how circumambulation is a mandatory part of pilgrimages, and how mountains and Borobudur are both catalysts for self-reflection.

Borobudur is located in the Indonesian island of Java. Sailendra Dynasty rulers created this…


Stealing art from another country provokes a discussion on ethics, as stealing desensitizes the country’s artistic traditions. This issue is apparent in Cambodia, as Cambodian art is stolen and smuggled into other Asian countries and shipped to the United States. This essay, after explaining a 2000 event where the Thai stole art and a 2011 Sotheby’s occurrence where the auction company attempted to sell a Cambodian statue, will express how the Nazis also stole art and how Banksy delivers a contemporary twist on the subject of looting.

Looting art from Southeast Asia is a dehumanizing occurrence, as evident in a…


Ai Weiwei is a Chinese artist whose work underscores corruption. Nowhere is this fight for justice more apparent than in his Sichuan earthquake installation, Sunflower Seeds installation, and photographs. This essay, after explaining how Ai uses different materials to create work and how Cultural Revolution artists were instructed to respect the government, will argue that Ai does have hope for his home country.

Ai addresses and critiques the Chinese government by going covert and doing what the government should be doing: examining past controversial events and reflecting how to best lead the country going forward. Ai reveals his discontent with…


Mao Zedong was a Chinese leader who believed society had two classes: the proletarians and the bourgeoisie. His guidelines emphasized that individuals must be altruistic and should prioritize their allegiance to Communism. For artists, this meant their work should praise the new government and denounce capitalism. This paper will highlight five Chinese artists and how they use their work as a catalyst for self-expression, arguing that Mao’s policies only polarize the country and provoke dissidents.

Li Shan utilizes vivid colors to portray Mao as a flamboyant character, suggesting how he believes Mao’s policies are too dramatic. To illustrate, his 1995…


Calligraphy, a practice vital to Chinese culture, is now integrated into contemporary art. An artist’s use of calligraphy in modern times has a political objective. This paper, after explaining what calligraphy entails, will argue how Qiu Zhijie, Zhang Huan, and Yang Zhichao ask their viewers to consider how calligraphy and the human body represents society.

Calligraphy is an art form that has nearly an aesthetic appeal. Stroke, order, and placement are critical. The materials used are a brush, paper, ink, and ink stone. The momentum and intensity of how someone grasps their brush determines how the writing appears on paper…


In their writing, Nancy Forgione, T.J. Clark, and Griselda Pollock incorporate the themes of how vital it is to take a leisurely stroll and how modernity is manifested in a city’s center, social establishments, and neighborhoods. These authors uphold the perspective of how walking nourishes one’s mind and that modernity is only confined to a major area. However, the hectic lifestyle of those living in New York City and the ongoing production in all five boroughs contradict these author’s beliefs. …

Maya Yegorova

Art lover interested in Asian art/nineteenth-century European art and writing about them, one essay at a time. Crazy about inspiring stories and creativity.

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