This short paper will be an analysis focused on a specific object selected from the list provided. For your paper, you will be required to discuss a South or Southeast Asian art object. I have given you seven options for you to choose from, with images posted on down below. In other words, look at the different options closely and choose the one that you are most interested in. Titles and links for the seven objects are included below.
Once you have selected your object, you will write a short paper that functions as a visual analysis of the object you chose. A visual analysis is an exercise that forces the viewer of an artwork to go beyond merely looking at it to seeing what the artist was trying to convey and possible understanding of its cultural or historical context through its visual or formal elements. Line, color, style, composition, iconography, size or scale, and materials are all part of the formal elements of a work of art. Typically a visual analysis begins with identification of the object and a specific description that details what the eye sees but be careful not to draw inferences or offer an interpretation or evaluation. This can be followed by a discussion of how these elements are typical (or not) the time period, culture, religion, etc. to the images size (measurements should be included on the webpage).
Questions you might ask yourself in the research and writing of your paper include:
What are the major features of this work of art? What does it look like? How do the different elements of this artwork come together to create a whole narrative?If its a painting, which figures are larger, which are smaller, how do they fit together, and how are the colors and patterns executed? If its a sculpture, what is its form and how do the different textures and elements come together to create the whole image?Is this object telling a story or a scene from a story? If so, what? How?What was this objects use? You might not know for sure but if you do, then perhaps you can find a connection between its size or appearance and its intended use.How does the object relate to larger themes in the culture or religion from which it comes?Several of the objects are related to things we have looked at in class but come from different cultures or time periods. Others are very different from what we have seen but relate to religious themes you should be familiar with.
The breakdown of your paper should include an introduction, discussion, and conclusion. I recommend a breakdown of: Introduction paragraph that includes thesis statement followed by 3-5 paragraphs describing the visual elements of the object. This should be followed by a paragraph or two that places the object in a cultural or historical context, ended with a conclusion paragraph. Do not think of this as a long, formal paper, but more of an exercise in looking and thinking about how to write about the process of seeing objects and understanding the connection between visual and cultural contexts.
Footnotes are my preferred citation method when appropriate (ie when you have used another source for the information you are writing about), but the most important thing for you is to CITE YOUR SOURCES. Plagiarism is not acceptable. It will result in an automatic F and will be reported to the appropriate university authority. When you consult outside sources, you must acknowledge those sources in citations and an attached bibliography. Do not copy more than three words in a row.
The seven objects:
Shah Jahan on Horseback, Folio from the Shah Jahan Album verso: ca. 1630; recto: ca. 153050 (https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/451267 (Links to an external site.)), 5th century, India (https://www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/38205 (Links to an external site.)) a Portrait of Emperor Jahangir, c. 1627, Bishandas (https://www.clevelandart.org/art/2013.325
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