Skip to main content
Humanities LibreTexts

12.1: Regional configurations of historical territories

  • Page ID
  • \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\) \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    ( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\) \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\) \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\) \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

    \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\id}{\mathrm{id}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\kernel}{\mathrm{null}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\range}{\mathrm{range}\,}\)

    \( \newcommand{\RealPart}{\mathrm{Re}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\ImaginaryPart}{\mathrm{Im}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Argument}{\mathrm{Arg}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\norm}[1]{\| #1 \|}\)

    \( \newcommand{\inner}[2]{\langle #1, #2 \rangle}\)

    \( \newcommand{\Span}{\mathrm{span}}\) \( \newcommand{\AA}{\unicode[.8,0]{x212B}}\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorA}[1]{\vec{#1}}      % arrow\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorAt}[1]{\vec{\text{#1}}}      % arrow\)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorB}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorC}[1]{\textbf{#1}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorD}[1]{\overrightarrow{#1}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectorDt}[1]{\overrightarrow{\text{#1}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vectE}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash{\mathbf {#1}}}} \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecs}[1]{\overset { \scriptstyle \rightharpoonup} {\mathbf{#1}} } \)

    \( \newcommand{\vecd}[1]{\overset{-\!-\!\rightharpoonup}{\vphantom{a}\smash {#1}}} \)

    \(\newcommand{\avec}{\mathbf a}\) \(\newcommand{\bvec}{\mathbf b}\) \(\newcommand{\cvec}{\mathbf c}\) \(\newcommand{\dvec}{\mathbf d}\) \(\newcommand{\dtil}{\widetilde{\mathbf d}}\) \(\newcommand{\evec}{\mathbf e}\) \(\newcommand{\fvec}{\mathbf f}\) \(\newcommand{\nvec}{\mathbf n}\) \(\newcommand{\pvec}{\mathbf p}\) \(\newcommand{\qvec}{\mathbf q}\) \(\newcommand{\svec}{\mathbf s}\) \(\newcommand{\tvec}{\mathbf t}\) \(\newcommand{\uvec}{\mathbf u}\) \(\newcommand{\vvec}{\mathbf v}\) \(\newcommand{\wvec}{\mathbf w}\) \(\newcommand{\xvec}{\mathbf x}\) \(\newcommand{\yvec}{\mathbf y}\) \(\newcommand{\zvec}{\mathbf z}\) \(\newcommand{\rvec}{\mathbf r}\) \(\newcommand{\mvec}{\mathbf m}\) \(\newcommand{\zerovec}{\mathbf 0}\) \(\newcommand{\onevec}{\mathbf 1}\) \(\newcommand{\real}{\mathbb R}\) \(\newcommand{\twovec}[2]{\left[\begin{array}{r}#1 \\ #2 \end{array}\right]}\) \(\newcommand{\ctwovec}[2]{\left[\begin{array}{c}#1 \\ #2 \end{array}\right]}\) \(\newcommand{\threevec}[3]{\left[\begin{array}{r}#1 \\ #2 \\ #3 \end{array}\right]}\) \(\newcommand{\cthreevec}[3]{\left[\begin{array}{c}#1 \\ #2 \\ #3 \end{array}\right]}\) \(\newcommand{\fourvec}[4]{\left[\begin{array}{r}#1 \\ #2 \\ #3 \\ #4 \end{array}\right]}\) \(\newcommand{\cfourvec}[4]{\left[\begin{array}{c}#1 \\ #2 \\ #3 \\ #4 \end{array}\right]}\) \(\newcommand{\fivevec}[5]{\left[\begin{array}{r}#1 \\ #2 \\ #3 \\ #4 \\ #5 \\ \end{array}\right]}\) \(\newcommand{\cfivevec}[5]{\left[\begin{array}{c}#1 \\ #2 \\ #3 \\ #4 \\ #5 \\ \end{array}\right]}\) \(\newcommand{\mattwo}[4]{\left[\begin{array}{rr}#1 \amp #2 \\ #3 \amp #4 \\ \end{array}\right]}\) \(\newcommand{\laspan}[1]{\text{Span}\{#1\}}\) \(\newcommand{\bcal}{\cal B}\) \(\newcommand{\ccal}{\cal C}\) \(\newcommand{\scal}{\cal S}\) \(\newcommand{\wcal}{\cal W}\) \(\newcommand{\ecal}{\cal E}\) \(\newcommand{\coords}[2]{\left\{#1\right\}_{#2}}\) \(\newcommand{\gray}[1]{\color{gray}{#1}}\) \(\newcommand{\lgray}[1]{\color{lightgray}{#1}}\) \(\newcommand{\rank}{\operatorname{rank}}\) \(\newcommand{\row}{\text{Row}}\) \(\newcommand{\col}{\text{Col}}\) \(\renewcommand{\row}{\text{Row}}\) \(\newcommand{\nul}{\text{Nul}}\) \(\newcommand{\var}{\text{Var}}\) \(\newcommand{\corr}{\text{corr}}\) \(\newcommand{\len}[1]{\left|#1\right|}\) \(\newcommand{\bbar}{\overline{\bvec}}\) \(\newcommand{\bhat}{\widehat{\bvec}}\) \(\newcommand{\bperp}{\bvec^\perp}\) \(\newcommand{\xhat}{\widehat{\xvec}}\) \(\newcommand{\vhat}{\widehat{\vvec}}\) \(\newcommand{\uhat}{\widehat{\uvec}}\) \(\newcommand{\what}{\widehat{\wvec}}\) \(\newcommand{\Sighat}{\widehat{\Sigma}}\) \(\newcommand{\lt}{<}\) \(\newcommand{\gt}{>}\) \(\newcommand{\amp}{&}\) \(\definecolor{fillinmathshade}{gray}{0.9}\)

    Contemporary art is made by artists who are living and working today. As a global art movement, it coincides with the rise of globalization that was triggered by the end of the Cold War in 1989 and the invention of the World Wide Web. Time sped up, distances collapsed, an international trade enabled by the "borderless world" ushered in decades of unprecedented economic growth, rapid social changes, and mass migration. Societies across Asia (12.1.1), especially in China, were radically transformed.

    Contemporary art from Asia is often characterized by engagement with social and political issues related to globalization, including the proliferation of digital technologies in the 21st century. Identity politics and postmodern critiques of dominant Western cultural narratives have also inspired artists to make work that tackles the urgent topics of the day.

    Map of Asia
    Figure \(\PageIndex{1}\): Contemporary Map of Asia (Public Domain)

    Many contemporary Asian artists use experimental media such as installation art, performance, photography, animation, and Internet-based and video art. Working in their native country or on the international circuit, Asian art sheds light on the murky truths of history or conflicts in today's world. Others create art to document and express their personal stories, including war experiences, immigration, and spiritual longing.

    This resource introduces artists whose creativity and thinking have established the field of Asian art in a global context. Their work offers new perspectives on our understanding of contemporary life and world affairs."[1]

    With the advent of the twenty-first century, communication, transportation, and supply chain integration created a truly global world. No one country is isolated from events happening throughout the world. One of the major issues confronting the global population is climate change and its effects on the environment and how people and animals survive. Global warming has changed the climate on the planet as desert areas are hotter and uninhabitable for both humans and animals, arctic regions are melting, and extreme weather events are common. The toxic waste of modern mining, manufacturing, and other industries pollutes land and air. Some industries contribute to deforestation, such as forests in the Amazon or Indonesia being cleared for commercial agriculture. No other civilization has interfered with nature and the environment as current civilizations. These issues have also changed how many artists work who now use modern waste materials for their art, recycling the waste they found.

    The new millennium brought multiple inventions into our lives, changing our lives. Nanotechnology and miniaturization allowed the computer industry to create smaller devices and technology into everything, including refrigerators. The iPhone brought worldwide communications to everyone. Some countries did not have any phone systems, especially in rural areas. The portable, satellite-based phone allowed everyone to talk and search the world's information. Space exploration expanded with the International Space Station, missions landing on Mars, or personal rockets carrying ordinary citizens into space. Thousands of satellites roam through space, delivering the internet and social media, tracking weather, or mapping the changes to the earth. The discovery of human genomes led to transformational innovation in genetics and medicine. These inventions brought changes worldwide.    

    Contemporary architecture embraced natural light, open interiors, natural features, and eco-friendly materials. Designs might be asymmetric, have cantilevered sections, or large planes of glass and aluminum. These requirements lead to creative inventiveness for materials to support the new designs. Cement is an essential part of building materials, and the unusual shapes and need for support brought new types of fast-drying and self-healing cement. If water enters a crack in the cement, bacteria is reactivated, mixed with the cement, and excreted to heal the crack. Bamboo is a renewable resource, a strong and resilient material used in many buildings. Aluminum is made with new technology and appears as glass yet maintains the strength of steel. Some companies are making bricks that absorb air pollution and are strong. Other materials are made from recycled wood or steel materials, reducing the impact on the environment. 

    Photography captured the figure in its perfect form, rendering the exactness of the eye of the camera. The new contemporary figures now used the body in exaggeration, creating some parts overextended, extra-large, or disjointed yet portraying the body in a realistic setting. They used the body set in the form of what it might feel like in a situation instead of what it looked like. The figure may not exist in the painted image; however, the artist is depicting a narrative of what might happen to the emotions the figure brings to the artwork. The works might be contradictory, depicting different expressions for experimentation. Contemporary figurative artists create a sense of existence, their feelings of identity, and their political events worldwide. 



    [1] Guggenheim Teaching Modern Art