Guo Pei’s Haute Couture Exhibition

It is undeniable that every creation of Goe Pie has a meaning and tells a particular historical and or a personal story. I still remember the feeling that I had when I first entered the exhibition hall a week ago. In her legendary and splendid creation, she had evoked an exotic imperial emotion in me from her dramatic themed gowns accompanied by traditional Chinese music that played at the hall. This left me feeling like I was invited to live some histrionic mythological fantasy while contemplating her Ancient Chinese dresses[1]. As a result, this article explores the similarities and differences between Guo Pie’s clothing to costume and clothing from a particular era.

Guo was born in an era of Cultural Revolution in which people were forced to abandon any trace of individuality and finery. However, she had a taste for fashion and color[2]. I recall a particular majestic royal gold dress that according to the specialist in the exhibition was inspired by a uniform worn by Napoleon Bonaparte. This appealed to me and made me think of another royal dress from the Rocco period worn by Marie Antoinette – the last queen of France before the French revolution. She was one of the great fashion icons of her time. Both of the dresses reflect exquisite craftsmanship as well as noble qualities. However, Goe Pie’s gold dress is more intricate. The dresses also communicate different social messages and cultivate contradicting attitude toward the viewers.

Both Marie Antoinette and Goe Pie share a unique taste in design and fashion. However, during the Rocco period fashion was perceived differently by different classes. The Rocco period was characterized by Romance and elegance, which was centered on the luxurious life of the aristocrats. With wealth and power concentrated in the hands of the aristocrats and bourgeoisie, the fashion industry flourished. At the same time condition worsened for the ordinary French people. Marie was perceived as an influential character in Rocco fashion[3]. She was legendary due to her exceptional taste, specifically her affection for grand and new fashions and headpieces as well as jewelry. Her portrait that reflects her extravagance caused her to be a convenient target for French people’s rage and created negative attitude towards her and aristocrats in general. Rocco fashion found its way to French revolution and revolutionaries differentiated themselves from public and aristocrats and wore patriotic colors, such as red and blue. Comparing that to Goe Pie’s imperial collection, fashion in the current era does not only shape the social roles but also can be used to communicate historical information and personal experiences. When I contemplate the gold-embroidered dress of Goe Pie, I did not only admire her intricate craftsmanship but also it said something about the Chinese heritage and evoked oriental sense. It communicated to me about woman empowerment in society.

In summary, it is clear how fashion differs in the two eras. Currently, fashion does not only reflect social roles or the status of an individual but also can be used as an expression. Marie Antoinette’s clothes, which reflect her extravagant spending and luxurious life, aroused outrage among ordinary French people. On the other hand, the embroidered imperial gold dress of Goe Pie provides an insight into the Chinese rich history and culture and call individuals to appreciate the designer’s masterful work.

[1]. Shuangzi Hu, “China in Contemporary American Museum Culture: Reality or Exotic Orientalist Fantasy?.” Ph.D. diss., (The University of the Arts, 2016).


[2]. Ben Cavender, Kevin Der Arslanian, and Conlyn Chan. “Luxury in China: The End of Bling.” In Luxury Brands in Emerging Markets, (Palgrave Macmillan UK, 2014), 148-154.

[3]. Dena Goodman, and Thomas E. Kaiser. Marie Antoinette: Writings on the body of a queen, (New York NY: Routledge, 2013)

Metropolitan Museum of art

Mark Rothko, an abstractionist artist described art as a means of expressing our human emotions including feelings of doom, ecstasy, and tragedy among others. He mentioned that art is just a reflection of man’s connection to the world. Personally, I believe that painting is just a process of arranging different elements in a style that represents our sentiments at a particular time. Art could entail a wide range of human activities; it is a human culture. The subject has many definitions as different people perceive it differently (Sanyal, 2014). Today art has evolved primarily due to the technological advancements. There are so many computer soft wares that could be utilized to explore the subject.

I believe that art, if utilized well, could be of positive influence to our generation. It should be a way to reinvent our creativity in using the available digital forums to produce works that could even lead to future inventions. Furthermore, I feel that it should be occupying us and distracting us from the constant hustle and bustle of life. It could be a way to avoid vices like cyberbullying if we use our digital forums to concentrate on painting and even producing animations.

Art is quickly developing, and shortly artists will be exploring almost every aspect of human life in the most original ways (Sanyal, 2014). With the new technologies, art lovers will increase, and artist influence will be immense.  Sculpture and paintings will whole new exotic direction which will probably be the normal mode of life. Jack Pollock revolutionized art with his spontaneity and formalism in abstraction while Robert Rauschenberg introduced pop and other hybrid forms of art. I believe today’s artist hold a remarkable future for art just like these pioneers.

                                                 Question 2

When a painting or sculpture eliminates superfluous aspects of the object it portrays to a higher degree until the outcome is almost unrecognizable, the image that suffices is nonrepresentational (Gullickson, 1995). This type of painting expresses the emotions of an artist. It is abstract and often signifies a departure from the real life to a world of imagination. I am more attracted to non-representational painting because it is a means to express personal perspectives and opinions about different concepts. It depicts one’s viewpoints, and according to me, it is the best way to tell one’s story. Some of the artists who followed this style include Cezanne. His paint of Mont Saint Victoire was highly representational. Usually, the intensity of the artist’s emotions is visible in the solid colors used in the image. The deep colors evoke some of the most profound feelings. I believe that non-representational art is sensational and it feels as if one is having a private conversation with the artist (Gullickson, 1995).

Most of the times nonrepresentational paintings are purely spiritual. Looking critically at them evokes some spiritual meanings or religious feelings (Arya, 2011).  For instance, Buddhist images of the Buddha and some Islamic paintings can only be apparent if one can relate with their nonphysical meanings spiritually. This fact is because these pictures often depict things that are unrecognizable. They show the existence of a distinct separation from nature and most artists believe that they possess inner meanings which are pure and unhampered. Thus it requires some spiritual embodiment to create and understand this type of art.

Question 3

There are many interconnections between Egyptian, European and modern art. This fact is because artists have continuously borrowed from each other’s style to develop more beautiful art. Many of these periods explored art on a societal and communal basis. These stages are similar in that the paintings made were related to the cultural beliefs of the society at that particular time. There is a noticeable pattern of colors that is almost similar in some of these works. Modern art has highly borrowed from these periods. In periods, the intensity of the image is visible through the solid color combinations. Strong colors show the profound meaning of the painting. All art was symbolic and represented something.

Personally, I prefer modern art as it is carefully in association with the modernism movement. It represents the vast changes in the culture and the society of today. Contemporary paintings incline to abstraction and are entirely self-referential. They include visual arts which the basis of today’s lifestyle (, 2017).

I have a deep connection with contemporary art because it has embedded all cultures in its style. Some people feel that this type of paintings is just “painting for the sake of painting” but I disagree because this kind of art represents our passions and moods. Modern art has inculcated dozens of movements including the post-impressionists movement, and it continually embraces the wide diversity as opposed to other periods of art. It incorporates photography, animation and performance art which are some my best aspects of art as a subject.

Humanism in the Renaissance

The concept of humanism that became popular in the Renaissance came not as a new way of defining philosophical interpretation but as a source of new information and brought along with it new field. By definition the concept of humanism is centered on the ideology that rather than attaching issues of social importance to a divine being or supernatural force, the outlook is centered of the human role. The motive for suggesting the theory of humanism was to promote the idea that humans have the potential of solving human problem rather than describing them in the context of a supernatural being. The rise in the understanding of Renaissance humanism thus ensured that there as a reduction in the perceived will of God because it was thought that God had provided humans with the option that could allow them to solve issues and make decision that would impact them directly.

There are varied ways in which I could apply the characteristics of Renaissance humanism in my life. One of the ways in which I could apply the concepts would be by ensuring that I celebrate life to the fullest because as opposed to the idea that I am supposed to glorify a supernatural being, I could use it to glorify myself. It would be a chance for me to use my potential to explore the world in the process. through the knowledge gained about humanism, I could become better by being an indent thinker rather than focus on religion that is possibly an illusion. It is apparent that the human population is swallowed into the belief that faith and religion are what guide the world but with the knowledge of humanism, I could disentangle myself from such beliefs and establish my own understanding. It is also worth noting that humanism will assist me to advance into perceiving the importance of classical education that was a guiding factor the thinkers in the Renaissance and before. I am always fascinated with the way philosophers in the Renaissance and the classical period used to think and the desire to reason like them is achievable when I tune my thinking into the context of the humanism. I will thus be in a position to describe major advances in the field of art and in math. Overall, thinking from the principles of humanism would help in realizing the dream of being a well-rounded person who has mastered life from varied angles. The perception that humans have been given the power to control what happens in their environs and to solve problem is crucial in realizing the goal of being a well-rounded person who has skills that are multifaceted. Thus overall, the concept of humanism will make me a to be a better person who has the ability to outside the contemporary limits and solve problem from varied angles and thus be a complete person.

The significance of humanism during the Renaissance is a notable factor because it led to the rise of modern thinking and new philosophy. One of the primary benefits of humanism in the Renaissance is that it led to the condemnation of the university education and scholastic logic. The scholastic curriculum was spotted to constitute extreme philosophies and it was the desire of humanistic thinker to replace it. Scholars such as Valla and Rudolph Agricola were the leaders in initiating the change in perception and beliefs of the treatment of logic in their work De inventione dialectica (King 67). It would mean that the new understanding would be to define arguments based on how they are effective and useful as opposed to how they are formally valid. The justification of thinking along these lines was from the understanding that language is the primary vehicle for communication and engaging in debate. The fact that the idea was later taken up by other humanist thinkers such as Mario Nizolio, Juan Luis Vives, and Petrus Ramus meant that the concepts of humanism were critical in the age of the Renaissance (Kraemer 10).

Humanism was also relevant in the Renaissance because it initiated change in the religious arena as it advocated for many reforms in the Christian doctrine. One of the central humanist at the time to engage in the reforms was Desiderius Erasmus who was a Dutch thinker. He was particularly hostile to the idea of scholasticism as he argued that it did not offer the proper principles of life. in his handbook Enchiridion militis christiani, the thinker focused on the need for spiritual guidance on the manner in which laymen thought (King 33). He published other works later in his life and emphasized of opposing the ideology that the human will is enslaved in sin, overall, it is noted that the concept of humanism initiated a series of changes in the ways people would think in the religious arena.

It is worth noting that the significance of humanism was further noted in the manner in which it was demonstrated. The Italian Renaissance was primarily focused on painting and the outcome of this was that human expression were interwoven in the Italian art. It is thus noted that the primary way in which the assertions were made visible was through art. On that note, two particular works of art in the Renaissance demonstrated the relationship between art and humanism (King 30). Two of such works of art are the image where people are praising food and the image where a woman is drawn without the use of holos as it was common before humanism.

In my preferred image, it is noted that as opposed to the feeling where people would be praising a divine being such as Jesus or God for the food, the human subjects are seen praising the food themselves and appear to glorify nature. It is a humansitic interpretation because they do not focus on the fact that a supernatural being could have brought them the food.  The other image is where the woman in a painting lacks the halo effect that was typical of thinking and painting prior to the humanisic interpretation. The image is a classic to shown that artists were shifting from the contemporary supernatural idea to an understadng based on humans philosphy.

In summary, it is worth hgliting that the concept of humanism initiated a new wave of thinking that is devoid of scholarstic and spiritual manipulation. It would personally benefit me as it ensures that one can reason from a broader perspetive and appreciate life to the fullest. It has been used in the Renaissance to decribe various courses of nature and oppose the scholastic understading of life. Religion has also been impacted through new thinking that has initiated several reforms. It is thus plausible to assume that from the changes in the art that were noted, humanism had a huge impact on the way people understood and appreciated life in the Renaissance period.