What's the Use of Art? Asian Visual and Material Culture in Context
'Post-Enlightenment notions of culture, which have been naturalized in the West for centuries, require that art be autonomously beautiful, universal, and devoid of any practical purpose. The authors of this multidisciplinary volume seek to complicate this understanding of art by examining art objects from across Asia with attention to their function, ritual, and everyday contexts. From tea bowls used in Japanese tea ceremony to television broadcasts of Javanese puppet theatre, from Indian wedding-chamber paintings to art looted by the British army from the Chinese emperor's palace, from the adventures of a Balinese magical dagger to the political functions of classical Khmer images— the authors challenge prevailing notions of artistic value by introduction new ways of thinking about culture.' (Front flap)
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