Aug 5, 2020 in Analysis

Comparison and Contrast of artworks

(Sungnyemun, 1398) Vs Sun Do-Ho, (Reflection), 2004

The above pictures are a depiction of architectural and artistic work. The pictures are an illustration of the importance of integration of architecture with art. Sungnyemun designed an artistic traditional Japanese public architecture which was a center of gathering for people in social events. On the other hand, there is a picture that shows a blue colored tower that is somewhat reflected in a mirror. The tower is a portrayal of the French ancient architecture of towers. Art and architecture are inevitably interlinked; the latter describes a building’s functionality; it can fill up a space with spiritual eminence; it can use delusion to visually amplify a space; it can transform a dormant space in to one suited for spiritual ceremonies; it can illustrate riches; it can act as a collector of forgotten ancient cultures and traditional values; in brief: art is essential in configuring a building’s distinctiveness.

Similar to art, architecture gives a sense of belonging to the society. People have a fundamental need to relate themselves with their meaningful existence. Architecture is not the creation of a beautiful object for the few but instead has a much expansive role in the society. It is through art that architecture fall in place in the society since the latter has the ability to create a sense of belonging among communities. People are able to relate to architectural work due to the artistic aspect in buildings which enable people to connect on an emotional level.


Over the years, art has lost its integral significance in architecture; people have forgotten that art and architecture are one. Nowadays architecture is just a commercial activity whereby individuals construct buildings for business purpose. Architecture is no longer art driven as it was the case in the past. People need to once again understand the importance of art in architecture and architects, planners and designers need to team up and revive the artistic character of architectural works.

Han Jun-bin, We’re the Happiest in the World, 1975 versus Oh Youn, Grandmother, 1983

In these pictures, we shall discuss social realism, abstract vs figurative art and political disparity between North and South Korea.

Both pictures have attempted to demonstrate social realism. In one of the depiction we can identify an old woman who seems to have been through a lot of hard times in her life, on the adjacent photography, we observe two children presenting a song on stage in a happy atmosphere. 

The essence of these pictures is to show its views how heroic elderly people had to fight for independence from imperialists and colonialists who had invaded North and South Korea. We learn from the pictures that Koreans had to suffer the harsh rule of the imperialists in order to secure a happy and peaceful future where the powers of the colonialists would not take away their independence. 

In the pictures we can also identify the contrast of abstract and figurative art. The painting by Han Jun-Bin is an abstractive piece of art while Oh-Youn’s portrayal is figurative. Han Jun-Bin uses the emotion of happiness to make the painting. He uses joy as an object to of reference for his piece of work. On the other hand, Oh-Youn uses an old woman to symbolize suffering among the Korean during the colonial period. In this picture, the artist has used the grandmother as figuratively to represent his theme of struggle and heroic conquest of the Korean nationalists. 

We can also deduce the issue of political discrepancies from the both comparative work of art. In one end we can see idealist type of political governance, while on the other we perceive critical form of leadership. In South Korea, dictatorship has taken the front line in establishing authority among the citizens. This form of rule is barbaric and lacks honor for democracy and civic rights; therefore, citizens have perpetually endured misery. We observe fear and grief from the grandmother due to the idealist form of rule. In contrast, we observe a democratic form of rule in North Korea whereby the government is for the people, by the people. In this context, we identify critical form of leadership, where the leaders are open to criticism and correction. Democracy among citizens of a nation result to happiness and contentment since everyone enjoys their civic freedom and rights. 

Yun Suk Num, The Kitchen, 1999 versus Bhar Kher, Indra’s Net Mirror1, 2010

In these photographs, we shall explore on Feminism and representation of woman; shared artistic media; political comparison between South Korea and India; and national traditions and modern references. 

In both artworks, the themes expressed are feminism and representation of women. In the Korean picture, (the kitchen) we observe a wooden craft that embodies a woman. The lady has worn a long pink dress with a pink flower on her head as a symbol of beauty. Next to her is a pink colored chair of ancient design. Bhar Kher, Indra’s Net Mirror, we observe an artistic wall frame that looks like a mirror and inside it is a decorative drawing that represents the beauty of women. 

We realize feminism in the photograph “The Kitchen” through the use of the color pink which is affiliated to feminism. Also, the picture has illustrated women beauty through the use of flowers. Since the beginning of human civilization, flowers have been used to symbolize beauty and love in women. We also appreciate the role of women in the society, whereby the kitchen is the work place of their where they prepare meals for the family. Similarly, we identify feminism in the picture “Indra,s Net Mirror” through the decorative art portrayed in the picture. Women are associated with decoration as a means of creating beauty and glamor. The mirror-like expression of the frame symbolizes the object a woman uses to reflect their beauty and decoration. 

In socio-political context, the pictures assist us to understand the position of women in South Korea and India. From the representation “The Kitchen,” we recognize the segregation of women in politics in South Korea. We understand that the role of women in the kitchen is symbolic in the political society in that females are not leaders in nature instead they are meant to be servants of men.

From the depictions we also realize the tradition and modern contradiction of feminism. In “The Kitchen” we perceive a traditional aspect of feminism whereby, being a woman meant one had to embrace the kitchen. On the contrary, “Idra’s Net Mirror” defines feminism with decorations in the modern setting. Being a woman in the current times means that you have to apply decorations and make up so as to appear beautiful. 

Bong Joon-ho, The Host, 2006 versus Mehboob Khan, Mother India, 1957

In this section, we shall discuss how Korea and India have used film to reach the global market; comparison of Indian national identity and international influence of Korean culture; and finally how consumerism and citizenship have influenced economic development.

From these images, we identify how Korea and India have use motion pictures to venture into the global market through their franchise Korean Blockbuster and Bollywood Hits. We the current age, the film industry has growth tremendously to become a billion-dollar economic enterprise. Korea and India have seized this opportunity by producing their films for the international market. 

Through this works of art, we note the contrast between Korean movies and India Movies whereby, Koreans have been influenced by the western culture while India has upheld its national identity and customs. From the picture “The Host” we observe a terrified young girl attempting to run away from a fierce monster. This is a replica of western movies and lacks Korean originality. For instance, in western movies we see horror movies about monsters and aliens from outer space invading the earth. Korean films have attempted to copy these ideologies in order to fit in the competitive global market. On the other hand, we realize national identity in the image “Mother India”. The image depicts India culture- we witness a sense of originality from the India attire of the woman holding a wooden log. India has used their cultural influence to enter the global film market. 

From these images, we can also infer the issue of consumerism and citizenship has elements influence economic development. Consumerisms the phenomenon in which consumers tend to buy goods and services for personal fulfillment, and to fit in a particular social class. Citizenship refers to patriotism to one’s country and custom. These two elements have been used by corporations to entice consumers to buy products they don’t need- with the aim promoting economic development.  

Rabindranath Tagore, Dancing Woman, 1940 versus Amrita Sher Gil, Self Portrait, 1932

From these images we shall compare how women have been represented in both works of art; comparison of Pan Asialism and western influence in oil painting applies in both pictures ; Colonialism and pre-independence, and how artists have used painting for biographic importance.

In the drawing “The Dancing Woman” women are perceived as dancers hence the portrayal has developed the theme of representation of women. The aspect of Pan-Asianism is also evident in the portrait of the dancing woman whereby we see a sense of united in the Asian people through art. The dancing woman is a symbol of international unity among the Asian countries. On the other hand, in the picture “self-portrait”, there is no aspect of Pan- Asianism. However, similar to the dancing woman portrayal, this painting has demonstrated the representation of women- this is noted through the use of a female character for this painting.

We see the western influence in the oil painting (Self-portrait) whereby the character in the painting who is an Asian, has worn European make-up and decorative artifacts. However, the drawing of the dancing woman shows originality since it has demonstrated the Asian custom of dancing.

We note how various Artist use art as an autobiography- this is evident in Amrita’s portrait where she painted herself in the early 20th century. Biographic information is however not evident in the painting of “The Dancing Woman.”

Felice Beato, The Secundra BaghaNer the Slaughter of 2,000 Rebels, 1858 versus Danny Boyle & Loveleen Tandan, Slumdog Millionaire, 2008

In this segment, we shall discuss colonialism and how western artists have created  a representation of India for the international market. 

From the picture “The Secundra Bagha Ner the Slaughter of 2,000 Rebels”, we observe a demonstration of the colonial era when India was a British territory. In this picture, we learn how the western civilization invaded India and killed Rebels and destroyed their property. In this picture, there appear to be traumatized men as they come to terms with the loss of lives and property in their land.  This picture is an illustration of the state of the imperialism during the colonial era.  

On the other hand, in the photograph of “Slumdog Millionaire”, we realize post-liberation after the European powers gave the Indians their independence. In this picture we perceive modernization and the technological evolution in India. . Slumdog Millionaire was a Hollywood movie than had an India storyline. From this phenomenon, we deduce how western arts have created depiction of India for the international market. However, this is not evident in “The Secundra Bagha Ner the Slaughter of 2,000 Rebels” since these is a historical artwork of past events that actually happened.


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