Have you ever looked at a painting and felt many things at once? Indeed, art holds a certain type of power—the kind that would send out a powerful message to its audience without even moving. It’s the kind of staying still that impacts minds and influences emotions.
According to the Oxford Handbooks, art can be viewed and understood as a “form of political discourse.” It reflects human understanding and varied perspectives about the world and its many, pressing issues. Throughout the centuries that art is used as a medium for expression of both personal and societal narratives, it has developed a potential in building towards political consciousness and activism. It can be a representation of an occurrence, a belief, a truth.
As the sociopolitical landscape in the Philippines continues to be challenged, especially as the next national elections come to a close, read how visual arts and design have the power to influence public perception about politics.
Art as a political subtext
Politics and art both carry a sense of controversy, especially when they explicitly overlap. Many contemporary and modern day artists have utilized the skills of their mind and hands in crafting the most beautiful of pieces—some of them upholding a story that we are all familiar with, while others are not so knowledgeable about it. For many years, decades, and even centuries, art made it possible to showcase and preserve what has taken place in our society.
Here’s a familiar picture: Juan Luna’s Spolarium showcasing the cruelty of the Roman gladiators. It is what it is, but at the same time, it depicts a slice of a much deeper, more sinister truth: the oppression of the Filipinos during the Spanish colonization. It is the artist’s perspective of what has taken place during his time. The alleged inspiration behind it may be painful—it can even be traumatizing—but it has been appreciated by so many even until now due to the gravity of its significance. It showed history.
The benefits of art education to the youth
Why is it so important for art and design to be studied and pursued? Art is more than just painting, sketching, or sculpting. It is something that can shape minds and move hearts. It is something that can create a change in this world. It tells stories, sends out messages, and reveals secrets that some of us are too afraid to say out loud ourselves.
Art and design paves the way for people to connect with one another, most especially to themselves. Teaching its importance to young people will allow them to cultivate their artistic side and find a way to use it not just for their own benefit—but to contribute to society as well.
When you study art, you learn the importance of expression, individuality, and the value of diversified perspectives, among many things. It is also art that allows us to inform people what is going on without having to use words, something that can be held against us.
Using art to be better citizens
Art in education will always be important. Whether you are an artist or simply a fan of the arts, it will continue to influence people’s lives and perspectives. No matter how undervalued the arts industry may be, art itself has a power of its own to instigate movements and create changes.
Learn more about art and its role in society by choosing arts and design track courses at CIIT Philippines. We offer a comprehensive and world-class arts curriculum aimed at equipping students with the passion and skills that will guarantee successful careers. Check out our courses today.