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5 pages/≈1375 words
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Visual & Performing Arts
English (U.S.)
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Philosophy: The Hand-Scroll (Essay Sample)


Discuss the purpose of hand-scrolls in China Showcase a hand scroll from china;who created it? Who commissioned it? How is the hand-scroll a form that is particularly apt for storytelling? Show several Segments (minimum 6) of the hand-scroll and describe the "journey" Is it intimate? Is it historical or fantasy? Describe the similarity to film.Explain. State what you found most interesting (personal response) and what you learned through your research. Cite Sources

Course title:
Over the years, every society has had its unique way of expression through art. Art remains a crucial part of society, telling stories that could otherwise not be told in words. The field of art is quite diverse and there are various forms of expression within the field. Painting and drawing are examples of some of the methods of expression used in art. Although art is pretty similar and only differs in a few areas, the art of the Chinese people stands out as quite unique compared to others forms of art in the rest of the world. This is due to the use of the hand scroll as opposed to the one static hanging put up on the wall for viewing. This discussion takes a closer look at the Chinese hand scroll, its purpose and how it makes art different.
Purpose of a Hand scroll
Unlike an ordinary wall hanging that is pretty much static and does not change in any way, a hand scroll is meant to give an element of newness. Through scrolling using the hands as the name suggests, a viewer gets a chance to experience a different view every time he or she looks at the work of art. The main purpose of hand scrolls is to depart from the ordinary form of art, which in most cases cuts across as monotonous (Giskin, p. 95). A painting hung on a wall is beautiful yet it does not change much with time. There is no new aspect that a person looking at the hanging gets to see. Ordinary works of art are considered static and almost dormant (Brown, p. 47). A hand scroll therefore helps to give the viewer a new experience so as to break away from the monotony and eliminate the aspect of static works of art.
Hand scrolls also present an opportunity for the viewer to interact directly with the work of art. More often, the wall hangings that are characteristic of western art, viewers stand at a distance and look. However, the very nature of a hand scrolls ensures that a viewer has chance to get close to the work of art and views fast hand different aspects making it more interactive.
Showcasing a Hand scroll
Hand scrolls were mainly done for purposes of art. However, in ancient China, these scrolls were also used during big gatherings, religious and social. They were mainly suitable when addressing large gatherings, as they would easily follow what the speaker was talking about. Scrolls have been hailed and preferred over other forms of art due to their chronological way of telling stories. There is a particular way in which the scroll is done right from the beginning to the end. This provides an element of continuity and the viewer connects the story from the beginning to the end (Murray, p. 52). This can be contrasted with wall paintings which would hardly play a perfect role of telling a story. More over, if they are used in storytelling, it would be cumbersome to move around to connect the story. Further, they would occupy a lot of space which can be saved when using hand sc...
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