\u00a0\nArt of art\u2019s sake is the rage of the day!\nPaintings of red dots on orange backgrounds fetch 6 figure prices and no one really seems to know why!\nI have yet to understand the intricacies of that pricing but I have heard that there is more than meets the eye there. A friend \u2013 a\u00a0 highly placed tax official \u2013 mentioned that such exorbitant prices are not really about the object of the transaction \u2026 the object is merely a conduit for making financial transfers \u2026it could well have been a blank paper but then, to keep up appearances the red dot of paint becomes necessary to deem that paper a \u201cwork of art\u201d\nThe mind always seeks explanations \u2013 whether the explanation is easy to digest or not, doesn\u2019t matter. But an explanation reveals the logic and that logic calms the ruffled mind that must have an explanation.\n\nAs I simply could not see the worth of that red dot on the orange background, the\u00a0 explanation offered by my tax official friend made the world seem sane again. The world may be tainted but it is logical.\n***\nFortunately that kind of bewilderment and tormented sense of \u201cwhat is happpppennnning???!!??\u201d does not occur when I see old traditional paintings.\nOn the contrary not only can I understand their aesthetic appeal, I can also see their worth.\nMy reaction to an antique traditional artwork by anonymous painters is a whole spectrum of emotions. For instance when I look at an a 13th century Jain Painting, I am first overwhelmed by delight & awe.\u00a0 Then, I experience debilitating but delicious greed \u201cI want want want that\u201d.\u00a0 And finally as it dawns upon me that\u00a0 I can not have it I move on to feeling dejection. In the end I move on, caressing it with the blessing with which one remembers an old love \u2013 somewhat like the parting in Casablanca.\nSo much drama \u2013 in all of 5 seconds!\n[This trauma is the reason I find it difficult to go to museums]\n**\nIn these traditional Thai paintings, there is not only the art \u2013 which is in itself very stylised & pretty \u2013 there is also content. They depict the Jataka tales which are 550 stories of the previous incarnations of Gautam Buddha in various animal forms and each story holds a moral teaching.\nActually it might be correct to say that in works such as these, where the art & the culture come together, the primary factor is the culture while the art is just a secondary factor \u2013 a mere tool of narration. It just so happens that a few centuries later, i.e. today, it is the art that is appreciated more than the culture contained within.\nThe stories told by these visuals teach virtues such as charity and compassion.\nMonks painted such stories on walls, wood, cloth and paper to act as inspirations to the common people.\nA few examples:\n\n\u00a0\n \nThese are pictures of paintings collected by Jim Thompson before he disappeared.\nMore about him in another note.\njm\nApril 2015\nantique textiles, antique Indian textiles, antique asian textiles, antique tribal textiles, antique paintings, antique asia,\nThai Paintings \u2013 Mediums of Mythology\n\u00a0\nThe post Thai Paintings \u2013 Mediums of Mythology appeared first on The Art Blog by WOVENSOULS.COM.