Most people can attest to having been in the presence of art at least once in their lifetimes. Even the youngest of kids will experiment with it during their very first year in a classroom – see this month’s Blank Canvas for proof! Yet, when it comes to defining what exactly art is, it can be quite difficult; just ask BWYA art instructor KC Connelly, who chimes in on this month’s Teacher Talk.
So what exactly is art? Is it the paintings you might find on the ceilings of the Vatican? Or perhaps it could be a primitive handprint on a cave wall. Could it be a comic book, a poem, a movie or a play? Doodles in a notebook? Or might it even be food?
The beautiful thing about art is that it is all these things, and it is everywhere in Beijing. Each of the 100-plus museums throughout this capital city houses some sort of secret to the past, a connection to the present or an outlook on the future; in the 798 Art District alone (see What’s Fun In: Lido or “Engaging the Abstract”), there is a seemingly endless labyrinth of galleries scattered across a span of 20,000 square meters, featuring the work of some of the most innovative local and international artists.
But you don’t have to go to a museum to be near art. It can be created at home, with a set of crayons, a brush or a camera, and this month’s Kid Craft, Playing Inside and When I Grow Up will show you how. It also comes in the form of food, as some of the city’s DIY bakeries (see “Edible Art”) will argue.
For many of us, the time we spend in Beijing is transient. We are living here, working or going to school, waiting for our next station in life. But that’s no excuse to overlook the plethora of cultural and historical treasures right at our fingertips, and there’s no better time to embrace your artsy side than in April – when the sun returns and the landscape begins to fill with all sorts of intriguing aromas and colors.
Whether indoors or outdoors, somewhere in this city a muse awaits. So what are you waiting for? Dig your creativity out of hibernation this month and get your hands dirty!