Appreciating Kenyan Art& Culture With an Open Mind.
If one saw, in real life, a beautiful woman wearing an exquisite evening gown, with a cold sore in her lips, the blemish would mean nothing but a minor affliction, and one would definitely ignore it. But on the other hand what if the same appeared on a painting, would it be interpreted as a vicious attack on the mankind, the attack on beauty upon which one would experience a feeling of immense disgust and indignation of the artist. It goes without much thought that those who would value and appreciate the art would be kept in the same moral class as the artist who drew it. The emotional response to that piece of art would be instantaneous, much faster than the viewers mind could identify all the reason and ideas pushing behind the artistic hands to finish the painting before darkness hits.
Whenever I take a trip somewhere, I usually try and fit in some sort of arts and culture activity into my already squeezed schedule to go beyond the usual tourist sights and attractions, whether it’s a museum visit or watching a show. There’s always something sensational about seeing the art and culture of Kenyan people, it often reveals a part of that country’s history and lifestyle that can’t be expressed purely by factual figures or tourist information boards.
Al though all through the world history humans have been known to enjoy some casual art viewing. The learning and knowledge entirely helps one to understand the history of a culture the views and visions of the people reflect not always but at times the directions to which a society is heading. Though I must confess that I am still pretty clueless when it comes to being able to critique a piece or recognize its influences: My comments about art are usually “That looks nice” and “Can you imagine that in your living room”
So now that I’ve revealed myself as a bit of a fraud when it comes to having any real art knowledge, the one thing I’ve learned through my exposure to art through my travel is that despite not being any sort of art expert, it is still possible to develop a certain appreciation for the arts, which has really helped make the arts and culture parts of recent trips a much more efficient and enjoyable experience. I’ve discovered preferences for certain types of art forms, and notice that I tend towards certain styles over others, and that defines me in a way, like what my likes preferences.
Let’s be honest – Kenya’s National Museums is probably quite awesome, but do you really want to go into the museum on such a beautiful sunny evening? For the record, I don’t, I prefer creating my own museums walking by the beach over the sunset or sunrise. Of course you holiday makers should go right ahead and keep appreciating the art that you love, but for those of you who have never really considered arts and culture an essential part of your travel itinerary, here are some thoughts on how you can learn to appreciate art to make your travels a much more enriching experience, even if you profess to know nothing about ‘art’.
A trip to Kenya can be more than fun, just because you came to see the big fives doesn’t mean that’s the only thing you should see. Go walk around and find something else in the Louvre that actually catches your attention. Over time you’ll discover what your preferences are when it comes to enjoying art, which makes it a lot easier for you to make a decision on whether or not to see something. This is also why I tend to get through art markets quite quickly because I just skip the stuff that bores me.
On my final thought whether it’s picking just one cultural thing to do in your entire trip, or going for a genre you know you’re likely to be more receptive to, I suggest not jumping in headfirst and committing to some major exhibition, or starting with stuff that’s too bizarre. You’re liable to be overwhelmed and turned off by the experience instead, which would be a huge pity if it ends up scarring you for life.
If you have no idea at all where to begin, go see the ‘famous thing’ that the country is known for – there’s usually a reason it’s become a tourist attraction. Sometimes you get tourist traps, other times you get true cultural experiences, but at least you’ve been there and done that and enjoyed it. Wherever your travels take you enjoy….