Discover how the conventional depiction of the Chinese dragon experienced a transition towards art nouveau Chinese dragon in recent years.
Much of Chinese history of art revolves around traditional concepts that have been present in the culture for thousands of years. Amongst the various themes that have been very popular in the Chinese culture throughout its history is the symbol of the dragon.
The dragon is the mightiest mythological character to have originated from China. Unlike the dragon in the west the Chinese dragon is not considered to be evil or violent. On the contrary it is a symbol of good fortune and seeks to represent might, power and glory. There is nothing evil about the Chinese dragon. It has even held the position of God-hood in history where the locals would offer various sacrifices to please the dragon and hold special events in honor of the beast.
The art nouveau influence
With the passage of time the intermingling of the Chinese culture with the Western world brought about a revolution in terms of design. The dragon being one of the most prominent symbols of the Chinese culture managed to intrigue the western world. On the flipside the Chinese public was impressed with the modernistic lifestyle and arts of the West. This led to a fusion in the world of art that resulted in an art nouveau styled depiction of the dragon.
The art nouveau movement was a step away from the conventional depiction of the dragon. The Chinese artists broke their traditional shackles and sought to absorb the Western techniques and concepts in their dragon art. The Western world was far ahead in terms of technology than the Chinese at one point in time. The Chinese however took on the technologically advanced mediums of artistic expression and sought to represent the image of the dragon through them. This resulted in unique dragon art that had an element of the Chinese culture but in a contemporary style.
The forward looking Chinese public welcomed this changed as it gave them the opportunity to marvel at the newly discovered art nouveau Chinese dragons. This new age depiction of the dragon faced some resistance from the conventionalists who did not want to pollute the age old traditional way of depicting the dragon especially since the dragon has always been a highly revered being in the eyes of the Chinese.
The image of the dragon started to lose its traditional significance with the art nouveau movement although the image itself was gaining popularity around the world. The depiction of the dragon was now more about the physical features and the artistic value of the particular work of dragon art. The image of the dragon after shedding its traditional perception became something that came under the umbrella of “cool” in the western perspective.
The art nouveau movement itself was greatly inspired by Asian art, especially the art of China and Japan. The Western artists too began experimenting with the image of the Chinese dragon as they sought to depict it in their own perspective and creative insight giving rise to a collection of unique dragon art work.