Week 6: Response to Theft And Artistry (Cici&Alvin)

The appropriation in art is not limited to those conflicts about copyright. This article made its audience aware of the so-called cultural appropriation. This term means that some artists use elements from other cultures. Artists are using other cultures as simply materials but they failed in recognizing the origins of the cultures and their certain context. Their goal is just creating their own work rather than promoting the cultures. And such appropriation can easily fall into stereotypes.

I didn’t recognize this as a problem. The fusion of cultures happens everywhere. But things get complicated when it comes to such appropriation. It seems that they are helping a culture to become famous and popular but they often cannot understand a different culture in its context. They are still conveying their thoughts but just in another voice.

This can be quite awkward. I remembered when I saw the movie Fantastic 4, the superheroes fly to Shanghai, where there are skyscrapers, and then land on an old street with neon lights at least eight years ago. Even it is the 21st century, people were still thinking that’s what China is like and that’s the way the director added some Chinese elements.

I appreciate the fusion of culture as it is a trend that we cannot resist. But if cultural appropriation still only promotes stereotypes and ignores the cultural contexts, it is something that needs to change.

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