Thursday, April 10, 2014

Cultural Differences

i am OTHER is Pharrell Williams' company which celebrates people who are different. Who is the other, one asks? It could be those different or foreign. The new student in school, the refugee, the immigrant. To learn about the other adds depth to our analysis of consumers. To increase one's knowledge, it is important to travel and learn about other cultures. Subsequently, one could compare and contrast those cultures with one's own.

The recent exhibit "In Grand Style: Celebrations in Korean Art during the Joseon Dynasty," at the Asian Art Museum, provides a window, through art, of another time and culture. We learn of the Koreans' system of royal lineage, where political power could be inherited by women, although they could not be rulers. Think of powerful women in our history for analogy.

A painting of a king in front of a landscape signifies his relationship to and power similar to nature's. The five peaks behind him represent the universe. Current official governmental portraits or family photos reflect this painting.

The impressive 150 foot long scroll from 1795, "King Jeongjo's Procession to His Father's Tomb in Hwaseong" emphasizes the importance of commemoration for this culture. In this artwork, one understands the values of family, royalty and honoring one's parents. The commemorative quality reminds us of the incessant photography, Snapchat and Instagramming of our culture. The Koreans of the Joseon dynasty are the other, but not so different. We also want to record aspects of our lives. Through viewing other cultures, we may learn about our own. Thoughts on consumers...

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