Multi-cultural art from a Multi-ancestral perspective Arissa Mcgowan

The theme of this project is a take on Multi-cultural art from a multi-ancestral perspective. Having a diverse ancestral background, has influenced me to study and enquire art more specifically from areas affiliated with my lineage. Each region is going to have a mass influences on its overall art, which should really allow you to see the similarities and differences between the artwork I chose.

The five pieces of art that I selected, tie into my family heritage, as well as one of my primary interests of studying art which are the origins of creating specific types of art. The first piece that I want to introduce is the “Seated figure,” from the Inland Niger Delta Region. After recently discovering more about my ethics from ancestry.com, I found out that my ancestors migrated primarily from the Nigeria, Benin/Togo, Senegal regions.

The next piece of artwork I selected, is the “Goreyo, which was founded in Korea. My grandmother was born in Seoul, Korea in 1955. She has beautiful glass vases and dishware, with the same images and techniques as the “Goreyo.” My grandmother has influenced me to have an interest in Korean traditions and customs.

The “Transfiguration Apse Mosiac in church of Sant’ Apollinare in Classe,” is the third artwork that I have chosen to talk about. The “Mosiac” was found in Ravenna, Italy and tells a beautiful story. The religion I was brought up with is Christianity, which means I was able to spread the word of God and get others to do the same. Ages ago, during the time of Christ, the Roman Empire was in control of majority of the world.

Another piece of art that I selected, was discovered in Wiltshire, England. The “Stonehenge's” were made to be tall and extremely heavy, so they cannot move. Stonehenge is perhaps the world’s largest prehistoric monument, it was built about five thousand years ago, in the late Neolithic period. I have ancestors that originated from the UK, which is so surprising to me.

The “Jade Cong,” which is the last artwork I must discuss, was observed in China. This specific piece of artwork is personally one of my favorites because of how smooth it looks, along with all architects that deal with jade stone. The greenish color that it beholds, makes the stone so much more pretty and perfect in my eyes.

There are a couple similarities and differences associated between cultures and their approaches towards art. One similarity between the artworks is the material used to create certain pieces. Famous art pieces from Africa and China, which are thousands of miles from each other, both used Terracotta for their sculptures. Another similarity between these cultures is their spirituality. Christianity in Africa, dates all the way back into the 1st century. Africans were witnesses to the life of Christ and the ministry of the apostles. In Asia, Gospel has long, yet interesting history. Asian Christians, endured the greatest persecutions and mounted global ventures in the missionary expansion. Even though Asians practice Buddhism or Hinduism, today, Christianity is actually starting to spread again in Asia. One difference between the cultures is how they made different types of artwork. While some forms are paintings, some are sculptors. The way that these countries see art and the nature around them is also a difference. Most artists, sculpt or paint artwork from their perspective. They are sometimes inspired by their religious beliefs, but really each artists has their own unique sets of influences and inspirations.

“Seated Figure”

Mali, Inland Niger Delta Region

13th Century


The “Seated Figure,” is represented as a sculpture. The material used to sculpt this was terracotta. This figure was created over 700 years ago, in the Inland Niger Delta Region, which is now known as Mali. Controlled archaeological digs, have provided only the original significance of the art of this region and time. It is said that recovered terracotta figures are normally quite detailed in clothes, jewelry, and body ornaments. Body ornaments, such as parallel columns of circles and bumps are left on the back of this piece of artwork. They seem to cover the entire body and illustrate some kind of gruesome illness. Sculptures like this, could be representing past ancestors, mythic characters, or they can even be served as guardians. On this figure, some things stood out to me. Things that stood out to me were how the man’s head is shaved and how he is maybe practicing mourning customs. Back in time, it is very possible that the earlier individuals had similar ritual practicing's of the Inland Niger Delta Region.

“Goryeo,” Celadon Gourd-Shaped Ewer with Waterfowl and Reads


Early 12th C.

Stoneware with carved and incised design under celadon glaze

The color of the “Goryeo” was evoked, in the minds of Europeans. The shiny green-glazed ceramics from China, is called celadon. Celadon originated from China and is constituted the main type of ceramics produced on the Korea peninsula. Included in the clay are raw materials, specifically known as iron, iron oxide, manganese oxide, and quartz particles in the glaze as well. During the process of putting your clay into the kiln, the temperature goes down below, 1150 C. The level of oxygen within the kiln was dramatically reduced at some stage of the firing. The “Goryeo Celadon” ranges from a plain, undercoated type to objects with carved, mold-impressed, or inlaid designs, and to finish it off you add your top coat of colorful compounds filled with iron oxide. Celadon illustrates a major technological and conceptual shift in the history of Korean ceramics.

“Transfiguration Apse Mosiac in Church of Sant’Apollinare in Classe”

Ravenna, Italy

C. 533-49

The Basilica of Sant’Apollinare is dedicated to St. Apollinaris, whom is patron saint of Ravenna. Around 532 AD, Bishop Ursinus began construction on a church in honor of St. Apollinaris next to a Christian burial ground. He ended up completing the task of the church on May 9, 549. The building was financed by Julianus Argentarius, but the architecture was same, long thin red bricks. Over the centuries, a few changes and additions were made. The clerestory was repaired in about the 8th century and the apse was raised to allow a new crypt underneath the 9th century. Later in the years, the marble revetments of the walls were taken away to decorate the church and paintings were also added to the brand-new walls. The basilica has a very spacious nave, with side aisles included. 58 windows including 5 in the apse, flood the interior with the light. On the celling, there’s a large cross that is decorated with mosaic gems and Christ standing in the center.

“Stonehenge” Salisbury Plain

Wiltshire, England

C. 2550- 1600 B.C.E.


“Stonehenge” is perhaps the world’s most famous prehistoric monument. It was built in stages; the first monument was built about 5,000 years ago and in the unique stone circle was erected in the late Neolithic period. The monument complex explained that the causewayed enclosure at Robin Hood’s Ball, two cursus monuments or even rectangular earthworks the greater or “Stonehenge” and less cursus. The earliest monument such as the Heel Stone and the low mound further known as the North Barrow were early components of “Stonehenge,” The earliest known major event was the construction of a circular ditch. The ditch had an inner and outer bank, which was built in about 3000 BC. These steps were normally repeated in order to get all of the monuments up.

“Jade Cong” Liangzhu Culture


c. 2500 B.C.E. (Neolithic Period)

Carved Jade

The Neolithic Period, defined as the age before the use of metal, witnessed a transition from a nomadic existence to one of the settled farmers. People made different stone tools and pottery in their regional communities. Stone workers who are employed jade to make prestigious, beautifully polished versions of stone tools, such as axes, and also to make implements with possible ceremonial or protective functions. Jade continues throughout Chinese history. They used 2 distinct types of ritual jade objects including; a disc later known as bi, and a tube later known as Cong. The main types of Cong have a square outer section around a circular inner part and a circular hole, through jades of a bracelet shape also displays some of the characteristics of Cong. Pottery also reached a high level with the first introduction of the potter’s wheel. The potter’s wheel

Work Cited





Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.