Historically, man has been trying to make his life easy, enjoyable and worth
living. This entire effort is focussed on two fundamental issues...one useful for daily
life and the other for atributing aesthetic value to life. All those areas or faculties
involving talent and skill have been defined as arts. This means, arts involve creative
skill. This also means, every work we do does not form part of the well defined
arts. Art has fiction as an important constituent. However, if fiction exceeds its limit,
it enters the falsification zone.
Dr. Indaram Kishan Rao
Reader in Telugu(Retd.,)
Life is to enjoy and
not to get bored of it. It means...
it should pep up even the routine activity and pump in a bit of charm. Owing to this,
every aspect like moments spent a song (music),watch a spectacle (painting) or a structure
(sculpture) becomes a part of arts.
During the transformation of man's life from stone age to the modern age, when he started
using the metal, all his tools have acquired some aesthetics. Similarly, he started
designing all his arms and utensils meticulously. He started inventing new tangible means
for imbibing ease into his daily life. Whenever, he failed to design something on his own,
he started buying it from those, who could do that. Bamboo, stone, mud, timber, leather
and many more have crept into the man's daily life just to add ease and aesthetics to the
daily life. Thus, all this constitutes an important aspect of arts. Intellects, later,
affirmed these as arts and to be more precise fine arts.
Man used his intellect again. He could segment all these arts into two. While those useful
in his daily life were defined as arts and those having aesthetics and had to be learnt to
perform or produce are known as fine arts. Our ancestors worked hard on defining and
segmenting these arts or fine arts and arrived at a total number of 64
art forms. Of all these art forms, five or six art forms have been separated as fine arts
and they are: Music, Literature, Painting, Sculpture and Dance.
The very objective of performing any art is to provide entertainment and provide a message
to man so as to purify one's thoughts and make his life lively. Any art form should
possess any of these characters and above all, the art should also be remunerative.
Sculpture and Painting are visual and entertain man by
means of his sight, while music and literature are audible and use man's listening
capabilities for entertaining him. Dance is a mixture of many aspects
including these two. It is a collective art. Most of these art forms are used in
worshiping God. Devotees like Tyagaraja and Meera Bai spent their life worshiping God through music. Tulasidas and Potana served the God through literature. Performing an art,
earlier, had devotional value to it.
Times have changed. Life styles have undergone a great transformation. Man started using
art forms for his livelihood.
After the English gave their 'touch' to the Indian literature and language of the land,
the art forms and the way they are performed have changed. A variety of instruments like
violin, mandolin and saxophone are being used to air Indian music. Earlier, stage plays
were performed in Sanskrit. Now, it is a part of history and we see a range of plays in a
variety of languages, styles and Rasas. Some fine arts like photography, swimming and
circus, which were never mentioned in our original scriptures, have come to the fore.
Today, we can see a much improved collective art in the form of cinema. The western impact
has also given birth to some more fine arts like mimicry and mime.
Irrespective of the changes, man's daily life and his artistic intrests have very thin
dividing line. Those depending entirely on arts are defined as artists. A man living his
regular life is never felicitated. But an artist is.
Our scriptures also mention the art of theft as an art form in addition to mimicry and
deception. This shows that all the art forms need not necessarily be entertaining.
Designing and making a bomb is also an art. Dismantling a huge structure also requires an
artistic touch. But, to be more specific, any art form should benefit the man. This does
not mean, those arts which will not result in any benefit are not art forms. Covering a
notebook with a brown paper sheet is not an art. But binding it with attractive and
colourful paper is certainly an art.
Today's life demands artistic touch. A house has to be built with aesthetic interiors and
exteriors. A city has to be planned to attract many visitors. There is a dress code and
need to decorate oneself with jewellery. All this is in absolute demand for making arts
and art forms an integral part of daily life. But this kind of application of arts in
daily life results in selfish application of ancient arts.
Arts and art forms should be used for making the mankind happy but not to make a man or a
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