The nature and origin of arts, and its relationship to “science” have been under much debate since Plato about 2,400 years ago. Here, a new perspective on these issues is presented. Arts here refer to visual arts, literature, film, performing arts, music, architecture, new media arts and so on. In fact, arts are a subset of humans’ creative activities that aim to excite the receiver’s neurons in a certain manner, through that person’s senses, with or without significant consequences. The creative process of arts and art studies are science matters while the end product, the artwork itself, is not, which is for appreciation or inspiration.
Like physics and any other discipline, arts can be classified into two types—pure arts and applied arts. Pure arts are the most puzzling. Various theories of arts (like art is for aesthetic appreciation) were thrown off guard in the year 1917 when Marcel Duchamp's Fountain appeared in the scence. A new understanding of pure arts is obviously and urgently needed.
Some arts, such as drawing and performing art, could start a million years ago. All arts evolved over time and space, and the contents kept on changing as humans invented language and writing and as they migrated out of Africa and spread over the world; arts contain both global universal elements and local features. In the documents below, all these issues are elaborated and answers provided.
- Arts: A science matter (Lam, 2011 article)
- Su Dong-Po's bambo and Paul Cézanne's mountain (Lam, 2011 article)
- Making movies and making physics (Hark Tsui and Lam, 2011 article)
- Arts: A science matter (Lam, 2011 Chinese article)
- Arts make our life worth living, science makes our life more comfortable (Zhu, 2019 Chinese article)
- On arts (Lam, 2020, Chinese article)