Manusya, Journal of Humanities


Mirja Thaulow

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In these times of globalization, it sometimes appears as if all cultural particularities are about to vanish. But, at the same time, a strong current of public affection for national values can be detected all over the world, especially in the visual culture. Here, an international aesthetic of the national is being developed and it can be termed as "the style of the national" or "national style". By employing this term in the analysis of national pictures from two very different Asian countries, Thailand and Uzbekistan, this article will show that Asian aesthetics are very much alive in the present. A paradox often appears in writings on globalization - the fact that it promotes a lot of regionalist reactions in the cultural sphere around the world. Some people would reject these cultural productions as article, but as they are welcomed by ordinary people fulfilling their needs for an unique identity in the modern world it is my opinion that the new cultural productions become real. A new sense of aesthetic genuineness as visual signs of nationality. Therefore I find it relevant to discuss the appropriation of the term "national style" in an aesthetic investigation. I am looking into this issue as I am doing comparative research in the field of national visual cultures, especially in Asia. Two of my case studies are the visual cultures of Thailand and Uzbekistan.

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