Why arts?

Art in my understanding is a creative activity that enriches life.

It goes beyond fine art which we too often consider as the only proper art form. Every moment of our existence when we create something is art, and understanding how we produce it and how it affects individuals and communities, connects us to our seemingly long-forgotten ancestors. Certain things don’t change. The essence of creation is the same as it had been thousands of years ago.

This explanation doesn’t aim to depreciate the achievements of professional artists who dedicate their lives to making ours somewhat lighter. I simply find it important to point out what connects us instead of what divides us because I believe that if we all realize how arts belong to our core, professional artists of every kind will also start getting the recognition they deserve.

I claim to be a content writer on arts and you rightly want my expertise proved. So be it then.

I wrote my master’s and PhD dissertations about the arts of Inner Asia and the West of Africa. In the case of Inner Asia, I focused on Tibetan and Mongolian arts, their roots and connections. Because the arts of these countries are heavily influenced by religion, immersing myself in the world of Buddhism was a must. I translated and analyzed Buddhist texts written in Tibetan and Mongolian, thus I had access to materials that had never been seen and read before by non-native scholars. In my academic and other, more journalistic publications I address traditional arts and crafts, how they live on and prosper in contemporary societies, and how craftspeople and fine artists deal with the changes and challenges of our times. I did several field trips in Mongolia to see how artists work, how they see their role in the world, what they aspire for and why they struggle often. During one of my trips, I worked for the Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts in Ulaanbaatar for six months, revising, writing, and translating their catalogue. If you ever visit, the catalogue is still available for you to check. The most beautiful workplace I have ever had!

In the case of West Africa, my main research handled the development of metallurgy among the Mande and Akan people. My readings and writings led me from the 13th-century Mali Kingdom to modern-day Ghana. What connected these regions and eras in my research was gold, its trade, its production and use, which showed me the unique art and artists of West Africa. As a qualified goldsmith, I find the work of the Akan craftspeople fascinating. Likely the craziest part of my research was reading through an English edition of the Quran to find where and in what context it mentions the word gold. Phew. Before you ask why I didn’t use AI for this to make my life easier: it was not available back then. When I needed information, I walked into the library and read, then when I had to write something, I opened a Word document and I started writing without being assisted by anything else but books and articles. In terms of writing I aim to carry on like this but I have to admit that certain tasks can be made easier with the use of AI.

As you might have read it on my About page, I studied goldsmithing and the history of arts after secondary school and I continued working in my workshop for a few more years. This experience provided the base to starting my academic-level research and helped me connect to my interviewees. Most importantly, it helped my interviewees connect to me! This work opened my eyes to the world of craftspeople and artists, and I learnt to appreciate everything made by hand. The expertise, and the bodily intelligence needed for this line of work are so often underestimated or entirely ignored that I made it my mission to tell about it on any platform I can.

Please get in contact if you:

  • are a craftsperson, a fine artist, or a musician wishing to show off your work and skills
  • need a smartly written bio or portfolio
  • represent a museum or an arts organization and you could use my detailed expertise
  • have a project that aims to share the beauty of arts
  • need museum-level descriptions of certain artworks

That is, I would gladly assist your work with content writing if you are involved in the world of arts at any level.

* The photo shows my favourite statue of the Zanabazar Museum. It depicts White Tara made by Ondor Gegeen Zanabazar himself, a 17-18th century artist and spiritual leader of Mongolia whom I could tell you about for hours. I will not do that this time but you can always let me know if you need an article about his work and significance in the development of arts in Mongolia.

A photo from the the Zanabazar Museum of Fine Arts in Ulaanbaatar, which depicts White Tara made by Ondor Gegeen Zanabazar himself, a 17-18th century artist and spiritual leader of Mongolia.

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