Ways of Seeing: Asian art in 21st century education

Alison Carroll

Research Fellow, Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne

In the Asian Century, knowledge of Asian art should be at a premium globally. Sadly this isn't the case - due to long-held Eurocentric power positions, the hold of Western pedagogical principles over what is viewed as 'education', the sheer diversity and indeed complexity of Asian cultures, and the weight of the known daily world in front of us all. Despite this, visual art can be in the vanguard of Asia-knowledge: access to visual imagery is universal, no words or different languages are needed. Even music requires more background knowledge for accessibility. The paper puts forward a different way to use this advantage of the visual arts, particularly for Asian art but also for that of most non-Western cultures including Indigenous Australia, and explores, in education, different ways of seeing that expand our access to understanding other cultures more broadly.