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ERIC Number: EJ897392
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010-May
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 39
ISSN: ISSN-0004-3125
Why Does the Buddha Laugh? Exploring Ethnic Visual Culture
Shin, Ryan
Art Education, v63 n3 p33-39 May 2010
As an art educator and a native Korean immersed in Asian culture until 30 years of age, and one who has gained some insights into the two cultures of East Asia and America, the author is constantly thinking of what students will learn from embracing Asian visuals and objects in art curriculum. He asks if their history, identity, form and function, and cultural significance are worthy of study in the art classroom. For example, how might the study of Asian ethnic visual culture lead students and educators to a fuller understanding and appreciation of other peoples and cultures. In this article, the author explores these questions, providing a distinctive example, the "Laughing Buddha," which has been popularly displayed in many Asian restaurants and markets in the United States. He proposes that art educators study these ethnic objects to unveil the values associated with them, inviting students to explore them as examples of ethnic visual cultures that can be easily neglected or overlooked, acknowledging how mundane, everyday objects are worthy of study in art education. At the end, he will also share some curricular activities and suggestions to embrace ethnic visual cultures. (Contains 4 figures and 1 endnote.)
National Art Education Association. 1916 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191. Tel: 703-860-8000; Fax: 703-860-2960; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: Teachers
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A