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Asian art, mostly related to Japan and China, covers a wide range of art styles and media, including ancient pottery, sculpture in wood and bronze, ink painting on silk and paper, and a myriad of other types of works of art.
Over time Asians have developed the ability to absorb, imitate, and finally assimilate those elements of foreign culture that complemented their aesthetic preferences. The earliest complex art in Japan was produced in the 7th and 8th centuries AD in connection with Buddhism. In the 9th century, as the Japanese began to turn away from China and develop indigenous forms of expression, the secular arts became increasingly important; until the late 15th century, both religious and secular arts flourished.
Painting is the preferred artistic expression in China and Japan, practiced by amateur and professional alike. Until modern times, the Asian wrote with a brush rather than a pen, and their familiarity with brush techniques has made them particularly sensitive to the values and aesthetics of painting. With the rise of popular culture in the Edo period, a style of woodblock prints in Japan, became a major artform and its techniques were fine tuned to produce colorful prints of everything from daily news to schoolbooks. The Asian, in this period, found sculpture a much less sympathetic medium for artistic expression; most Asian sculpture is associated with religion, and the medium's use declined with the lessening importance of traditional Buddhism.
Asian ceramics are among the finest in the world and include the earliest known artifacts of their culture. In architecture, Asian preferences for natural materials and an interaction of interior and exterior space are clearly expressed.
Today, China and Japan rivals most other modern nations in its contributions to modern art, fashion and architecture, with creations of a truly modern, global, and multi-cultural bent.
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