In his inaugural lecture on 18 October, Prof Paisley Livingston, Chair Professor and Head of the Department of Philosophy at Lingnan University, outlined a contemporary philosopher’s perspective on the value of art and the nature of art appreciation.
His main focus was on the important role played by complex background knowledge in the appreciation of artistic artefacts. Prof Livingston challenged a common belief that there is no such thing as a specifically artistic kind of value, identifying a number of distinct kinds of artistic value that people can appreciate if they are given the right sorts of background information and orientation. He also underscored the place of skill or artistry amongst the various sorts of value that works of art can have.
Prof Livingston illustrated and explained his points by referring to a wide range of examples from the visual arts of Renaissance, Chinese, early 20th-century and contemporary works. His perspective on artistic value has implications for art education and for the sustaining of a viable artistic culture in Hong Kong and elsewhere.
For those who missed Prof Livingston’s inaugural lecture, please review here: http://libmedia.ln.edu.hk/media7/www/lib/2011/sem_art.html.