The essence of art is to see the things that everybody does, but show them in a way that nobody else has. Through art, we experience the world from a different perspective.
Every mundane object around us could inspire art just as a jazz musician interprets a popular number. Vermeer’s paintings are an impeccable depiction of the beauty of everyday life. RK Narayan and Anton Chekhov achieved the same end through their words. This world map shows us international shipping routes that crisscross the water, leaves the land in negative space and offers us a refreshing perspective.
Talking about perspective, every culture looks at life from a different vantage point. As Derek Sivers points out, in most parts of our world, streets are named and the blocks are the empty spaces between them. In Japan, the opposite is true – where each block has a number, and the streets are the empty unnamed spaces between them. With traditional Chinese doctors, their patients paid them when they were healthy, and received treatment for free when they were sick. It was their doctor’s job to keep them healthy. India’s exquisite diversity led a British economist to remark – whatever you can rightly say about India, the opposite is also true. At once, India is a land that is rich and poor, kind and cruel, backward and developed, ancient and modern.
Travelling is enriching because of the perspective it can give us. Opening up to these perspectives makes artists out of each one of us.