What Art & Creativity Means To Me

इक शहंशाह ने दौलत का सहारा ले कर
हम ग़रीबों की मोहब्बत का उड़ाया है मज़ाक़

– साहिर लुधियानवी

These lines by Sahir are from his poem ताज-महल. Often the Taj Mahal is unanimously considered as the “symbol of love” but this poem offers a different, and somewhat rebellious, perspective about the same monument. This is one form of art and creativity for me.

I started by quoting an Urdu poem because it is one form of art that I consume, with limited comprehension, on a regular basis. I developed a liking for Urdu poetry since it held me while I was falling in a rabbit hole of rejections in love. Urdu and love are similar to me in many ways, I barely comprehend either of them but my admiration for them only grows every day.

I understand art as a way of creative expression. The expression could be of anything from emotions to experiences and beyond. And the methods of expression are endless too. And so are the definitions of art. I feel every definition should begin with ‘Art is also’ and not ‘Art is’, because art can never have a definition that encompasses all of it. 

I would like to borrow Robin Williams’ character’s words from the movie Dead Poets Society when he says,”And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love: these are what we stay alive for.” to express my understanding of art, albeit not very creatively. In a world where computers and machines are better than humans at everything except art and creativity, art is what is the fine line separating humans from machines. And that would also imply that humans without art are nothing but machines. 

Having said that, art is also a form of luxury. It is no wonder that most of the art that we see around us was produced in societies where the resources were affluent, at least for the people who created art. 

Yesterday I came across a TS Elliot quote about art and creativity, “What happens when a new work of art is created is something that happens simultaneously to all the works of art which preceded it.” Creativity, especially in art, is about adding your context and new approach to whatever preceded. Creativity needs the past to stand on but looks at the future standing in the present. 

We must protect art now more than ever as we lunge towards becoming a more materialistic society. We become like people we surround ourselves with. Similarly, there is a threat that when we are surrounded by machines, we might become one. Only art can save us from this endgame. 

There is 1 comment

  1. Mind-blowing fact and loved the concept.
    Truly agree on this and we need to spread the awareness about this.
    Every individual should protect the art before it’s too late.

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