NOTE: Featured image was taken at the Louis Vuitton Foundation. It’s titled New by Xu Zhen.
A wee while back, my little sister and I went to visit the Louis Vuitton Art Foundation in Paris. The exhibit at the time was centred around modern art in China. I wasn’t so pumped, I didn’t think it would be modern enough. In my head, I could see wooden screens, tapestries and traditional Chinese outfits. I love modern art, not a big fan of traditional art. Not really my thing. I did a little nose wrinkle, but we were here, so it had to be done.
An hour later, I had my mind blown.
I was ashamed that I had underestimated modern art in China.
Cut forward to this week. I caught up with a woman who was telling me about fashion retail in Australia. She brashly said to me, “You can’t sell off one of those kaftan things like it’s made in Australia. Because it’s not. I know what comes from India and what it looks like, the quality is simply not as good.”
And I said to her, “But have you not seen what fashion designers in India are making? The embroidery, the fabric?”. I was thinking Anamika Khanna, Sabyasachi, Anupama Dayaal. Péro. Etc. Etc. The land of handloom. Hellllooooooo.
She brushed away the topic and we swiftly moved on.
But somewhere deep down. Something had stuck. First I thought it was racism. But this woman had been to India several times and loved it. To be honest, you can’t really go to India several times and have a thing against Indians, because they’re just a little bit in your face when you get to India.
Then. It dawned on me.
What she thought was knowledge.
It’s the same with me and the modern art.
I had made an assumption in my ignorance.
We don’t know when we’re doing it, but it closes us off to exploring, learning and delighting in. More.
Don’t take someone’s ignorance for knowledge.
And don’t pose yours off for the same.