Archive for the ‘Pop Culture’ Category


Can you really put a price on culture?

September 2, 2010

I love looking at beautiful things, particularly designer stationery and paintings done with great skills and attention to details. Studying design, I appreciate that the process of producing a beautiful piece of work is never easy. I don’t claim to be an art critic but sometimes, I think art is simply overrated.

In April 2009, the painting by Paul Cezanne titled Bords de la Marne, sold for $16 million. Not $1.6 million. SIXTEEN MILLION. That is a huge sum of money. I find it utterly ridiculous that the Art Gallery of NSW would pay that much for a piece of painting on canvas.

This painting by Jackson Pollock, titled no.5, 1948, is another example of a painting with an exaggerated price tag. It was sold to a Hollywood mogul – David Geffen – in November 2006 for a hefty $140 million – making it the most expensive painting ever sold. Some art critics and art investors may argue that the price is justified, in that it is an investment on a medium that has made a significant impact in its time in the art industry. Jackson Pollock introduced the ‘Dripping technique’ where he ‘paints’ without touching the canvas. His technique involves dripping and splashing paint freely onto the canvas. His action painting technique is still the talk of the art industry worldwide to this day.

There is no doubt that both Cezanne and Pollock have unique skills that are hard to find these days, and it is a piece of culture that should be preserved, but I think in this current economic times, that money would have been better spent on art education programs and nurturing upcoming talents. Perhaps, with better support for young artists, there could be plenty more like them, and art need not cost a fortune.

References :

March 16, 2009


Sporting Culture

August 4, 2010

World Cup 2010 is the biggest sporting spectacle this year. Even those in Australia who don’t follow soccer (football) passionately supported the Socceroos in their quest for World Cup glory.

How much is sport worth to you?
As described in Sydney Morning Herald Article, in Somalia, watching the World Cup is illegal and as reported “Two Somali football fans have been killed by Islamic militants after being caught watching World Cup matches“. Sheik Mohamed Abdi Aros describes this sporting event as “a waste of money and time and they will not benefit anything or get any experience by watching mad men jumping up and down“. It’s tragic to hear about the deaths, there is a definite breakdown in ideals for those who follow the culture of sport and those who view it as a worthless pursuit to engage in.

In NSW supporters dressed in their club colours religiously attend rugby league games cheering on their team weekly and according to NRL Figures over 85,000 attended last year’s grand final between Melbourne and Paramatta.

It’s hard to describe what drives the sporting culture? Marcia Henin describes the main reason for watching sport is “people like to watch competitions is because they tend to identify themselves with the winners“. I think it’s hard to fathom that the interest is simply people projecting their sporting heroes wins upon themselves.

I believe some grew up with the parents supporting a team and the kids following suit. For others it’s the thrill of the competition where every split second decision can result in a win or loss. I feel it’s more of an escapism in something bigger, the sense of belonging and following a particular team and sharing the euphoria of a win (or the sadness of a loss).


Football fans executed for watching World Cup
June 15, 2010

Storms vs Eels Grand Final 2009
October 4, 2009

Why do we like to watch sport competitions?
by Marcia Henin


Pop Culture – What is it?

July 30, 2010

There are various types of culture, however, this post will focus on Pop Culture (or Popular Culture) which represents the current mainstream culture that often reference arts, media and entertainment. One of the biggest pop culture events is Supanova which is a yearly convention that occurs in the state capitals of Australia.

In April 2010, the Sydney Morning Herald posted an article about Supanova stating it was an “invasion of the pop-culture creatures, strange beings who will converse in a shorthand geekspeak, don weird attire and beam themselves into a landscape usually inhabited by bulls, sheep and chooks.”

This fan made video showcases of various attendees with references to internet phenomenons like the “O Rly Owl”, video game characters from Final Fantasy and horror movie cosplayers dressed up as Aliens.

This yearly convention showcases a more “geeky” culture and allows its participants to interact and collect autographs from their favourite stars such as Alex Meraz who played a werewolf in Twilight – Eclipse or Summer Glau from Terminator.

For people new to the scene, it may be slightly daunting to see people dressed as pop culture characters, but I feel that this is a great showcase of interests from various genres such as popular movies, to TV shows and video games. Although “pop culture” isn’t perceived with the some distinction such as ballet, it still represents its own micro-cosmos of culture and if its participants are having fun and enjoying it, isn’t that the most important thing?

References :
Supanova gives geeks their moment in the sun
by GREG BURCHALL – April 16, 2010

Supanova Website :

O RLY? – Wikipedia Entry: