Excursion Essay

1954 words - 8 pages

The City as a Canvas

Considered as a city with a multicultural environment and a hub of various cuisines, cultural activities and lifestyle, Melbourne seemed tailor-made for me. As an international student participating in the NU in program, the opportunity of studying abroad at Melbourne, a leading international city and center of sports and performing arts, seemed too surreal. Throughout my time in Melbourne, I was captivated with the numerous culturally significant sites in and outside the city, such as the colorful history and rich heritage of the Victorian Parliament and the natural beauty of Australia’s wildlife at Healesville Sanctuary. However, a site that seems to reflect ...view middle of the document...

At the turn of the 21st century, different forms of street art started to appear as street artists began to form strong communities and were motivated to raise awareness about deep-rooted issues in society. Due to Melbourne’s prominent street art scene, famous artists all over the world such as Banksy, Blek le Rat and Invader have contributed to the plethora of street art in Melbourne (Street Art-City of Melbourne). However, a celebrated landmark that has attracted a plethora of artists, cultural connoisseurs and even tourists is a laneway called Hosier Lane. Located on the south side of the city, Hosier Lane is a renowned site due to its sophisticated urban art and the diverse range and quality of the street art displayed. Despite past problems with unsanctioned street art on public property, the Australian government has permitted visual art created on Hosier Lane, as the arts at Hosier Lane represent contemporary Australian culture and many of the arts there symbolizing important issues society faces.
Since my arrival in Melbourne, I had planned numerous trips to visit famous Melbourne landmarks with the intention to experience and immerse myself into the Australian culture. Despite my initial desires to visit Hosier Lane, I was unprepared for the plethora of splendid artwork I would gaze upon at Hosier Lane. On both sides of the alleyway, erratic pieces of artwork were plastered upon the wall with the more captivating artworks dwarfing out the less skillful ones. A selection of different types of artwork accompanied each set of wall and corner. At the beginning of the lane, it was observed that the more dominant artworks were cartoons and representation of fantasy characters. These colorful and vibrant pieces consisted of childhood cartoons characters such as the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Mike Wazowski from Pixar movie Monster Inc. These intriguing pieces of art seem to portray the contemporary Melbourne culture that many of the people living in the city seem to embody.
Aside from the contemporary pieces displayed, I was exposed to two pieces of artwork that I could deeply associate with culturally and religiously. The first piece that I genuinely felt associated with was an artwork that represented Buddha’s head. As I am from Thailand, a country that majorly follows Buddhism, Buddhism not only symbolizes Thailand’s religion but it also epitomizes Thailand’s culture. Buddhism can be considered as a religion that encompasses several traditions, practices and beliefs based on the teaching of the Buddha, with the name meaning “The Enlightened One”. Furthermore, Buddhism entails the practice of renouncing conventional living and following the path of monastic living, which is to practice meditation and develop a placid mind (Buddha’s Eightfold Path). Although the Thai society as a whole may not be religiously devout, we still have deep respect for Buddhism and the Buddha is exceptionally revered. Therefore, it became somewhat...

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