Hybrid Culture



Theart works of Dali Higa have always had some kind of attachment thatclearly connects to my background. Born and raised in US, I canclearly connect with the paintings of Dali Higa. The paintings fullof color and descriptive picture clearly portrays a strong connectionbetween human and nature. It is as if the pictures can describe thehappenings in my backyard. I came across this painting in theCalifornia Museum of Fine Art a fortnight ago and developed interestin it. The picture portrays two ladies who are involved in somemanual work or labor. They must be in a farm doing some harvesting asshown by the basket in the background.

From,the work of Dali Higa, there is a component that distinguishes herfrom other artists and this is color. The picture is saturated withdifferent colors including red, bright blue, yellow, and greens. Thecontrast that the picture creates is eye catching. The colors entaillots of meaning and give more detail about the picture hence unifyingand intensifying the work as a whole (Russell &amp Milne, 1997). Thework is successfully portrayed as hybrid as it tends to borrow fromdifferent culture at least looking at the activities that the womenare undertaking as well as their clothing.


Fromthe picture, there are two ladies who are bending. In the bendingposition, they are planting some items from the surface. These seemto be women who are planting. Looking at the ground or surface, itappears to reflect their images. This means that the surface is watersurface. Then this leads to the question that what could the ladiesbe planting in water? Definitely the ladies must be planting rice.The lady on the extreme right appears to carry some bundles of cropsor plants in her hand. This is the rice that she is planting.Additionally, there is some kind of basket or tin that appears tofloat in water surface owing to its slanting position on watersurface.

Thepicture of the two women is a denotation of life in this area.Usually, women are known to be bearers of life, indeed bearers ofcolor. The women in this painting are iconic imagery of the localrural based women as depicted by their mode of dressing and theexotic beauty that they tend to show at least from the paintings(Russell &amp Milne, 1997). The women in this picture aretraditionally bearers of motherhood responsibility as indicated inthe picture. They are working hard to enable them fend for theirfamilies. They involve themselves in hard jobs in the fields and thisis part of their household duties. The strength of these women can besaid to almost be incredible as their beauty.

Apartfrom the women in the picture, the rest part of the picture isdominated by nature as shown by the surface and the background. Thisis an emphasis and an indication that indeed nature is a significantpart of the daily life of human beings. Nature usually has impacts onthe daily lives of families and Dali Higa truly knows this.

Lookingat this painting, there seems to be quiet yet happy connotation withlittle or no disturbance to the individuals. The women seem to goabout their duties unperturbed thus a little bit more upbeat than howthe reality paints the world. The technique that Dali Higa appears toportray in this picture is one of naivety (Russell &amp Milne,1997). The painting depicts how naively the women view theirsurroundings. This is further reinforced by the use of blue andyellow bright colors that is indicative of positive outlook, oftentreated as too positive (Csikszentmihalyi, 1990). This is other wordscan be described as fantasy of reality, and should be a hope of whatcould be. Thus, although there could be challenges that a countryfaces like war and poverty, such a rich painting makes us forget whatcould be the reality and at least smile and appreciate life(Csikszentmihalyi,1990). The tin that appears on the surface is empty and thistranslates to the hard work that the women have put in and arecompleting their work.

Thereis a sense of heavy clothing by women as portrayed by the type ofclothes that they are putting on. This could allude that it is coldor rainy season hence affirm the idea that it is planting season andthat the labor work in which they are involved in is planting. Theyare wrapped in heavy clothing so as to keep warm during the cold andwet season that characterizes the planting season.

Thebowl or tin next to women is empty and it would affirm that they havealready sowed all the seeds that they have except for what is carriedby the women in the right side. They have sowed the seeds and theywill be waiting for the reaping period. The emptiness of the bowl ortin is also indicative of the trust in which the women have on theirlabor work and ultimately belives that they will have yield at theend of the season.


CaliforniaMuseum Fine of Art Homepage. Retrieved fromhttp://www.californiamuseumoffineart.com/#!dalihiga/c4kton 4th May, 2015.

Csikszentmihalyi,M. (1990). The art of seeing: An interpretation of the aestheticencounter. Getty Publications.

Russell,P. A., &amp Milne, S. (1997). Meaningfulness and hedonic value ofpaintings: Effects of titles. Empirical Studies of the Arts, 15(1),61-73.

Hybrid Culture


Institution Affiliation:

Hybrid culture


Nameof artwork: Sitting Bull

Nameof artist: Andy Warhol

Genreof art: History

Yearand place the artwork was created: 1986

Datethat you viewing: 1/5/2015

Exactlocation of the artwork: Saint Mary’s College Museum

Exactsize and scale of work: 36 X 36 Inches

Briefdescription of the artwork: This painting is a part of theCowboys and Indian series. It was painted in 1986. The artwork is ofan elderly Indian man based on an archival photograph of the SiouxChief (artnet.com). He is clad in traditional Indian cultural regaliaand carrying a traditional stick. He is wearing a red cloth and atall cap over his head. His woven pony-hair rests over his chest.


The painting was created on a screen print. It was part of a seriesof paintings created by Warhol, known as Cowboys and Indians. Thepainting was created using unique combinations of color, whichreflect the colorful Native Indian culture. It has a pale background,with heavy red used for the clothing. Additionally, there are popshades on the face of the Indian, his feather and traditional pipe.The artist used these color combinations to attract the viewer’smind to the colorful Indian Culture.

Warhol has been described to be an artist who liked Native Americanpolitics and culture (Killen, 2007). As such, most of his paintingsare have series of political and cultural themes. There is a clearcutting between the textures of color throughout the painting, withnone fading into the other. Quite unusually, Warhol uses light blueto construct the Indian man’s skin. This is perhaps due to thecultural paintings that the traditional Indians used to use on theirskin, or as an expression of texture to differentiate the person fromother elements in the painting. In this particular painting, heglamourizes with hand-painted decorations, which are his ownmechanical styles for expressing his political and cultural feelingsthrough artwork. This particular type of art is a product of a stylethat draws on traditional stories. The artist has used bold andmodern contrasting colors, combined with bold lines of various colorsto produce a clear outline of the various elements in the piece. Thisis a style that was contemporary in the last half of the 20thcentury (Ashby &amp Johnson, 2003). During this type, regardless ofthe fact that neither of the artists acknowledged each other, theiruse of color and line was a strong unifying feature.


This painting seeks to expose the viewer’s perception of theIndians in America. The artist’s point was not exactly to documentthe reality of the Indians in the American West, rather wasinterested more in presenting the idea of how the Indians perceivedthe West. This art piece compels the viewer to question the notion ofheroes and heroines in the American West. Additionally, it wascreated with the intention of giving voice to the Native Indians, whowere considered to be voiceless once the European occupation of WestAmerica hit its peak. However, there is still the challenge ofunderstanding whether the artists attempted to glorify the Indiansand demonize civilization, which was synonymous with the occupationof the traditional Indian lands. Additionally, it is not clearlyunderstood if the artist had a deep understanding of the NativeAmerican issues. This is because the culture and uncertaintiessurrounding civilizational and colonization of the Native Indianshave not been well explored by other artists.

The painting cannot comprehensively be used to challenge theaudience’ understanding of the unfair times that the Native Indianswent through in the hands of the occupiers. For instance, manyartists have spoken about the failure of the British colonialists tokeep the promises they made to the occupants of the new America thatthey had recently occupied. This was through a violation of a numberof treaties and agreements that they had made with the natives whenthey were occupying their land. As such, it cannot be comfortablystated whether the artist was challenging or exposing the actions ofthe British settlers and colonialists in America. However, theartists successfully created a piece that gives the viewer anaccurate representation of the Indian culture and tradition. Giventhe series of layered comprehension of the Native American history,and its relations to the modern world, the artist exhibits a clearunderstanding of the traditional issues of Native America.

Given an evaluation of the artist’s intentions, it can be assumedthat he was successful. The painting strikes the viewer with a strongtraditional and cultural theme by excluding irrelevant details. Forinstance, Warhol decided not to include anything in the background,thus, drawing all the attention to the sitting bull, the main featureof the painting. At the same time, the sharp contrasting colorssuccessfully boost every element’s presence, meaning that theviewer can relate to all the components without losing focus of theentire image.


Artnet.com. (2015). Andy Warhol. Retrieved 5 May 2015 from:https://www.artnet.com/auctions/artists/andy-warhol/sitting-bull-authenticated-by-warhol-foundation-13

Ashby, M., &amp Johnson, K.(2003). The art of materials selection.&nbspMaterialstoday,&nbsp6(12),24-35.

Killen, A. (2007).&nbsp1973nervous breakdown: Watergate, Warhol, and the birth of post-sixtiesAmerica. BloomsburyPublishing USA.