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More than Just Mummies and Pyramids – Egypt’s Modern Art

  • Posted on: May 28, 2019
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More than Just Mummies and Pyramids
More than Just Mummies and Pyramids

Whenever the word Egypt is mentioned, arguably the first things that pop up almost all the time in the minds of people are the pyramids and mummies. So what’s all the fuss about dead bodies and huge fused rocks? Well, fascinatingly these mummies and pyramids are more than what meets the eye — once categorized as one of the Seven Wonders of the World, the pyramids hold a vibrant and ancient history to which modern civilization, math, ethics, science, and art begot.

The pyramids are one of the world’s oldest and historical landmarks located in the heart of Egypt. It is a breathtaking phenomenon that displays the remnants of the ancient civilization that dates back to 3000 BC. Archaeologists have noted that there are about more than 100 pyramids located in Egypt during their civilization and they were purposed for catering the dead of the royalties, like a tomb. Like the pharaohs and kings of Egypt. They did it in such a fashion, where they drained the water and preserved the body of their monarch, hence mummifying their royals. However, in the more recent history leading to modern civilization, Egypt as a nation has given into foreign occupation and was subjugated by foreign exploitation.  

At the rise of the twentieth century, Egyptian modernization became of prominence in the country, which rallied young natives to patriotic enthusiasts who congregated and extended their push into modernization, by venturing into modern art. A radical yet profound confrontation that expressed their liberty in foreign oppression and more significantly proclaimed their national identity. This came about as a result of progress initiated by the contemporaneous intellectuals among whom are writers, poets, and artists, both male and female. The trend of figurative art was accepted and implemented as an educational artform in schools and the product of which gave rise to trending developments and cutting-edge photography, local film industry, and publications.

More than Just Mummies and Pyramids
More than Just Mummies and Pyramids

The first group of modern oriented and influenced Egyptian artists fuelled their passion for contemporary arts with their unsevered ties and anchored on their ancient pharaonic art, which for them had demonstrated a national patrimony. Such an influence of art that is distinctively separated from African, Arab, or religious cultural foundations. As seen in their architectural displays and sculptures, it was an influence triggered by the reanimation of the classical Egyptian art that employs modern techniques to propel it into new heights of contemporary art. This is seen in their paintings that depict symbolic references and writing systems such as the hieroglyphics that was derived from ancient rural life. The pioneering graduates from their very own School of Fine Arts had started a cascade of art education that has impacted both Egyptian and Arabian artists.        

The growing trend of modern Egyptian art has indeed come a long way and survived the 1952 revolution, which saw artist losing government support. Today the preservation of arts and crafts tradition is enhanced and highly promoted, especially in designing cultures. The modern art of Egypt is progressively taking shape and globalized, so much so that it’s initial identity of pyramids and mummies are gradually shadowed. If anything, it shows that Egypt is more than just mummies and pyramids.