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An Introduction: Ornamental Architecture of India to Symbol

An introduction: Ornamental Architecture of India to Symbol
by
Larasati Handayani

Ornamental architecture has significant effect in changing the
performance of a building.As the way their absence has been aimed, most
of them completely beautify the buildings. Architecture of the great
buildings, from the East to the West, from ancient times until the
early 20th century has demonstrated this aesthetics of ornamental
architecture. In some case, alongside architectural work, they
represent both the honor and the power of an empire.Further their
contribution is acknowledged as the real representation of the advance
of human civilization.


Ornament literally mean decoration, in the same manner as Hamlin
explained that the history of ornament is the record of the origin and
progressive development of decorative design. (Hamlin, p 3) Further
Hamlin define decoration as the adornment of embellishment of an object
by purposed modification of its form or color.( Hamlin, p3). Ornament
can be a symbol due to another purpose is attached accompany with the
decorative design as they has been created. A symbol can be defined as
things which in itself is nothing, it is necessary to recognize the
idea behind everything. However a symbol doesn't always have to be a
sign; it can be a color, a sound,or a word. In term of ornamental
architecture, for example decorative painting and decorative sculpture,
in which decorative purpose is subordinate to the pictorial or
sculptural representation of a fact, event or idea. (Hamlin, p3)
According to Hamlins' view is that in which the decorative purpose
wholly dominates the design. (Hamlin, p3) Otherwise...if there is no
meaning behind it a a result of can be no understanding. (
Hilberseimer, p197) In relation to architectural scope, if we think
about the forms which constitute ornaments, we can characteristic them
and divide them into four distinct groups: symbolic ornament;
structural ornaments ; gained by refinement; and merely decorative
ornaments. (Hilberseimer, p 51)


Indian architecture is an example of great buildings taking account of
this interest.Together with the glory of the buildings, mostly
important factor in every work of Indian architecture that is through
making use of decoration, filling the surface both interior and
exterior of the building.


As a matter of fact, India basically was credited as having "space" for
spiritual pursuit. Hindu has been an ancient religion in which
attracting most of the adherent's attention of the native Indian for
the longest time. The unique culture occurred in the society of the
native Indian during the emerge of Hinduism that is the religion and
tradition has became unity as the way of life. Equally with what Gavin
Flood stated that Hindu is religious tradition (Gavin Flood pp. 1-17).
However Hinduism is a religion that had no single founder, no single
spoken, no single prophet, its origin are mixed and complex. (Dehejia,
p1). Hinduism itself introduced the unique aspects in the teaching of
the faith concept and the worship practice. Hinduism emphasizes the
oneness of God through the universality of the symbol and the allowance
for many creed and different beliefs ( Mauray, p12). In the later
progress, since Turkish emperor conquered Northerm India land in the
10th century, for the next eight centuries, the political and cultural
of Northerm India was determined by Islamic rule (Volwahsen, p5). On
the contrary, in comparison with the Hindu belief,the Islamic belief
introduced the opposite concept in relation to the existence of God. In
the Islamic view, God is one who is Allah, the one, the unique, the
sovereign, the holy, the almighty, the all-knowing, the loving, the
most merciful. all existence is subject to His will and His laws. he is
the center of conscious Muslim worship and aspirations, the focus of
their life. ( Siddiqui, Elizabeth, p1)


Seeing that religious architecture in common is the real example of the
buildings in representing the power of the believe and the empire at
the same time, being a significant example intend to this case that is
Hindu and Islamic Architecture in India.


The use of the term religion associated with architectural work,
indicating that the term has significant aspects influencing
architectural work, including the formal function of the building and
the rule how the building should be built. In most case these aspects
has established the unique characteristic of the building design. The
term Hindu Architecture particularly refers to Hindu temples. The term
is however used not merely to identify the formal function of the
building in which intended to accommodate the adherents in performing
worship, moreover because of the term also including attaching symbolic
idea accompany with the main purpose how the temples were built. On the
contrary when the speaking come to define the term of Islamic
Architecture, there are debate and argument coming up between Muslim
and non Muslim scholar, specifically to determine what is Islamic
Architecture? According to Copplestone, Islamic Architecture can be
defined as architecture style both religion and secular function in
which standing in the foundation of Islamic, influencing the design and
the construction of buildings and structures in Islamic culture.
(Copplestone, p149)The specific function of the buildings in which the
term is attributed that is the mosque, the tomb, the palace, etc.


Either Hindu or Islamic architecture, eventhough both generally seem
displaying the opposite features in applying of the decorative art, in
fact each term has established the unique characteristic applicant of
ornament in architecture. Common features called Islamic art that is
the use of geometrical pattern, Arabic calligraphy, arabesque/ floral
pattern and muqarnas. According to Prise (1 878 ) , he classified
Islamic art into three types: floral, geometrical and calligraphy.
another classification was suggested by Bourgoin ( 1873 ) involving
stalactities / muqarnas, geometrical arabesque and other forms. (
Saoud, Rabah, p 6) Beside those five elements of Islamic art offered
specific characteristic that distinguish them from the other. In
addition those type of decorative art all unify Islamic art among the
large geographical area of Muslim world, with its various cultures and
ethnic at once. However, Hindu art in its different sense presented the
uniqueness in connection with the technical skill and conceptual
appearance of decorative art. Most familiar feature was displayed in
the form of figural sculpture.


With reference to the use of ornamental architecture in Hindu temple,
particularly in the form of figural sculpture, as a matter of fact,
their absence having close relationship with Hindu art, as the former
for the absence of Hindu decorative art. Meanwhile the absence of
Islamic ornamental art first appeared through the building decorative
performance of the Dome of the Rock was completed in 691 by Umayyad
Caliph, Abd Al Malik located in Jerusalem. Decoration almost covered
the whole surface both exterior and interior of the Building

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