Normally, it might take years to even take a look all the different styles of art that have ever existed in the world. Unless animator and filmmaker Cao Shu is around to help. Then, it only takes a minute.
Shu’s video One Minute Art History (above) is exactly what the title says – it’s a one-minute video that shows the evolution of art and artistic styles over the years. Remarkably, the video is made of hundreds of hand-painted paintings, each in a different style, but essentially depicting the same subject, in a way that the animated sequence adds up to a little story of its own.
According to Shu, “Art history is a long tale which tells us what happened in the past, but cannot tell us where new opportunities lie. The specific image of each genius exhausted with their life, is just a fleeting image in the film. The entire film is about waiting. Waiting is absurd, like art, a kind of eternal behaviour with no purpose, no ending.”
Sure, but this video is also a way to marvel at the multiplicity of art styles, and at Shu’s determination to bring it all together.