7 Places to See Folk Art around the World ...


One of the things I love about travel and the cultural experiences it offers is that there is a multitude of places to see folk art all around the world.

In case you’re wondering what folk art is, it is art that is created by an indigenous people or a region and is representative of their culture.

Much remains anonymous but some folk artists go on to achieve great acclaim, such as Grandma Moses (USA) and Albert Namatjira (Australia).

I’m picking out some places to see folk art around the world but you should be able to find it in most destinations your travels take you.

1. Guangdong Folk Art Museum, China

Guangdong Folk Art Museum, China

It’s hard to encapsulate Chinese folk art because this massive country has such great regional variety.

Recognized as one of the best places to see folk art in China, however, is the Guangdong Folk Art Museum in Guangzhou Province.

It is actually a huge art academy and temple.

Its 19 structures cover a large area and the buildings themselves are their own magnificent display of folk art and decorating techniques.

Visitors can enjoy a dazzling array of pottery, plasterwork, iron engraving and carvings in wood, stone and brick.

2. Anywhere in Oaxaca, Mexico

Anywhere in Oaxaca, Mexico

I think art from Mexico has a very distinct look that tells you immediately it is Mexican, and probably nothing is more so obviously Mexican than Alebrije.

There had been a very long tradition of wood carving crafts in Oaxaca but inspired by the illness-induced dreams of Pedro Linares, the carvers began to run out amazing and fantastical creatures in bright colors and lurid and gaudy combinations.

Today you can find Alebrije on practically every street corner in Oaxaca state and though most are made from wood, some are also fashioned from papier-mȃché.

3. Nawarla Gabarnmang, Australia

Nawarla Gabarnmang, Australia

There are places to see folk art of the Aboriginal people of Australia all over the country.

Most decent sized towns have a gallery or museum of Aboriginal art but much of it is modern and is created as art rather than coming from an ancient cultural practice.

The best places to see Aboriginal art are definitely those sites outdoors – the ancient rock art and paintings.

Sites are plentiful all over Australia but if you want to see something totally incredible, it has to be the cave paintings of Nawarla Gabarbmang in the Northern Territories, which are currently recorded as being the oldest examples of this ancient form of expression.

They are an incredible 28,000 years old!

Welsh Love Spoons, Wales
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