Art is a tool to be shared and spread all over places. Regardless of races and communities, art contains many forms in it. Either in performances or literature, art has its own role to influence people’s mind. From overview to something conceivable discussion, art shows how it was built, formed and its thoughts from the other perspectives. It could be a tremendous social scientific discussion. Thus, it is a crucial matter to link arts with the government in terms of mutual benefits. Mutual benefits would be in few aspects such as cultural preservation, and exposure of counter culture arts for instance.

The former chief of England Arts Council, Sir Peter Bazalgette (2014) had questioned what if a society civilization without influence by arts? Arguing more, the society itself need to pull out pleasure things in their life. According to his article written in The Guardian, dated back in 2014 he told;

“Take the collective memory from our museums; remove the bands from our schools and choirs from our communities; lose the empathetic plays and dance from our theatres or the books from our libraries; expunge our festivals, literature and painting, and you are left with a society bereft of a national conversation … about its identity or anything else.” (Peter Bazalgette, 2014)

Based on the above statement by Sir Peter Bazalgette, it shows how arts much indeed playing a vital role to build a civilize society. It shapes the way of thinking of every person. A performance or an artwork, would inflicted an excitement for everyone; a theatrical play famously known for its tragedy, a painting or sculpture known for its visual philosophical, a music known for its vibrant melody and beautiful lyrical writing. All these elements of arts are able to comprehend people with an overview imagination. Thus, every form of arts is actually an ample platform to develop thinking skills.

The Form and Content of Arts

There are plenty of roles in society which can be go through arts. The two elements which involving in shaping of people’s mind are form and content.

“In art and art criticism, form and content are considered distinct aspects of a work of art. The term form refers to the work’s style, techniques and media used, and how the elements of design are implemented. Content, on the other hand, refers to a work’s essence, or what is being depicted.” (Wikipedia, 2017)

These two elements distinguish the main elements of arts. In the context of form, it describes the technical elements on how you transmitted your idea into an artwork. For example, in theatrical play there are few techniques of acting can be used to elaborate the movement of a character such as Stanislavsky or Meyerhold for instance. Other than that, how is the technique to create the riffs of a guitar in other to align with the selected genre. That is the example of question a form of art which can be applied into an artwork. However, the content of an art is a bounded of philosophical discussion. It has a possession to discuss the idea of an essence of artwork. Much likely bestow the discussion to find the ample answers, though the answers would be subjective. It would be a criticism, technical discussion or beyond beautification of an artwork. The world has seen great art philosophers and thinkers from the epochs of ancient Greek until the era of contemporary. Few notable figures we may perceived such as Plato, Aristotle, Shakespeare, Chekhov, Ibsen, Comte, Camus and few others to named. Thus, those philosophers have created vibrant of ideas for society to have the ethics of questioning of social behavior and later then implied few formulas of ideas in other to build a better society. That is how idealism works and intend to. It takes place through the arts and therefore has its own ability for people to think with dissemination of ideas through a lot of discussion. As a result, the world with the infallible system can be reform for the sake of better community. Leaning on the arts and cultural as a catalyst to develop people’s mind is the most efficient way to intrigue people to be more intellectual and being competence. Other way around, it catalyst people to have high appreciation on particular form of arts and cultural although with informal discussion.

“For developing sociability, informal discussion is more effective than formal debate. It arises naturally out of the life of the classroom and has a definite, useful object.” (A.G. Hughes & E.H. Hughes, 1959, P. 276)

In a nutshell based on this statement, a great artiste is the one who successfully achieve an offset of these elements at one time. If these two met at one point, it shows how great the artiste can create a good artwork. The analogy is similar as the economy supply-demand aggregate theory wherein good economy can be in good conditions if these two elements met up both in one-line graph.

Government and Local Artistes Inter ­­­- Relation

As mentioned above, there are mutual benefits can be achieved within the links between the government and the artistes. To construct a better society, government must have a better instrument to develop the society whilst artistes need an ample funding to set up a performance, an exhibition or an occasion. To sort out a problem, government may establish an arts council in every city to supervise the local arts current circumstances. Within the context of supervision, the local arts council must look forward and categorize certain form of arts in a particular classification which happening in the city. The purpose of classification is to scrutinize its potential for the city and to promote the cultural and arts as a part of eco-tourism planning. Based on the report made by England Arts Council in 2014 entitled The Value of Arts and Culture to People and Society, it says:

“The Global Perception of Britain as a key tourist destination and the high status of its cultural offering are evidenced through the Nation Brands Index (NBI) which is featured in Visit Britain’s report: ‘Overall in terms of culture, the UK is perceived to be the fourth best nation out of 50. This is as a result of Britain being seen as the fourth best nation in terms of having an exciting contemporary culture (e.g. music, films, art and literature), seventh as a nation with a rich cultural heritage, and eighth as a nation excelling at sports.” (England Arts Council, 2014, P.19)

This evidenced how the arts can be taken as a national prospect to be promoted. A cross discipline collaboration between tourism board and local arts council have to be achieve an engulfment of agreement as if to intrigue tourists and investors to come over, in other to haul up the national economy. There will be a potential marketing to see art and cultural as part of the national identity in terms of tourism. On the other hand, national identity through arts and cultural could be seen as a major industry to promoting the national identity throughout the world. In England precisely, has seen the birth place of subculture such as punk rock for instance. Yet, society around the globe seeing England has its own national identity within its music subculture. As an exposure, there was a television program entitled Top of The Pops appeared on British Broadcasting Council (BBC) and it was an ideal initiative to impart of local musician with their new type of music genre. Through the national broadcast and mainstream media, it much easier for the local talent to impart their own masterpiece. Besides, throughout the broadcasting, it helps for the arts industry to growth widely and indirectly, it gives good choices for society as in exposure. With vibrant genre of masterpiece, that is how an idealism takes place in every people’s mind and prior to that, it would have inflicted a great debate between an individual to one another. Throughout this case, it brings an appreciation towards arts and culture indirectly. Overall, the subsidize of government is not only in form of financial assistance but instead of it could be a permission to broadcast anything related to counter-culture throughout the practices of media freedom.

Preservation of Arts and Cultural by Government and Local Artistes

On the other hand, cultural preservation by the government is really a crucial thing to do. It is worth it as every community has its own traditional cultural. In Malay Archipelago they were traditional performing arts such as Wayang Kulit, Bangsawan and Mak Yong; Greeks famously known with classical texts; the English known with Shakespeare’s theatrical play. Therefore, it tells the civilization history of every ethnics. By government’s heritage preservation through local arts council, it is really important to preserve it as it is part of responsibility to keep history of an ethnic keeps on roaring to the next generation. In Malaysia, its citizen is living in multicultural society. However, in 1971 the Malaysian government has set up National Cultural Policy (NCP) in order to form a unity among all races in the nation after 13th May 1969 tragedy break out. Despite the unity plan policy, it was intending to promote an idealism as a part of national identity. The policy was steered by National Cultural Congress held in 1971 which have outlined few resolutions;

  1. A necessity for national culture based on Malay traditional culture.
  2. Other elements of culture by different ethnics are convenient to be accepted as a part of national culture.
  3. Islam as a religion and a component in order to fit in the national culture.

(Mohd Anis Mohd Nor, 2008, P.92)

Art appreciation by society is a vital matter. If the society have a highly appreciation into arts and cultural, therefore it would have a potential to become a major industry for national economic growth. According to England Arts Council’s evidence review written in 2014, arts industry may offer jobs prospect and developing skills. Based on the evidence review, England Arts Council has cited down Local Government Associations’s (LGA) case studies on ‘How Local Investment in Arts and Culture Impacts on Local Economies and Economic Growth’ wherein it has a potential for arts to booming national and local economies. The other context from tourism is that, it happens to be optimizing obsolete places for arts entrepreneurship as well (England Arts Council, 2014). Subsidizing of government’s fund to every local arts council may pursue the stability cycle of economic growth as well. However, a consultation for entrepreneurship by government’s link organization such as Small Medium Enterprise (SME) may be a necessity for entrepreneurs as a guidance to sustain their business. Through the subsidization, art entrepreneurs may consider to reducing ticket fees as an initiative to invite more people to come over to watch performances, exhibitions and programs. Hence, any art collectives which has the counter culture, classical or traditional art form, it is a good plan to intrigue crowds, precisely as an exposure. As for subsidizing the traditional performances, it is a long term preservation for ethnic historical as if to keep it alive for the next generation. Making art as a part of national economy planning has to account the social demand in order to maintain the fluctuated financial growth. For example, Wayang Kulit famously in Kelantan, Java Island and Southern Thailand. However, the extinction starts to occur in Kelantan as there are no new acquisition though these three places occupied by Malay community. According to Alan Teh Leam Seng in the New Straits Times Press;

“Today, wayang kulit performances have all but faded into Malaysian history. As our world continues to progress, the fickle demands of society continue to change. People are naturally attracted to new things that more exciting and can provide that instantaneous gratification. Like many things in the past, the creative To‘Dalang and his musically talented troupe have lost out in the fight to captivate the minds and imagination of their once loyal audiences.” (2017)

Hence, it depends on the social demand. As society is getting into industrial revolution 4.0, form of arts has to be evolved into new technology. Nowadays, people tend to use online applications as a medium to access informations and data. To streaming music playlist, the business has evolved from physical format to online applications such as spotify and bandcamp. As a conlusion, making arts as a major industry in the country, it does not mean the subsidization must be based on financial funding, in fact it could be with consultation too by the government as to retain a preservation of local cultural and enhance an exposure of the new form of arts.



Bazalgette, P. (2014). We Have to Recognise The Huge Value of Arts and Culture to society. The Guardian, [online]. Available  at: [Accessed 21 June 2018].

Hughes, A.G. and Hughes, E.H. (1959). Learning and Teaching: An Introduction to Psychology and Education. London: Longmans, Green and Co Ltd, p. 276.

Mohd Anis Md Nor. (2008). Eschewing National Culture Policy: Realizing Multicultural Trajectories for Malaysia Arts. Tirai Panggung, 8 (1), p. 92.

n.n (2014). The Value of Arts and Culture: An Evidence Review. 1st Edition. [PDF] England: England Arts Council, 19. Available at:  [Accessed 21 June 2018].

Teh Leam Seng, A. (2017). Fading into Obscurity. New Straits Times, [online]. Available at: [Accessed 21 June 2018].

Wikipedia, (2017). Form and Content. [online] Available at: [Accessed 21 June 2018].


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