What is Art and what Art Trends will continue into 2021

Raymond Ng
6 min readSep 23, 2020

We are in a time where we can also find art and design in everything we do or use; from buildings to an everyday outfit. Subconsciously, art plays a small but important role in our daily life.

With the rising awareness in the appreciation of arts, people start to put more emphasis on the inclusion of art into businesses. As a result, many job opportunities that never exits in the past have been created for arts and design students alike.

But what is Art?

There are countless arts schools around the world with a different school of thoughts, emphasizing on different forms of arts. But ultimately, art is basically how we share our experiences with the world.

Art is the range of activities people do to express their thoughts, ideas, and emotions. It is a way to portrait the concepts that can’t be expressed by words, that aim to create powerful emotional connections between several cultures with different values. We can define art into four words: imagination, emotion, beauty, and performing artefacts.

History of Art

The history of art is as old as the history of humans on Earth is. Art developed when prehistoric people started drawing on the cave walls for different reasons.

It started to evolve in the stone age when our ancestors learned how to make different objects like arrows and bowls out of stone.

The development continues during the metal age when humans came up with creating objects out of metal. Essentially, art was born from the artefacts that prehistoric humans left behind.

Evidence shows that in the first period of recording history, art appeared through the first official writing language, the Cuneiform Script. People in the civilizations of Mesopotamia developed the Cuneiform language based on Pictographs where clay tablets are used to record alphabets.

Then, people in Egypt developed their special writing language named Hieroglyphics written on papyrus papers. The civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia also created their enormous art with bold artworks such as Ziggurats and the Great Pyramids.

Romans and Greeks created another aspect of art when they started drawing human models while other artists used nature subjects as their art model.

The start of modern art was with the Art of Antiquity published by Winckelmann in 1764. Modern art slowly began to gain traction in the late 18th century and rose in popularity in the late 19th century.

From then until now, art continues to evolve by the day and found new meanings every now and then. In the 21st century, art is not just limited to drawings and sculptures. Everything from photography to an electronic product can have art infused into it.

So what art trends do we foresee to continue making waves into 2021?

Art Trends in 2021

Street Art
Street art has been a popular form of art since the 1990s. Its popularity has not dropped and looks set to continue into 2021.

Over the past decade, we are seeing the rise of prominent street artists like Banksy and Keith Haring. Street art gives these artists the freedom to express themselves in the form of art to the public where they are — on the streets.

The big canvas of the walls and road on the streets made available to the artists provides the best platform for them to market themselves, gaining them a sizeable following with many having corporate sponsors as a result.

Wellness Art
Something that traditionally wouldn’t be considered as an art, wellness art has slowly gained both recognition and importance among a niche group of believers.

With the improved access to both education and wealth, people in developed countries are beginning to realize the importance of their mental wellness and care about this topic more as one age.

New researches have shown that art is able to affect a person’s long-term happiness and the connection between a wellness cure and creativity is strong. This can also be explained by the surge in demand for an adult colouring book and adult summer camps to find that long lost “child” in one.

The latest trend is creating a calming and peaceful environment with things like a tabletop statue or sculpture. These artefacts have been said to make its owner feel happy anytime he or she sees them.

Maximalism Art
A term or some said a movement, that grew quickly again in 2019/20 — Maximalism Art. As if a response to minimalism, maximalism is the aesthetic of excess in art.

A popular form of art among the art circle, Artists use a complex range of vibrant colours, unexpected pairings, different textures, and designs in their works to utilize the space in the most creative and boldest way possible.

The use of this form of art combines different colours and patterns in such a rebel and powerful way that it could also potentially make people uncomfortable.

Nature Art
Using nature in art, also known as nature-inspired art, has always been popular due to its approach in using neutral things that are familiar with people. It could involve different elements of nature such as leaves, woods, and water, to create a piece of artwork.

The result uses the artwork to tell a story about the human relationship to nature. Since nature-inspired art is the way humans created art thousands of years ago, like when prehistoric people in the stone age made marks on cave walls using mineral pigments like metal oxides, it is an art in its purest form and has the strong ability to connect one to mother nature.

In order to seek the meaning behind this kind of art, may requires one to take a step back and smell the roses, sometimes literally.

Pop Art
Though the pop art movement emerged in the 1950s, it is still popular today in 2020.

It is normally presented in the form of anything that is popular (hence the name) like comic strips, soup cans, movie characters, etc., to deliver a message to its audience.

The usually loud and bright tonality brings along with it a trend of a specific generation that should resonate with the audience that it is targeting at.

Pop art is essentially an art that crosses generations with different and evolves as the generation grows.

Modern Art
Modern art is developed during the industrial revolution in the mid-18th century and the early 19th century. It was the time when new forms of transportation such as railroads and steam engines are produced.

Like a hybrid between pop art and abstract art (to be touched on below), modern art moves with time and refers to late 19th and early-to-mid 20th-century art.

Before the 19th century, artists used wealthy models like churches to create religious or mythological artworks. During the 19th century, many artists started creating their artworks based on their personal experiences and thoughts, where it is later known as “Modern Art”.

Today, artists like to use modern art to express their personal emotions and experiences.

Abstract Art
Abstract art, also known as the nonrepresentational art, was developed about a century before. Some argue that abstraction developed with the paintings on cave walls about thousands of years ago during the cavemen era though, and they are not too wrong either since its evolution always circles around form, colour, line, texture, pattern, composition, and process.

In short, it doesn’t describe anything at all. It is not a place, not a person, not a thing. Abstract art is not representational art and it can be based on a subject or have no source at all.

The art industry is an ever-changing industry filled with vision, beauty, and purpose in its highest form. It is in constant change and evolution and we see better creation as we progress.



Raymond Ng

A Damage Prevention Specialist for the past 15 years