Art is for playing in. Cockatoo Island, NSW, Australia. 2010

Choi Jeong Hwa’s installation at this year’s Biennale brought out the playfulness of most of the children who saw it. The adults stood back and looked at it and the kids just raced around inside of it chasing each other, banging it all about and having fun.

Years ago I remember reading an article about how people’s educational background affects the way they perceive art.  According to some research done in the past, people who have very little education tend to see art galleries as temples and approach them with some reverence and awe, whereas people with a high level of education are much more comfortable in experiencing art.

Watching the children play in amongst the “art”, I found myself thinking about the study and it occurred to me that what the study doesn’t acknowledge is how we are taught to respond to art.

Perhaps in the past the less educated have been made to feel that art was beyond their understanding, whereas today’s kids haven’t been as oppressed by such elitist claptrap and just respond in a freer way.