Taylor's FSLM Journals
From ‘Artistic Ape’ to Tourist: How the Evolution of Art Mirrors that of Tourism

@ Asia-Pacific Journal of Innovation in Hospitality and Tourism

Online ISSN: 2710-6519

Keith Kay Hin TAN 


This paper examines the connection between art and tourism by showing how both disciplines have been subject to a similar evolution over nevertheless dissimilar periods of history. It focuses on the work of artist-researcher Desmond Morris whose works have been celebrated as explaining the effects of evolution on human behaviour. Focusing on the production of art as an essential aspect of the human condition, Morris’ latest work re-connects his studies on zoology and evolution to his own origins as an artist by suggesting that historical art was strongly influenced by society, whereas modern art more strongly influences it instead. By explaining the parallel argument about tourism creating its own authenticity and how the motivations and desires of tourists and artists are often similar, this paper shows that the production and appreciation of art blurs the boundaries between tangible and intangible heritage, concluding that rather than a purely service-driven industry, tourism is in fact a creative medium in its own right which will benefit from a greater level of cross-disciplinary education, collaboration and research than is currently the norm. 

Keywords: Artistic evolution, authenticity, identity, art and tourism, cultural producer, curating experiences