The Harn Dan Elkes

Medium of the Art

Pieces in Jade

Looking at these jade carvings, the lighting that the museum has set up for them allows for deep appreciation of the relief that is used to produce several of the pieces. The presence or absence of grooves, quite literally a binary (is this particular point carved or not?), is made much more than that, as the three-dimensionality of the piece makes some cuts appear deeper or more shallow than what they truly are. It's a good example of how something that's otherwise black and white can have a facet that appears to be more of a spectrum than a hard change.

Design of the Museum

The nature walk at the Harn

While no man-made art was obviously apparent, the flora and rocks and other natural things were placed to make a cozy, outdoorsy little area to contrast from the more serious atmosphere inside the museum. Also, having visited the Harn (and the museum of natural science) with my friend, a botany major, we also hung out there for a while to take a break (he talked about plants for five minutes). Regardless, it certainly was a comfortable-feeling area.

Art and Core Values

West Asian Svastik

While the swastika is now known almost exclusively for its adoption and adaptation by Hitler and Nazi Germany, this version (arms pointing counterclockwise and turned 45 degrees) is purely a religious symbol, descending from the Sanskrit-speaking peoples. As someone who lost a large part of their family to the Germans before and during WWII, I was initially cautious when I saw this sculpture. That it is on display told me two things: first, that it likely isn't the Nazi swastika, second, that there must be something very important about this symbol to the artist since they put it at the top of the piece. Perhaps this was of religious significance.

Art and the Good Life

Harn Rock Garden

Simplicity is part of many varieties of the Good Life. This rock garden also incorporates quiet, solitude, and blandness. Considering anything is technically a possible component of a good life, any one of those qualities could be a factor.

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