The Harn Museum of Art Megan Bohan

-------Medium of the Art/ Technique of the Artist: TRANSPARENCIES WITH BLUE MOVEMENT--------------This piece of work really stood out to me in my visit to the Harn Museum. It is titled "Transparencies with Blue Movement", a title which makes sense to how I see the piece. It appears as if the different colors are layered on top of each other. The color sheets are transparent, however they change the overall color being produced. With the use of shading, its easy to tell that the center of the art piece is the part with the most layering of the transparent colors, whereas the edges are the least layered. This layering is what helps give the art depth, and is much more effective when looking at it in person. The medium was oil on canvas, which is impressive because it looks similar to heavily pigmented water color paint. The artist of this piece, Raymond Jonson, believed that the function of art was to "provide an arena for spiritual exploration". With that in mind, I don't believe that this piece was meant to make me feel one specific thing. When looking at it, I feel intrigued yet comfortable. The abstract nature and colors of the piece makes it very interesting to look at, while the balance and fairly accurate proportions make it comfortable. I think the abstract subject matter of the work is what makes it so striking for we naturally try to make sense of something that wasn't made to make sense.
------------------------------------------------Design of the Museum: GARDEN----------------------------------------------- The part of the Harn Museum which stood out to me the most regarding its design was the garden. I thought this was a really unique touch to the overall exhibit, as well as the Asian art inside that accompanied the garden. There was an Asian theme to the garden, with many flowers and plants native to Asia. In addition, the use of water as the center point of the garden as well as the form of movement and energy is a common theme found in many Asian pieces of art as well as literature. This garden greatly enhanced my enjoyment of the museum because it was a nice peaceful outdoor break from the artwork inside. It was a very tranquil experience to take a couple minutes to walk through the garden and hear, smell, and feel all the nature surrounding me.
-------------------------------------------Art and Core Values: SEATED BODHISATTVA---------------------------------This sculpture had an emotional effect on me when I first saw it. I was born in Singapore and my family lived there for nine years. Because of this, my family has accumulated quite the collection of south eastern art from countries like Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and many more. Included in our collection are a number of Buddha depictions. Seeing this Buddha reminded me of the art work in my home and some of my core values that I learned there. In addition, reading the description of the statue also appealed to some of my core values. The Buddha here is actually not a Buddha, but is resisting enlightenment out of compassion for those striving to reach enlightenment themselves. This is a very extreme form of selflessness, a core value of mine. Although it is important to take care of yourself, it is also essential to think about others and their struggles and pain they may be experiencing as well as ways to help those less fortunate than you. His hand positions represent fearlessness and gift-giving and his smile reinforces his calm, content demeanor. All of this appeals to me for I believe in the power of confidence, while still remaining humble.
------------------------------------------------Art and the Good Life: VAJRAVARAHI--------------------------------------This depiction of Vajravarahi, a female manifestation of Buddha, conveys a good life theme to me. This piece of art was made in the 13th century and represents "transcendent wisdom". This spoke to me because often times I feel like people strive to achieve wisdom in their life in order to feel accomplished. Wisdom doesn't always come with a education, but a good education is an excellent way to achieve knowledge about the world around us and become a problem solver; an excellent way to become wise. Transcendent wisdom that Vajravarahi represents in this picture is a very desired part of humanity. I thought it was interesting that she also holds a skull in her left hand, symbolizing human mortality. To me, this is a way to represent Vajravarhi's god-like superiority, for she is immortal which is why she's able to achieve transcendent wisdom. This raises the question of whether or not humans will ever be able to achieve this level of wisdom. Regardless to the answer, I believe that humans will continue to try and learn and achieve as much knowledge as possible as a way to try and achieve the Good Life.
Created By
Megan Bohan


All photos taken by Megan Bohan

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