The Harn Museum of Art Cameron Rodriguez

ART AND THE GOOD LIFE: This artifact is one that I was particularly attracted to just because of its historical style and its clear age; it is of a Korean Bodhisattva and was made during the Joseon dynasty. After some research I found that a Bodhisattva is someone who forgoes their quest to enlightenment in order to help others begin theirs. I thought that this was a really unique way to spend one's life, and it surely evokes the theme of what makes a "good life" because it offers another viewpoint of one, a life dedicated to helping others. I wouldn't say that the statue communicates this theme directly it is more of the historical context; but it helps us understand the cultural and individual context of it. The man portrayed by the statue is clearly calm, relaxed, and content. This leads us to believe that he is truly happy in how he has chosen to spend his days in 17th century Korea.
MEDIUM OF THE ART: This piece was one made in Africa and was said to be an incarnate of a life force that was present in "all things". It is a mask used in various ceremonies and events. I think seeing it in person is possibly a humbling experience because seeing a picture or a 2 dimensional portrait (especially of a human face) gives the impression that the subject of the art is looking directly at us, or for us. Seeing an object in person, looking behind it, and leaving the room entirely gives us a perception that this "person" is going to look forward no matter who is watching. I think this gives a very new thought to the appreciation of art because it brings about a greater theme of community vs individual value because I think we tend to think that the painting was made for us to see and that its meaning is for us only, when in reality it serves a societal purpose. This specific artwork communicates unease possibly to a western perspective, the woman does not have eyes and is completely lacking expression. It makes one feel strange, possibly intrigued.
DESIGN OF THE MUSEUM: Although the above picture is not exactly from this region, the area of the museum that i liked best was the Frida Kahlo section. The area was small but also very open, it was centered in a room as opposed to being in a corner. There were so many self portraits and photos of her hanging on the walls it just provided for a strange, unique, yet comfortable atmosphere.
ART AND CORE VALUES: This sculpture appeals to a value of self knowledge and introspection, a value I also happen to share. It is one quite present in the culture of Buddhism. Since eastern and western cultures are so vastly different is allows us to see a whole new meaning to these values, one from new eyes. Through these new perspectives we can better understand our own views of what we believe. The work instills emotions of peace and tranquility, based on the body language and facial expression in the man portrayed.

Credits:

Created with images by Saffron Waller Photography - "Museum"

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